Phantasm Blu-ray Review
The hotly anticipated remastered “Phantasm” finally makes its way to Blu-ray.
The 1979 “Phantasm” starts off with the guitar playing ice cream man Reggie and his buddy Jody attending the funeral of their late friend Tommy. Jody’s kid brother Mike secretly attends the funeral and discovers that something weird is going on with the Morningside Funeral Home mortician known as the Tall Man. Things only get weirder when he investigates the funeral home by himself. Eventually Jody and Reggie get wrapped up in the investigation too when they all discover the suspicious Tall Man is carrying out an evil plan that involves murder and missing humans.
Of all of the horror film franchises, writer/director Don Coscarelli’s “Phantasm” is arguably the weirdest and most original series. The often surrealistic movie is loaded with out there material including (but not limited to) a shapeshifting alien, killer sphere balls, a psychic grandmother with powers, cut off fingers that move, shrunken bodies, and a portal to another world. Add in the fact that there’s a “what is real?” aspect to it and you’re in for quite a trip.
Perhaps the film’s most notable contribution to the horror genre is the villainous Tall Man who is played by the late great Angus Scrimm. What makes the Tall Man such a great horror monster (aside from his perfect line delivery of “Boyyyy” that is) is that he has never been overexposed. He still remains somewhat of an enigma even after 5 films. There’s something fascinating and haunting about this unpredictable creepy old mortician who is actually something else entirely.
As unique as the film is, it’s not without its problems. The film has a lot of dated 70’s era oddness, weird scene transitions and some seriously stilted dialogue. None of these elements ruin the movie or anything, but they do stick out.
Presentation: 16:9 1080p. How does it look? I’ve seen a lot of remastered prints and this is one of the best. The movie looks brand new it’s that crisp looking. Fans will not be disappointed.
Audio Tracks: 5.1 DTS-HD MA and Original Mono. How do they sound Purists may opt for the original audio, but the 5.1 track is much more dynamic. The brilliant score and sound f/x sound are especially noteworthy here.
* DVD copy.
* Well Go USA trailers.
* 6 deleted scenes.
* Original 1979 trailer and a trailer for the remastered version.
* An entertaining and sometimes amusing 27 minute 1979 interview from Miami with Don Coscarelli and Angus Scrimm.
* An episode of the reality series “Graveyard Carz” featuring the Phantasm car, Don Coscarelli and Michael Baldwin.
* Commentary by Don Coscarelli, Michael Baldwin, Angus Scrimm, and Bill Thornbury. A fun track that contains behind-the-scenes information and a good dose of humor.
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