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Phantasm 5 Movie DVD Collection Review

Phantasm

The “Phantasm” horror film series is unique and underrated.

After being released last year on Blu-ray and DVD, all 5 Phantasm films have been given a new affordably priced repackaged slim case set release. If you’re a fan of the films who doesn’t want to shell out big bucks for deluxe sets or are curious about diving into the brainchild of Don Coscarelli, this is an absolute bargain. So, what is all in this set, you ask? Read on to find out!

Upon opening the set, you will discover that is a 5 disc stacked release. The top disc is, of course, 1979’s original “Phantasm.” This weird cult horror film introduces us to the characters and world of Phantasm. The basic story revolves around an ice cream man (Reggie) and a young kid (Mike) who discover strange goings ons at a funeral home. Their snooping leads them to meet the diabolical alien known as the Tall Man who is up to no good. It’s a very surreal horror film experience that, while dated, is unlike anything you have seen. The film is justifiably best known for the now iconic killer sphere balls and actor Angus Scrimm’s creepy and mysterious horror movie monster the Tall Man.

Bigger isn’t always necessarily better when it comes to sequels, but one can make a case that it works in this case. “Phantasm 2” finds Mike and Reggie teaming up to find and fight Tall Man and his minions again along with two new characters (Elizabeth and Alchemy). The film also proposes the concept that perhaps Mike is dreaming all of this up. Whatever the case may be, this sequel is more eventful, has more explosions, is more coherent, and more action packed. In fact, this installment is much more action-horror than horror.

“Phantasm 3: Lord of the Dead” doesn’t get a lot of attention, but truth be told, this is an incredibly underrated sequel that ups the weird factor. It picks up right after 2 with the Tall Man taking Mike and Reggie having to try and retrieve him. Throughout Reggie’s journey, he teams up with a kid (Tim) and a young black woman (Rocky) and faces off against 3 undead looters, lots of spheres, and even an undead hand creature. While it does meander at times, I appreciate the fact that “Lord of the Dead” feels wildly different from the first 2. Not only is the mythology explored more here, but there’s also a lot of nifty visuals throughout.

“Phantasm 4: Oblivion” is arguably the weak link of the series, but it still has merit. While off on his own, Mike struggles and fights the changes he is undergoing all while Reggie tries to find him. The film weirdly drops the Tim character and is comprised of a lot of footage from past films. There’s also a bit too much walking and driving scenes for my taste. With that said, the sphere breast scene and the origins of the Tall Man make it worth a watch at the very least.

“Phantasm: Ravager” is the fifth and possibly last installment in the franchise. It also features the final performance of the late great Angus Scrimm as the Tall Man. In this installment, we see Reggie in 2 separate timelines. One finds him in the hospital suffering from dementia and the other has him in a post-apocalyptic Earth environment that has been invaded by the Tall Man and his alien forces. It’s a very trippy sequel that has viewers questioning what is real and what is in Reggie’s head. Is it convoluted and choppy? Absolutely. However, it’s clear this was made with love and affection for the fans who have stuck with this series for so long and, as such, it’s worth seeing as a potential conclusion to the horror series.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: All films are presented in 1.78:1 aside from “Phantasm 2” which is in 1.85:1. How do they look? I am deeply impressed by the transfers for all 5 films. The films have been beautifully remastered. You really can’t ask for better picture quality than this.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1 for all 5 films. How do they sound? All of the 5.1 tracks deliver crisp sounding audio.

Extras: * 6 deleted scenes from “Phantasm.” * A 1979 interview with Angus Scrimm and Don Coscarelli. * An episode of the reality series “Graveyard Carz” that features Michael Baldwin, Don Coscarelli and the now famous car from the “Phantasm” series * A fun fact filled commentary on “Phantasm” by Don Coscarelli, Bill Thornbury, Angus Scrimm, and Michael Baldwin. * “Phantasm” 1-3 trailers, TV spots for “Phantasm 2,” and trailers for “Phantasm” (the 1979 and remastered versions), “Phantasm 3: Lord of the Dead” “Phantasm 4: Oblivion,” and “Phantasm: Ravager.” * Still galleries for behind the scenes, makeup and effects, and posters and stills for “Phantasm 2.” * An old 19 minute short film starring Angus Scrimm titled “Abraham Lincoln.” * 6 ½ minutes of deleted scenes and 19 minutes of workprint scenes for “Phantasm 2.” * “The Ball Is Back”- A fun featurette on “Phantasm 2” that contains interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, discussions about the cast and characters, and more. * “The Gory Days”- A bonus feature about the gore and makeup work on “Phantasm 2.” * 2 behind the scenes featurettes for “Phantasm 2” titled make-up FX and on the set. * Commentary on “Phantasm 2” by Don Coscarelli, Angus Scrimm, and Reggie Bannister. * “Balls of Steel: Bob Ivy’s Stunt For The Ages”- An extra about the car stunt in “Phantasm 3: Lord of the Dead.” * Commentary on “Phantasm 3: Lord of the Dead” by Don Coscarelli and Norman Buckley. * A half-hour collection of set footage for “Phantasm 4: Oblivion” * Commentary by Don Coscarelli, Reggie Bannister and Angus Scrimm on “Phantasm 4: Oblivion.” * Well Go USA trailers. * A behind-the-scenes featurette on “Phantasm: Ravager” that contains interviews, set footage, discussions about the fifth installment and more. * 3 deleted scenes from “Phantasm: Ravager.” * 8 ½ minutes of bloopers and outtakes from “Phantasm: Ravager.” * An informative commentary on “Phantasm: Ravager” by David Hartman and Don Coscarelli.

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September 23, 2017 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , , ,

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