Monday, March 16, 2015

Phantasm Trading Cards

I need this to be real. From super-phan Russell Wagus comes this tease of what a Phantasm trading card set might look like.... and it seems to me such a set would look fantastic! Russell mentioned drawing inspiration from the old Topps Star Wars trading cards of yesteryear. These are but nine sample cards he designed. Imagine what he could do with a full set or possibly the sequel films? Fingers crossed he explores these possibilities!

I'm really digging the white marble border that surrounds the images. Very Morningside-esque!

Click the image to see the cards enlarged!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Phantasm Ball at Texas Frightmare

The upcoming Texas Frightmare Convention has announced a "Phantasm Ball" party taking place Friday night, May 1st. If you're going to be in the area, this is one party you surely won't want to miss. As a reminder, Don Coscarelli, David Hartman, Bob Ivy and the main cast from the original film will all be in attendance!

Texas Frighmare writes on Facebook: "We're VERY excited to announce our annual Friday night party. Taking place May 1st from 9pm-1pm in the Filmmakers ballroom at the Hyatt Regency DFW....the Phantasm Ball!  GGC Productions spins the tunes. Decor and more by Dark Hour Haunted House. Groovy Phantasm disco art by Mirthquake. Admission is FREE for VIP and PREMIUM pass holders. $10 for WEEKEND pass holders, $15 for SINGLE DAY pass holders and $20 for non-pass holders." The event will feature:

-Reggie Bannister and Bill Thornbury musical performance! 
-FREE Phantasm Themed Photo Booth 
-Trivia Contest- Winner will be served ice cream by Reggie Bannister! 
-DANCE CONTEST judged by Kat Lester
-Costume Contest: Prizes for best Phantasm theme and best overall costumes 
-Cash Bar

Friday, March 13, 2015

Classic Phantasm Location Demolished

Time to report some crappy news. After learning last month that the filming location for the Fortuneteller's Home may be soon demolished, it has come to my attention that the filming location used as the Pearson Residence exterior in the original film HAS been demolished. Phans will fondly recall this as the spot where Jody and Reggie strummed "Sittin' Here at Midnight," where Mike showed his brother the severed finger and from where the Tall Man single-handedly carted Mike out to his waiting hearse.

The dastardly deed appears to have been carried out only a few short months ago. A lavish new structure appears to be under construction in its place. Located at 1232 Corsica Drive, Google Street View gives us a close-up look at the property. 

I was fortunate enough to visit the property back in 2009 with Kristen Deem and Guy Thorpe. The location has been immortalized through both Sean Clark's Horror's Hallowed Grounds column in HorrorHound and in Reggie's Phantasmagorical Mystery Tour on the out-of-print R2 Phantasm box set. For all those bummed that they will never be able to make pilgrimage here, I say chin up! 

After all, we'll always have Dunsmuir.

(Top photo by Kristen Deem, Bottom photo from Google)

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.