phantasm restoration

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.

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Phantasm (1)

J.J. Abrams is a big fan of Don Coscarelli‘s horror cult classic Phantasm. He’s such a big fan of it, in fact, that he even pays tribute to it in Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Phasma, the “Chrome Trooper” played by Gwendoline Christie, is named after the 1979 movie.

And his love for the film doesn’t stop there. We’ve now learned that Abrams’ company Bad Robot has secretly overseen a 4K restoration of Phantasm from the original camera negative. Noted Coscarelli: “Star Wars isn’t the only ’70s franchise he’s rejuvenating this year!” More on the Phantasm 4K restoration after the jump.  Read More »

New York Comic-Con has come and gone, bringing with it big movie news, TV news and lots and lots of collectibles. And while some booths chose to reveal their collectibles in advance, one that didn’t was the crew at Mondo. They preferred to keep their first trip to New York a well-kept secret until the convention opened on Thursday. Once that happened though, fans realized it was worth the wait as the famous poster boutique of the Alamo Drafthouse had brought posters from the Lord of the Rings, The Iron Giant, Shaun of the Dead, Kill Bill, Friday the 13th and more. That’s the good news. The better news is that not everything sold out so they’ll likely be online soon.

After the jump, check out all of Mondo’s New York Comic-Con offerings. Read More »