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Blu-ray review: PHANTASM Remastered
PHOTOGRAPHY

PHANTASM Remastered

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 90 minutes, audio commentary, Graveyard Carz episode, vintage interviews, deleted scenes, trailers, previews

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Mono

Subtitles: English SDH

 

STUDIO: Well Go USA Entertainment/ Bad Robot

RELEASE DATE: 12-6-2016

PHANTASM is a classic sci-fi horror movie.  It is a well aged surreal and disturbing movie almost forty years since it came out in 1979.  It is a surreal horror cult film masterpiece.  It references horror films and Frank Herbert’s Dune (Dune’s Cantina, the hand in the black box- fear is the mind killer). This blu-ray came about due to the efforts of Bad Robot Productions paying for a wonderful 4K restoration of the film (since J.J.Abrams asked to see a film print of it and director Don Coscarelli said the film print wasn’t in good condition) and the movie does look wonderful on blu-ray.   The blu-ray is cleaned up and features better colors than the MGM DVD.

 

PHANTASM opens with a boy named mike and his older brother Jody.  Mike comes across the creepy things going on at the cemetery and the funeral home with the ominous tall man behind it all.  First his brother Jody doesn’t believe him, but Mike, Jody, and Reggie are locked in a never-ending battle that will span five movies in the PHANTASM series.   The first three movies are the best with the first one being the surreal cult classic that still holds up with its imagery and its mix of dreams, nightmares, sci-fi, and horror since the movie first came out in 1979.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

About half of the extras from the MGM DVD are on the blu-ray, but the behind-the-scenes footage, the TV spots, the Fangoria commercial, the convention footage, and the still galleries aren’t on the blu-ray or DVD in this set.  You might want to keep the MGM DVD if you want all of the extras.

 

Feature Film audio commentary with writer/ director Don Coscarelli, and actors A. Michael Baldwin, Angus Scrimm, and Bill Thornbury

 

1979 vintage interviews with Don Coscarelli and Angus Scrimm

Graveyard Carz episode where A. Michael Baldwin and Don Coscarelli examine and drive a tribute Phantasm car

About half of the deleted scenes on the disc were thankfully cut like the additional character stuff with Jody and Reggie where some of the additional third act stuff is of some interest.  However, I do think it is a missed opportunity for Well Go Entertainment not to include the deleted scenes that Coscarelli used to help build the narrative of PHANTASM OBLIVION.

 

The original theatrical trailer and the trailer for the remastered version are on the disc in addition to previews for TRAIN TO BUSAN, THE WAILING, and DEAD SNOW 2

 

PHANTASM remastered in standard definition on DVD

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  PHANTASM has never looked better with it first ever appearance on blu-ray and I hope sales of the remastered blu-ray spurs Well Go to release this title on 4K UHD in the future.   This cult classic is a must for horror fans and fans of the PHANTASM films.  If you want all of the extras, don’t get rid of your MGM DVD since the new combo pack only carries over some of the extras.

 

This review is 12-17-2016 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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