Thursday, November 5, 2015

Phantasm included on Best Horror Soundtracks List

Taste of Cinema, in their infinite wisdom, has ranked the Phantasm score among the thirty greatest horror soundtracks of all time. Fred Myrow and Malcolm Seagrave's memorable musical accompaniment clocks in at number twenty-six on their list, which is split into four parts. Phantasm is sandwiched in between Zombie Flesh Eaters and Alien, the latter you'll recall being another 1979 flick with a yellow-blooded alien in it.

They write, "This soundtrack sounds like it was made in a mausoleum at midnight." Such a fitting description! Hit up their website at the link above to read what else they have to say about the Phantasm score and to see what other horror film soundtracks made the list.

New Art/Details from Unmade Phantasm V

The second entry in Stephen Romano's fantastic article series on his unmade sequel, Phantasm Forever, has been posted over at Dread Central! This installment is particularly good, with insights about the unfinished Phantasm Overminds comic and the aborted New Line Cinema remake, the latter of which has scantly ever been discussed publicly. Stephen has also included some incredibly rare concept artwork from Phantasm Forever. Go have a look.

The third and final part of his revealing retrospective should pop online sometime next week and promises to address the infamous Phantasm Forever table read!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Play the Phantasm: Sentinel Hunt Game!!

Here is one from the vaults! The now out-of-print Region 2 Phantasm Sphere boxset has just turned ten years old. Released on Halloween 2005, this was and remains a stellar presentation of the first four films for those who either live in the UK or managed to get a copy shipped across the pond or elsewhere. Supplement-packed box sets weren't as common for horror franchises ten years ago, so the fact that Phantasm received such treatment so early on was a delight.

Anchor Bay UK really went to bat for the sphere-shaped set, printing full-page ads in trade publications and genre magazines. They also created a pretty fun flash game called Phantasm: Sentinel Hunt. While they have long since removed it from their website, yours truly managed to save the game before its removal and you can play it at the link below! The most unique part of the game? You play using your keyboard as a silver sphere hunting humans! If you manage to drill someone, you're treated to a brief clip from the films and then back to the hunt.

(requires flash, may not work on mobile devices)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New Pressing for Phantasm Vinyl!

If you were one of the poor few who missed out on Mondo's sweet Phantasm Vinyl soundtrack album from earlier this year, you may now rejoice! Newbury Comics has announced an upcoming limited edition pressing of that album. Bypassing the basic black, the vinyl on this new release is "Red and Gray Haze" colored. You may recall the original Mondo releases several months back were blood-stained red and limited edition mausoleum marble-white.

This album features the same artwork, same music and same Don Coscarelli-penned liner notes as previous releases. The new pressing is priced at $39.99, slightly up from the original issuing, and limited to four hundred copies. Customers can purchase up to five soundtracks at a time in case you're a hoarder or looking to buy Christmas gifts for the horror phan in your life. Phantasm's original soundtrack album release remains mighty expensive on the secondhand market, so this is a great opportunity to own that spooky/wonderful theme on vinyl.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Former P5 Writer Talks, More Ravager Confusion

Writer Stephen Romano, who penned an unused Phantasm V, Phantasm remake and the Phantasm comic, has begun unveiling "an epic three-part confessional" on his lost sequel effort, Phantasm Forever, over at Dread Central. This was the lost sequel from which the infamous table read came from. Information about this project has always been extremely hard to come by, so the fact that Stephen is now going to tell his "intensely personal" side of it in an "in-depth" manner is terrifically exciting news! The first part of his confessional is now online, with the second hitting next week. The Phantasm world is and always has been tightly controlled by Don Coscarelli, so the fact that we're getting such a special insight makes this a unique gift to phans.

In other news, Starway International has officially registered to present Phantasm Ravager at the American Film Market, a standard path for gaining distribution on Phantasm sequels. Starway's production listing, which was updated a few days ago, still lists Ravager as being in post-production and not set for completion until next year, which doesn't exactly jive with what cast has been saying. Furthermore, Starway lists that the new sequel was "filmed in secret over the past three years."

Why is Coscarelli sticking to this three year number? I literally showed you a picture from this film back in early 2009, which is more along the line of six years, not three. I haven't gotten any memo that I should be playing along with the new official story yet, so until then I'll just go with, y'know, reality. Something tells me this won't be the last instance of Ravager's public presentation not lining up with how things actually are. The next year is going to be interesting.

