Physical media may be slowly succumbing to the digital age, but there are still plenty of die-hard fans who prefer their Blu-Ray media, and they will go to their graves with both that belief and now with smiles on their faces because a Blu-ray box set collecting ALL FIVE Phantasm movies is on the way, just in case you happen to like good things.
The news was revealed over at Entertainment Weekly by Don Coscarelli, the mastermind of the series and the director of the first four movies. The set, which will include 1979’s Phantasm, 1988’s Phantasm II, 1994’s Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead, 1998’s Phantasm IV: Oblivion, and 2016’s Phantasm: Ravager, will hit shelves on March 28, 2017 and Coscarelli promises a bunch of new bonus features:
We are currently in production on new bonus content bringing together cast and crew to look back and celebrate the Phantasm franchise including commentaries and new featurettes. I’m so excited to have all five films included in one box set!
Blu-ray.com has a look at the box art for the set, which features the late Angus Scrimm as the Tall Man, the series’ menacing central villain who menaces the world (and the universe) with his army of brain-sucking silver spheres. These movies are beautifully deranged!
This set arrives shortly after the solo Blu-ray release of the first movie, which was restored in 4K and had a limited festival and theatrical run in 2016. Coscarelli was interviewed about the restoration at SXSW last year, where he told the story of how J.J. Abrams, a big Phantasm fan, dedicated Bad Robot’s resources to restoring the film as a passion project:
So anyway, we’d stay in touch and he was obviously busy working on some great movies and TV series. And then out of the blue, about a year and a half ago, I got an email from him about wanting to screen Phantasm over at his company, Bad Robot. He wanted me to come do a Q&A. I guess there were a lot of folks who worked there who had never seen the movie and J.J. wanted to share it with them. The problem was that I only had this 35mm print that was pretty scratched and not that great and the old standard def DVD, which looked really good at the time that we made it, but it was not HD. He couldn’t believe that! He said “We’ve got to fix that.”
He got me on the phone with his head of production, Ben Rosenblatt and they came up with a really clever idea. Whenever they had downtime working on their Star Wars and Star Treks and stuff like that, they’d bring me over. They had this really high-end Mystica finishing system and if we could just get a laser scan made of the original camera negative it could go into the workstation. So every month or two, I’d get a phone call: “C’mon! We’ve got time tonight!” The guys would be doing the color correction and the scratch removal.
And Phantasm has never looked better. Bad Robot’s 4K restoration has made this low-budget, homegrown horror movie look like it was shot yesterday. A handful of pennies rubbed together with a little bit of spit and string now looks like a million bucks. For longtime fans, the remastered version will be a dream come true. For newcomers, this is the only way to watch movie. Even more impressive than the fine-tuned look of the film is the soundtrack, which sounds nothing short of incredible when it’s blasting in your ears.
While we here at TG2 Studios have seen the first three Phantasm films, and enjoyed them, there was some confusion regarding the story for Phantasm IV, and we have yet to see the latest film in the entry. Nevertheless, having all of these restored and available for Blu-Ray, plus the plethora of bonus material, definitely makes this boxed set a most own to alongside our shelves of deadly silver orbs…. BOY!!!!
Are you a Phantasm fantastic? Do you have a particular favorite? Will you be buying the boxed set? What special content are you hoping to see in all of this new Bonus Material?
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