Fans of Phantasm rejoice as the film gets a well-deserved treatment that will make it seem like you are watching the film for the first time.
“Since it’s release in 1979, director Don Coscarelli’s epic tale of The Tall Man, his deadly Sentinel Spheres, and the group of small town friends who must band together to stop his evil dimension-hopping schemes has captivated and terrified horror and sci-fi fans around the world. Now, see it all in stunning HD for the first time, thanks to a meticulous restoration from filmmaker J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions.”
Phantasm is unlike any film of the genre; not only in subject, but artistically as well. Instead of a traditional narrative-like structure, Phantasm is more surreal, sometimes jumping between scenes and characters, without a clear sense of time. While a risk, this method is extremely effective once you catch on to the style. The entire film is almost dream-like, and as the viewer you have a hard time telling what is real and what isn’t. One thing that has always struck me is the fact there isn’t much dialogue in the film, which adds to the surreal, dream-like feel. Featured most prominently is the score, which is one of the more memorable scores in horror film history.
The only drawback of this stylistic approach to this film is the lack of character interaction and connection. There can be difficulty in identifying the relationships between the characters, and as these people are supposed to be banding together to fight this evil, the relationship isn’t there for the audience to identify with. Regardless, the rest of the film works, with the acting, special effects, and all other elements that elevate this low-budget picture to the level that has garnered appreciation for decades and spawned several sequels.
The video is presented in High Definition 1080p 1.78:1. As mentioned earlier, the transfer overseen by Bad Robot looks fantastic. Grain is very well managed, as the majority of the scenes take place in the dark. This is a very clear, detailed transfer with very few defects noted throughout.
The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The score sounds wonderful, with great levels through the surrounds.
Besides the transfer, which should be all you need to convince anyone to buy this set, there are a few added special features to treat fans. You’re going to see:
- Audio Commentary with Director & Writer Don Coscarelli, Michael Baldwin, Angus Scrimm, & Bill Thornbury.
- New Graveyard Carz Episode
- Interviews from 1979 with Don Coscarelli & Angus Scrimm
- Deleted Scenes
Fans of the film should definitely pick up this horror classic as it has received a well-deserved treatment. Thanks to these efforts, Phantasm will reach a new generation of viewers.