Friday, August 14, 2015

Six Observations on the Leaked Phantasm Ravager Footage




While we don't dare post yesterday's leaked Ravager footage or any images from it for fear of having a hammer dropped on us , we can still talk about it. And let's face it, based on social media, everyone is still talking about it. So with that, I thought I would post six observations I had after having reviewed the preview several times.

1) Remastered P1/P4 Footage - The first thing that stood out to me from the new footage were the clips from Phantasm and Phantasm: Oblivion. Reggie flashes back to the Lady in Lavender's attack on him and, later on, we see shots of both Reggie and the Tall Man in Death Valley. We've seen this all, sure, but never before in such crisp quality! Compare that to your videotapes and DVDs and you'll find there simply is no comparison. At first glance, it would appear that Don Coscarelli has treated the series to a gorgeous new high-definition transfer. Here's to hoping this bodes well for Blu-Ray releases in the near future.

2) Hey look, it's Jody! - The new footage gives us our first glimpse, brief though it may be, at Bill Thornbury's Jody. We see the older, ghostly Pearson brother back behind the wheel of the 'Cuda, his first time sitting in this particular seat since the original Phantasm. He appears to be outfitted for battle as does the muscle car he sits in. This shot passes by so quickly that it wasn't until my third viewing of the trailer that I even caught it. Good to see you back, Bill!

3) An Army of Tall Men - One of the more striking images from the new trailer was a digital tracking shot through a white room toward a space gate with dozens of Tall Men lined up on either side of it. We have always known there to be multiple Tall Men out there with a new one stepping in anytime an old one is killed, but never before have we seen them all standing together! This ominous imagery strongly evokes one of the endings to Roger Avary's ill-fated Phantasm 1999 screenplay. The Tall Army concept made me groan when I first read it in Avary's script, but its execution here is just terrific. My hat is off to David Hartman for making this work.

4) The Hospital/Book Angle - From Reggie's new dialogue in the trailer, we learn he is having issues distinguishing reality from illusion (or delusion?) and has been hospitalized, either in a psychiatric setting or a retirement home. We also see Mike visiting Reggie and trying to explain complicated concepts about alternate realities, which his friend does not seem to care about. Reggie's hospitalization strongly resembles concepts first presented in Stephen Romano's Phantasm Forever pitch, only that it was Mike who was hospitalized. The book angle is also reminiscent of Forever where Mike had actually written his own tome detailing his experiences with the Tall Man, though it is unclear in the Ravager trailer whether Mike has authored the book he speaks of or simply had it recommended to him by Amazon.

5) The Tall Man is still cryptic as ever - With this leaked footage we get a juicy new piece of Tall Man dialogue sure to send the brains of phans into a frenzy. Our favorite mortician appears to turn toward Reggie and meaningly intone, "You're not even real. You're myyyyy baaaaad dreeeeam." To paraphrase Mike Pearson in Phantasm III, "we don't know what you meeeeean!" Looks like we will have to wait to find out what in the actual hell that line refers to until the film comes out… and it is entirely possible we may not even know come then. This is Phantasm, after all.

6) Hartman appears to "get it."
There has been much geek anxiety and worried speculation concerning the fact that Don Coscarelli has handed off the final Phantasm sequel to a new director, much less someone that has never helmed a feature film before. But Coscarelli has repeatedly reassured phans that David Hartman "gets it" and, based on this new footage, he truly appears to. The scene inside the mausoleum between Reggie and the Lady in Lavender is masterfully directed and oozes that classic Phantasm spirit. This confrontation between two characters that haven't crossed paths in thirty-five years must inspire great confidence in even the harshest doubters out there.

Well, those are my six observations. What did you notice? Sound off below or on the Phantasm Communtiy Facebook page!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ravager Co-Producer Dropping Hammers

Boy, that newly leaked Ravager trailer has been making the rounds today. Cast, crew and phans had all been joyfully sharing the new footage through social media - before the hammer came down, that is. And now that it has come down, co-producer Gigi Bannister has a stern message for everyone out there enjoying the footage:

"For those of you who decide to infringe upon Silver Sphere Corp's copyrights on Phantasm Ravager or Phantasm in general or in your earnest to be "the first" to get something up on FB, YouTube or Vidmeo... we've dropped hammers on a guy who tried THREE TIMES today to put up Phantasm Ravager clips. Here's what ya get now: "Trailer do (sic) Phantasm...' This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Silver Sphere Corporation." Please play by the rules folks and don't steal the thunder from the other Phans. You can't say Phantasm without Phan." (from Facebook)

This is precisely why I haven't uploaded the footage or screen captures *anywhere* and advise you not to do the same, lest you want a hammer dropped on you. The witch hunt has officially begun! Such unauthorized actions are generally frowned upon in this corner of the horror genre. Speaking of which, did anyone hear about that unauthorized Phantasm book from last year?

