Thursday, February 12, 2015

Props: Phantasm III Spheres For Sale!

Legitimate props from the Phantasm films are hard to come by, though they do crop up on eBay from time to time. If you're going to pay a premium price for something screen-used, you should feel confident that the item you're buying is real. After all, there have certainly been a handful of fake props auctioned off in recent years. I recall a particularly unconvincing pair of dwarves denounced by series special effects creators and several sphere replicas passed off as the real deal.

Having said that, a popular collectibles website is now claiming to have a whopping fifteen spheres from the making of Phantasm III headed for the auction block. The only question is - are they real? Read on to see pics, find links to the auctions and learn my doubts.

Monday, February 9, 2015

GALLERY: Scrimm & Exhumed at DOTD 2015

Well, the 2015 Days of the Dead convention has come and gone in Atlanta, Georgia where both Angus Scrimm and Phantasm Exhumed appeared. It was a terrifically fun weekend spent reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. I manned the Exhumed table all three days with series crewmember/book photographer Kristen Deem. We signed many books that were bought at the show and a right many that phans brought from home having already purchased and read through. It was a pleasure meeting everyone and if you stopped by the table with a kind word, thank you. Now... how's about a slew of twenty or so pictures from the weekend?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Phantasm Ravager Composer Chris Stone Speaks!

Series composer Chris Stone has given an informative new interview to the AXS website and speaks in it of his time on the upcoming Phantasm Ravager. Chris is among very few people to have worked on all five Phantasm's, providing sound effects on the original and co-scoring the first two sequels with Fred Myrow before taking over completely on Oblivion and Ravager.

Chris shared that among the five films, Ravager stands as his favorite to have worked on: "Definitely Phantasm Ravager, because I had the rare opportunity to take my time. The vast majority of any scoring project starts off with the phrase: “We need it yesterday.” This time, I was allowed the opportunity to incorporate new sounds and approaches in combination with traditional Phantasm scoring. These approaches would have been otherwise too risky or impractical to implement under a heavy deadline."

He also cited from his time on Ravager his fondest memory from the series: "The most fun for me has been my interaction with Don and David Hartman on Phantasm Ravager. I love watching their faces as I play new pieces for them, especially when I show them new and unexpected scoring approaches. Their appreciative reactions are very rewarding for me as a composer. This will always be my favorite memory."

Read the entire interview to hear more about Chris' career and his work on Ravager.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Going Wide with Phantasm Panoramics

Today's post has been sitting in my inbox for five years now (yikes), two spectacular works that elongate the phantasmic visual plane. Master photo editor Marcel Castro ValiƱo sent in these two lovely panoramic shots from the original Phantasm, which he created by magic by combining multiple images from a camera pan movement. The first showcases the entire casket showroom and the second gives you a better view of the Fortuneteller's home, which was the subject of yesterday's sad post.

Click either image to enlarge it and soak in the details! Thanks kindly for sharing, Marcel!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Classic Phantasm Location Doomed?

I just happened across some unfortunate news from this past October regarding a classic Phantasm location. It appears the Fortuneteller's home, which has remained virtually unchanged in Woodland Hills since the original film, may be slated for demolition. Los Angeles Magazine notes that the property had been "marketed as a tear down, valued solely for the large, 0.82-acre plot of land it sits on." It was then sold for $900,000. Today, a chain link fence sits around the home, which stands out sorely in the otherwise fairly nice neighborhood. The yard has also been cleared of overgrown foliage and junker automobiles. (The above image of the yard is from my own visit in 2009.)

Click the image on your right to enlarge it and see the property as it looks today, photo originally from the Los Angeles Magazine website. Thanks to Peter Marullo for the head's up on this.

"Don't fear, Michael. Fear is the killer."

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hand-Knit Tall Man and Reggie Dolls

I posted back in 2011 about Laure Pizzi, who had knit several terrific Tall Man dolls (one of which Angus Scrimm himself bought), but I've now found someone who has knit together not only the Tall Man, but Reggie as well!

The blogger over at Recycled Miracles has stitched together these dolls from yarn scraps, using leftover pieces of suede for the eyes and tin foil for the sphere. Very cool. Now we just need a Mike, Jody and Lady in Lavender to complete this adorable collection!

The tuning fork is a nice detail and - hey - she even added a little tie-pin to the Tall Man's neck tie! Talk about attention to detail!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Consider Phantasm Football on Super Bowl Sunday

On this Super Bowl Sunday, I ask you to consider what artist Christopher John Sztybel has suggested for the game of American football. In a 2012 post on his blog, Christopher describes his disinterest in the televised sport and his frustration with people yelling at their televisions. He then created a pretty funny piece of artwork to illustrate his thoughts! Click the artwork to your right to enlarge it.