Also, the sequel's AFM listing mentions that the five Phantasm films will soon be available in HD for licensing internationally, but makes no mention of domestic. Might this mean Ravager and the three sequels (one, three and four) that Coscarelli controls have already found a home here in the states??

Thursday, October 15, 2015

EMPIRE ranks Tall Man/Reggie among Horror's Greatest Characters!

Empire Online has debuted an impressive ranking of the 666 All-Time Greatest Horror Characters, which must have been an exhausting undertaking. You'll surely be delighted to learn that both the Tall Man and Reggie rank on their list! The Tall Man clocked in at a very respectable 84th and Reggie was listed at 258th! Phantasm is so often excluded from these kinds of lists, so it's wonderful to see some mainstream acknowledgement. If I'm being honest, I would've also loved to have seen Mike Pearson listed here. A. Michael Baldwin's portrayal in the original is definitely the heart of that film.

Don Coscarelli must be pleased as well because Elvis from Bubba Ho-Tep also made the list only a few spots above the Tall Man! See the complete list here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bubba Ho-Tep adapted in BOOMSTICK BALLET

This isn't directly Phantasm related, but it's so weirdly awesome that I couldn't resist posting about it. There is something going down in New York City this Saturday called BOOMSTICK BALLET: A Bruce Campbell Dance Opera in 3 Acts. Someone has actually adapted three of Campbell's most popular works into a rock ballet. Sign me up! If this is half as much fun as Evil Dead: The Musical has been, then everyone is in for a real treat. Here's to hoping the evening is successful enough to warrant future performances beyond this limited engagement.

The official description reads as such: "Put your sawed-off severed hands together! Following the success of their rock opera ballet "SEVERED: The Tragic Loves of Frankenstein's Monster", The Love Show and .357 LOVER reunite to bring you an evening of mayhem, beauty and slapstick through dance and original live music, based on films starring the Cary Grant of cult classic horror flicks, Bruce Campbell!"

The first act covers Evil Dead II, the second Bubba Ho-Tep and the third Army of Darkness. I suddenly have enormous interest in dance opera. Get more information here and visit the group on Facebook here.

Friday, October 2, 2015

SPOILER ALERT: New Ravager Sphere Revealed

I like to think this blog has done pretty well these past seven years or so not spoiling too many secrets from the upcoming Phantasm Ravager, but this one was too fun not to share. And you can't really blame me for spoiling it as this was first shown back in May to attendees of Texas Frightmare Weekend by Don Coscarelli himself (and to thousands more in the infamous leaked trailer). The only catch was that this detail went by so fast that almost no one caught it - until this morning.

Phantasm Ravager has been rumored to feature several new spheres, but the only one we've seen yet has been the gigantic laser shooting sphere. As it turns out, the Texas Frightmare preview contained a second new sphere. You had to be crazy quick to catch it, though. In the four-and-a-half minute preview, it was only onscreen for a scant four frames!

I'd post a screenshot of the new sphere here, but I'm allergic to hammers. I can, however, show you a quick mockup I made of the ball in Photoshop. Now picture the following shape, but with chrome texture like the silver spheres we've come to know and sharper spikes. As you can see, the new orb is not unlike the business end of a mace, only without the stick or chain.

If you were one of the lucky few to have downloaded the leaked trailer before it was yanked, see if you're able to find the Mace Sphere. It is not all that easy to spot! Click the image below to see it larger!

NEWS: Phantasm Ravager is Finished!

[UPDATE: Some phans are finding this news confusing. The film was originally announced as being complete last March, but Don Coscarelli then told Bloody-Disgusting that only the filming was complete and that visual effects work was ongoing and "will be for quite some time." This is the first public confirmation I have personally seen that work on the sequel has concluded.]

Star/producer Reggie Bannister has been interviewed for the 200th episode of the Rabbit in Red Radio podcast at As you might expect, the conversation turns toward the new Phantasm Ravager every so often. The Regman talks about how shooting took place at his property in the mountains of Crestline, California and reveals that production also took place at director David Hartman's home. This isn't so strange, he continues, as Don Coscarelli productions have been doing this as far back as 1976's Kenny & Company, which shot at the Senior Coscarelli household. He goes on to promise the new sequel will include "a lot of action." 