(wink wink)

In the words of Reggie from the new footage "Books I don't need!!! A fuckin' four-barrel shotgun is more like it!"

Or a hammer.

Phantasm Ravager Trailer Leak!

Well, it's finally happened. More than a year after the original teaser video hit, a four minute trailer for Phantasm Ravager leaked to the internet courtesy of a crewmember's Vimeo page. The new footage is apparently the same sizzle reel that was shown exclusively to attendees of the Texas Frightmare Weekend screening a while back and.... it is pretty cool!

The only downside is that the Coscarelli camp apparently discovered the footage within an hour or so today and it has since been removed from Vimeo. Fortunately for you, devoted phans have already saved the source file and the trailer has been popping up all over various other sites. I'm not going to post links to any of that here because it would immediately be targeted for takedown, but do your Google and social media homework and you should come upon it pretty quickly.

The hilarious part? The footage had been hiding in plain sight online for more than two months before being discovered! Okay, enough here. Go find the trailer! It's Christmas in August, booooy!


Friday, June 19, 2015

8-Bit Phantasm/Elm Street Music Video? Yes, please!

Here's a pretty cool way to end the work week.... a hybrid Phantasm/Elm Street double-feature music video from indie-rock bands Horror Section and Eaten Back to Life! It's the latter who performs the song, "The Tall Man," which is directly inspired by Phantasm. The first two minutes of the video feature the Freddy-related tune, "Cut you up," with EBTL's "The Tall Man" starting at the 2:03 mark.

In a nice touch, video director Aaron Romero borrows visually from the old Nightmare on Elm Street NES video game. The hybrid music video features the bands being stalked by Freddy Krueger and the Tall Man while performing in the 8-Bit world. It took Romero, who hails from Southern Illinois, an entire week to animate the project. In a showdown between Krueger and the Tall Man, Romero tells the Archives that his money is squarely on our dear alien mortician. Cheers to that! You can see more of Aaron's sweet work here.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Was Phantasm Ravager planned 30+ years ago?

In the absence of news or a release date for the new Phantasm sequel, phans have taken to examining the previous four films for clues as to the direction of David Hartman's fifth. And - surprisingly - one of those phans has come upon irrefutable evidence that Don Coscarelli had secret plans for a fifth Phantasm when he first made the original film back in 1977.

Have a look at the video below, which was submitted by the talented Filemon Pi Piripi, and be sure to pay close attention to Reggie's truck!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Phantasm Ravager's Mega-Sphere

What little bit of footage we've seen from Phantasm Ravager has already raised so many questions, particularly where that giant skyscraper-desrtoying silver sphere is concerned. How does this mega-sphere fit into series mythology? Surely there isn't a massive brain inside of it per previous balls... or some Godzilla-esque creature roaming around from which such a huge brain originated? Perhaps the mega-sphere is comprised of many smaller spheres.... or possibly it's all just a Phantasm and we're not meant to know.... yet.

Regardless, phan and video artist Filemon Pi Piripi shared with us this terrific video inspired by that mega-sphere. Click play below to see the mega-sphere leveling yet another towering building!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Let's Talk About Fake Phantasm Props...

This year has seen an unusually high number of purportedly authentic Phantasm props crop up on the online auction market. Dozens of spheres have appeared on both iCollector and eBay, but we have yet to see adequate proof that any of these actually hail from a Phantasm production. Considering how much of a prop hoarder Don Coscarelli is (seriously, this guy even kept mausoleum wallpaper from the original Phantasm!), you should always demand proof that whatever prop you're interested in is legitimate. Props and wardrobe have managed to escape Phantasm sets with cast and crew before, but these are few and far between. Even fewer items have escaped to the hands of collectors.

Filmmaker and effects creator Kerry Prior, whose sphere work on the series thus far includes Phantasm II, Phantasm III and Phantasm Oblivion, chimed in on this very blog with a comment last week that I'd like to share with you all now. Take it as a warning.

I was contacted recently by a fellow looking for me to verify that the Phantasm Sphere he had purchased on Ebay was in fact genuine. It even came with a "certificate of authenticity." I had to tell him that it was fake.