"The team can’t hear you yelling," Christopher writes. "Nor do they really care about your undying love for them. They’re mercenaries for hire. It’d be great to raise the stakes of the game. Remember the movie Phantasm? It featured a killer ball. Had knives, drills, and a few other gadgets in it. Play with that ball and I will watch. This is a mixed media piece and was created using colored pencil, Sharpie marker, and vector art. The inspiration for the art style came from the work of Aidan Hughes."

Also... Go Seahawks!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wishful Thinking: Phantasm Box Set & Vinyl Soundtrack

Well, I've got potentially good news and bad news.

The bad news first. There doesn't appear to be any Region 1 Phantasm box set in the works… at least not from Scream Factory, who released a fantastic Collector's Edition of Phantasm II several years ago. It had been hoped in the wake of Scream and Anchor Bay's partnering for the Complete Halloween box set that they might team again for a Phantasm set. As many phans know, films one, three and four are currently out of print in the United States. It is unknown whether or not Anchor Bay still holds distribution rights to those entries or if they have reverted back to Don Coscarelli. It would be great if Scream were attempting misdirection here via their Twitter account, but we'll take them at their word.

Now for the potentially good news. This is strictly speculation! Death Waltz Records posted a photo of a silver sphere to their Instagram account yesterday with the quote, "You play a good game, boy, but the game is finished. Now you die."

Death Waltz is well known for producing limited edition vinyl scores for classic horror movies. Even better, they were purchased by Mondo Tees last September, who released a highly collectible Phantasm poster several years back that we know Don Coscarelli really dug. Might this be a tease for a future vinyl re-release of the original Phantasm score? Fingers crossed. Thanks to Peter Marullo for this scoop!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fan Spotlight: Peter Marullo's Phantasm Mega-Edit

As an amateur video editor myself, there's nothing I appreciate more than seeing an ambitious phan cut together their own reworking of Phantasm. Whether they're re-incorporating deleted scenes, re-scoring the film or combining them all into one - it's fascinating to watch. Phantasm's creator also shares this interest, having publicly voiced his surprise and delight at such creations.

In this post, I want to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Peter Marullo, and show you some of his editing handiwork in bridging Phantasm II with III and Phantasm III with Oblivion. Upon watching the embedded video, I think you'll find Peter's editing makes the transition between films positively seamless.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Casting Mystery on Phantasm Ravager

Today's news brings clarification to a casting rumor and a new set photo related to that mystery. Phantasm Ravager co-producer Gigi Fast Elk Bannister took to the internet today to correct a growing rumor that Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage had joined the cast of the new sequel. This is false and he is not associated with the production.

The character Dinklage was rumored to play, "Chunk," can be seen in the first teaser trailer looking nothing like the popular performer. Gigi referred to the real actor behind "Chunk" only as "Hedge," saying that he is a personal friend of director David Hartman. The co-producer also shared the set photo of "Hedge" you see on your right. Click the pic to enlarge.

While we still don't know exactly who "Hedge" is, we now know who he is not. It's still great to hear new official word on the sequel and always wonderful to see a new set photo.

Speaking of wild casting rumors, anyone hear the one about A. Michael Baldwin's role being recast with Brad Pitt?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Massive Italian Phantasm Retrospective

The third issue of the online Italian-horror magazine Terre di Confine boasts a massive Phantasm retrospective. The article, which was written by di Severino Forini, is tastefully organized with beautiful full-page poster artworks and images from the films. It even contains several pages dedicated to the upcoming Phantasm Ravager. I was also delighted to spot a positive sidebar on my book, Phantasm Exhumed, among their pages.

You can read and download a PDF copy of Terre di Confine for free on their website. I don't speak Italian, but this magazine was still a joy to flip through if not only for the layout. The phantasmic fun begins on page fifty-six!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Phantasm III's Scrapped Arctic Ending?

What's this? A photo from Phantasm III's elusive scrapped arctic ending? Nah, just a pic I snagged from John Squires of "Freddy in Space" fame depicting the Tall Man braving the current Nor'easter storm terrorizing parts of the northern United States. Stay warm out there, folks. (Thanks to writer Martin Yates for the arctic ending joke!)

John writes: "It's not a serious blizzard until the Tall Man is no longer visible. We're up to his waist out there, folks!"