The biggest news bomb dropped in the podcast is public confirmation that Phantasm Ravager is complete! In his own words, Reggie tells the podcast, "We've got final cut." He also mentions that while the film is finished, he has not yet seen the completed version but expects a distributor to pick it up soon. The weird thing is that Reggie references the upcoming Anaheim WonderCon in his interview, which took place back in April of this year. That places this interview as occurring in March of this year, meaning Phantasm Ravager has been in the can for that long!

This should help to dispel any nagging rumors that the filmmakers haven't finished the effects or have gone back for reshoots. Hooray!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

NEW! Phantasm Enamel Collector's Pin!

Brace yourself for something cool! Artist Christopher Ott has debuted a brand new Phantasm Enamel Pin over in his London 1888 webstore. You may recall Christopher's terrific Phantasm print from 2011, a copy of which I still proudly have in my collection. He's been a busy fellow since then, but I believe this is his first Phantasm-related work since.

Chris's new pin depicts the Caretaker's death scene from the original Phantasm and - get this - the silver sphere actually slides along the pin into the character's forehead! Now that is a pretty nifty touch. These pins are super limited and going fast, but if you'd like one head on over to London 1888 where they're selling for a cheap $10. The product listing mentions that each pin will arrive carded and numbered.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bizarre Phantasm Box Set from Italy

I've posted before about how international home video editions of the Phantasm series often have small peculiarities about them, but this is a massively peculiar release from Italy. This four-disc box set of "Fantasmi" includes the first three Phantasm movies yet uses artwork created exclusively for Phantasm Oblivion! Why exclude the fourth film, especially if you're going to use artwork from it? The set's back cover further features an image of the Tall Man from Oblivion. 

This Italian release also includes a fourth disc of supplemental material ported over from Anchor Bay's impressive UK box set. Among these is the feature-length documentary Phantasmagoria, which looks to have been trimmed from its original 97-minute runtime to 72-minutes in order to exclude the concluding Phantasm Oblivion segment. I wonder, did they further trim Oblivion clips from the also-included "The Gory Days" and "Phandom" featurettes? 

Furthermore, the credit blocks on the back cover are also messed up. The block for "Fantasmi III" is a straight copy of the original film's credits, listing Paul Pepperman as co-producer (he produced none of the sequels, mind you) and gives Kathy Lester's micro-cameo fourth billing! Click the images below to see the packaging larger.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Classy Coscarelli gently nixes Ravager Kickstarter

[Update from the Chief Archivist: My posts on this topic were never a smear campaign against the individual who started this mess, but rather an effort to prevent phans from throwing their money at it. I was trying to stop it - and that goal has been met. I'll leave these posts up because this all did happen, but I'm removing the phan's name and details from this post.]

the whole fake Ravager Kickstarter thing got even weirder this morning and then came to an abrupt end this afternoon, but not before it had raised an astonishing $860 from naive phans. As it turned out, the campaign was neither a joke nor the effort of an internet troll. Its creator seems to have legitimately wanted to fund additional work on Phantasm V (insert Kevin Hart confused face here).

Kickstarter impresario ------- updated his $15,000,000 campaign with the shocking clarification that he wasn't actually associated with anyone involved in the production of the new sequel. In an update, he wrote: "It has come to my attention that a number of blogs online are stating that this is Fradulent or a scam. To clarify, we are in fact not associated with the filmmakers in anyway, However this is still an honest effort to raise money for the film, by fans, and for the fans. The purpose for the funds, are as stated in this projects description. That is what it will be used for." 

----- then created a new perk for his Kickstarter at the $75 donation level that awarded up to 50,000 funders BluRay copies of all five films - despite the fact that no such releases have even been announced yet, except in the case of Phantasm II which is already available on BluRay. 

News of this bizarre crowd funding venture spread out onto several other sites this morning before eventually catching the attention of Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli, who personally tweeted ---- requesting that he shut down the Kickstarter, which ----- then promptly did. You know, I've got to hand it to Coscarelli. Rather than his usual silent digital takedowns, the guy reached out to ------ on Twitter and with a very gentle voice and got what he wanted. Classy.