While it is possible that the occasional prop found it's way off the set--(at least one was given as a gift, that to Bob Ivy for an amazing stunt he did on P-III; some (2 motion control spheres) were archived in Dreamquest Images' storage vaults; and there's no accounting for any spheres in the hands of those sphere-guys who came before me...) as a general rule, if it shows up on Ebay, it's not genuine. I've never sold a prop from the Phantasm (I have two spheres from P-III and I can see them from here) although I did make some props from the original molds for a diehard "Phan" many years ago, I'm certain he will never part with them. But, to be sure, if it comes with a COA with my signature, it is unquestioningly a fake.

Hope that helps.

Kerry Prior

Monday, May 25, 2015

Scrimm interviewed in UK's SCREAM Magazine

UK phans, hear this! Angus Scrimm has been interviewed by SCREAM Magazine for their thirtieth issue. The interview was conducted by writer Brianne Marie at Atlanta's Days of the Dead show here in the states. While the piece isn't terribly long, it does give a nice career overview of everyone's favorite Tall Man, who also shares the cover with the shark from JAWS and Sid Haig's Captain Spaulding. I found the issue to be thoroughly enjoyable. Come for the Tall Man, but stay for the other interviews.

Here's to hoping SCREAM devotes more coverage to Scrimm and the series as Phantasm Ravager gears up for release. Interested phans can order a physical copy of the issue from SCREAM's website. Early word is that this issue is bound to sell out from the JAWS fanbase alone. You can also nab a digital download for just $1.99.

Friday, May 22, 2015

About that Mondo Phantasm Vinyl...

I know many phans have been patiently awaiting official word on when the limited edition Phantasm Vinyl from Mondo would be made available online. The spiffy new release was first made available earlier this month at Texas Frightmare Weekend in both white-marble and blood-red editions. Mondo's Justin Ishmael has given word that the vinyl will be released online through Mondo's website this upcoming Wednesday, 5/27. These things tend to sell out very quickly, so I wouldn't hesitate once they become available!

I was extremely fortunate to have a man on the inside at Texas Frightmare who snagged me a white-marble edition of the release. I've snapped photos of it, which you can see below. Click any image to make it bigger.

 

 

Retro Phantasm Comic Book Covers!



When it comes to Phantasm comics, phans have really not been given their due. We were treated to one issue of Stephen Romano's enjoyable "Overminds" mini-series more than a decade ago, but there is so much more that could be explored through this unique medium. Fortunately, there are some mighty talented artists out there who just so happen to be phans. One such person from that talented lot is Joey Solis. Joey has a knack for creating retro-comic book covers and has drawn up three images from what Phantasm might have looked like had it been adapted into comic form back in 1979.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I need this to be real! These covers are so tantalizing and genuinely look like they might have been from a rejected 1979 Marvel Comics proposal. If you dig these, add Joey to your Friend's List on Facebook to see more of his artwork. He's also on Instagram under the username "w.media.

Click any image to see it larger



Friday, May 1, 2015

New Phantasm Ravager Stills, Trailer Description

Well, what we all suspected indeed happened last night. Don Coscarelli and the cast unveiled new footage from Phantasm Ravager at the Alamo Drafthouse screening of the first film in Texas. Quint from Ain't It Cool News has a detailed write-up on the material, which you can read here. He also shared three personal photos from his set visit to the production "many moons ago," which I've re-posted below. Click them to enlarge.

What's most interesting to me about Quint's footage description is the scene between Mike and Reggie in the psych hospital, which strongly evokes Stephen Romano's unproduced Phantasm Forever screenplay, which by most accounts remains the greatest Phantasm story never told. I'm glad they are revisiting the psych hospital angle for the franchise, which was first attempted briefly in Phantasm II but not focused on very much.

As for the film's release date, attendees are reporting that Don Coscarelli revealed the film is STILL in post-production and that they're STILL trying to find a home for it.




Thursday, April 30, 2015

Phantasm Score Returning to Vinyl!


Here's some fantastic news sure to make anyone's week. Mondo has announced a new limited edition reissue of the original Phantasm score on vinyl along with a new limited edition screen print! Both new products feature gorgeous new artwork, the vinyl by Phantom City Creative and the screen print by artist Mike Saputo (click . The vinyl will also boast new liner notes from Don Coscarelli. Both the record and screen print debut tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse screening of the first Phantasm in Texas and will be available throughout this weekend at the Texas Frightmare Convention. An online release is planned for an uncertain date in the future. For more information, see the original announcement here.

If these two items are anything like Mondo's other releases, they'll sell out quickly and immediately start fetching outrageous prices on the secondary market. If you want either of these and have an opportunity to snag them, don't hesitate! (click either the vinyl cover or screen print to enlarge them.)