Saturday, April 23, 2016

Rue Moruge 166 features Phantasm Ravager Cover Story

The latest issue (#166) of Rue Morgue Magazine features a three-part cover story on all things Phantasm. Written by master scribe John Bowen, the issue has stories on Phantasm Ravager, Phantasm: Remastered and memorial tributes to Angus Scrimm by the phamily.

If what I write here holds any sway with whoever is reading it, hear these words: Go out and buy this issue! You'll be glad you did. Sure, you should not only support Rue Morgue and all things Phantasm, but this is just plain a great cover story on the series. Don Coscarelli and David Hartman are more open and candid here about Ravager than they've ever been in the project's seven year history. 

The ordinarily secretive filmmakers openly and honestly discuss how this new sequel first began and progressed. They talk storylines, new characters, deleted scenes, how they kept it a secret and more. Don also provides comment on the possible future of the franchise and - perhaps most importantly - plans for the upcoming premiere and theatrical roll-out of the sequel.

Issue #166 is officially the May installment of Rue Morgue Magazine and available on newsstands everywhere and their website, but you can also nab a copy on the digital app on the iTunes store.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Another Phantasm Location Demolished

Well, folks.... first came the destruction of the Pearson House last year and now it seems we've lost another classic Phantasm location. It would appear that the Fortuneteller's House that stood at 22840 Calvert Street in Woodland Hills has been completely torn down. The Google Satellite image you see to your right shows that the acre lot has been cleared of the house and trees that long stood there.

Built in 1937, the single family home retained the white/green paint scheme seen in the first Phantasm nearly forty years ago up until its recent demolition. There were concerns last year that the property might be on the chopping block after the yard was cleared and a construction fence erected around the perimeter. LA Magazine reported that the lot had sold for upwards of $900,000. With the pending Warner Center Village Project revving up, this turn of events surely comes as a surprise no one in the area. The neighbors are likely glad this finally happened.

To be perfectly honest, the deserted home and sorely neglected yard stood out badly in the otherwise nice neighborhood. You can see just how out-of-place the abandoned lot feels in the crappy cell phone video below that I shot during my 2009 visit.

In such times, we should remember the immortal words of the Fortuneteller herself. "Fear is the killer." That's what Grandmother wants you to learn. Now please let's hope everything is okay with the Dunsmuir Estate in Oakland.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Striking New Angus Scrimm Memorial Coin

I’m not in the habit of posting about awesome collectibles you can’t get your hands on, but that’s exactly what I’m doing today, so do forgive me. I’m simply dying to share this striking collectible made by a pal of mine. Longtime Phantasm phan, Phantasm Exhumed photographer and collector Scott Pensa has commissioned a memorial coin in tribute to the late great Angus Scrimm with whom Scott was friends with for a good many years up until the Tall Man performer's recent passing.

Limited to 100 individually numbered pieces, Scott produced this coin to personally distribute amongst his friends and the Phantasm phamily (I have 005/100). Looking it over, I have to say it’s positively gorgeous, so much more so than these images might suggest. You’ll have to forgive the quality of these pics - they were taken by my weathered and badly aging iPhone 4S. 

On the “The Tall Man” side of the coin, we have an expertly engraved image of the menacing mortician standing before the spacegate poles in the white room. Every detail is magnificently realized on this piece from the dwarf barrels to the Tall Man’s suit. It might be difficult to see in the photo, but Scott’s fantastic attention to detail reveals itself in the small touches like the tiny red tie-pin on the Tall Man’s suit. To top this coin-face off, there are three engraved silver spheres adorning each side of the image. 

On the “Angus Scrimm” side of the coin, we get both the performer’s stage name and his actual name as well as the dates for his birth and passing. Centered on this side is a sharp-looking picture of Angus smiling and holding a silver sphere from 2014’s Flashback Reunion Weekend in Chicago. Bravo, Scott and thank you. This is a wonderful tribute to our dearly departed.

(click to enlarge)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Listen Up: New Phantasm Tribute Album from UK Band Zoltan

"Cyborg progressive" UK band Zoltan has released a new EP that pays tribute to the music of their two favorite films - Tanz der Vampire and Phantasm! By the look of things, it was the latter film that managed to dominate the EP's cover. The six-track album contains three recreated music tracks from each film and is available for download or in sweet limited edition vinyl. The artwork you see below was created by Zoltan drummer Andrew Prestidge.

Personally, I'm a big fan of their style and consider this as fine a Phantasm tribute as any. Despite covering these vintage themes nearly four decades later, Zoltan manages to retain that wonderful 70s feel that Fred Myrow and Malcolm Seagrave originally infused their tunes with way back when. So many Phantasm theme covers are unable to recreate that unique spirit, opting instead for the also satisfying but different epic-action feel of Phantasm's II and III. Bravo to Zoltan, I say.

If you happen to like what Zoltan does, check out their Facebook page to learn more about their other musical offerings.

Monday, April 11, 2016

VIDEO: See Phantasm's Silver Sphere in 3-D (Glasses required!)

Countless phans have wondered over the years what a 3-D Phantasm viewing experience might look like. Now thanks to one talented phan, we have a glimpse at seeing just that! Ridiculously talented super-phan Filemon Pi Piripi has taken the sphere attack scene from Phantasm III and converted it to 3-D through some kind of digital wizardry. This clip should work with your standard red-and-blue glasses. (Clear 3-D glasses probably won't generate much of an effect.)

So how does it look? Would you be interested in an entire film converted like so?