Director Don Coscarelli on the the 4K Restoration of ‘Phantasm’ and How J.J. Abrams Made It Happen [SXSW Interview]
Posted on Monday, March 14th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
You wouldn’t expect a man who built his career on a horror franchise about a supernatural undertaker who plots to take over the world through a sinister plot that involves grave-robbing and weaponized metal spheres to be the nicest and most straightforward person in the world, but director Don Conscarelli fits the bill.
The director of Phantasm and its four sequels stopped by Austin for the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, where the new 4K restoration of the original 1979 horror classic is set to screen. It turns out that Mr. Coscarelli has fans in high places, namely J.J. Abrams and various employees of his Bad Robot production company, who have spent the past 18 months meticulously restoring this beloved cult classic. Now, after decades of being a cult gem appreciated by a small group of diehard fans, Phantasm is being re-introduced to the world with the help of one of the world’s biggest filmmakers.
In advance of tonight’s screening of the restored Phantasm, I sat down with Coscarelli to chat about how Bad Robot got involved, the legacy of the series, and how the landscape of indie horror filmmaking has changed.