More Tall Man, More Sphere. Just what Phantasm fans need.
Fan Editor Dr. Sapirstein delivers an Extended Cut of an iconic horror film in his Phantasm Double Feature Bootleg Edition.
by TS Alan
There are certain American horror films that have come out over the passed four decades that have become classics, e.g. Night of the Living Dead (1968) The Exorcist (1973), Friday the 13th (1980), The Evil Dead (1981), Halloween (1978), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) just to mention a few, because they stand the test of time for scaring the crap out of you. Phantasm (1979) is also one of those films.
For those unaware of this iconic franchise, there are currently four films, the original 1979 cult classic Phantasm, the 1988 sequel Phantasm II, 1994’s Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead and 1998’s Phantasm IV: Oblivion. And just announced by Well Go USA they have acquired the rights to the long-awaited fifth and final installment of the series, Phantasm: Ravager, which was Angus Scrimm’s last film before his death. Well Go also announced that they have acquired the rights to do a restoration of the original film along with Phantasm III & IV. Shout! Factory currently holds the rights to Phantasm II, which was released on Blu-ray in March 2013.
The story revolves around Mike (A. Michael Baldwin), a young teenage boy who recently lost his parents, and is afraid to lose his brother Jody (Bill Thornbury). This fear causes him to follow his brother to a funeral, where Mike witnesses the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) lift a coffin on his own and place it into a hearse. Mike decides to investigate and discovers a horrible world where the Tall Man, along with his flying spheres, shrink the dead to half their normal size and reanimate them as slaves. It is then up to Mike, his brother, and Reggie (Reggie Bannister), the ice cream man, to stop the Tall Man.
With the announcement of a 4k restoration of the original, one would hope that when they say “restoration” one means restoring the film to the way it was meant to be seen, especially since creator Don Coscarelli is working closely with the Well Go USA’s restoration team. There were scenes that didn’t make it into the final cut, but did find there way into Phantasm IV. As a Phantasm fan, I would love to see the cut footage restored and released to blu-ray. However, if that doesn’t happen there is still away to see the film with the missing scenes restored, and that is the fan edit done by legendary fan editor Dr. Sapirstein, who’s been giving horror film aficionados what they desire for years — films the way they were meant to be seen.
Phantasm Double Feature Bootleg Edition is not perfect, but for the elements that Dr. Sapirstein used to put his extended cut together the film delivers, and it just might be the only extended version we’ll ever see. As for the re-insertion of the deleted scenes, they are barely perceivable even if you are looking for them. This is because every added scene has been properly framed and color corrected to achieve seamless blending. His additions add 8 minutes to the original release. As a bonus you get a preservation of the original open-matte film from a laserdisc transfer.
If your interested in getting a hold of a copy, it won’t cost you anything except some download time. However, to legally own this fan edit version, by law you must own an original, unaltered retail version. You can find out the details of the extended cut and on how to download it a Dr. Sapirstein’s Fan-Edits and Preservations Blog. Be aware that the fan edit is only available for a limited time.
Directed by Don Coscarelli
Written by Don Coscarelli
Cast: A. Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister and Angus Scrimm
Original Run Time: 01:28:00
Fan Edit Run time: 01:37:27
Release Date: June 1, 1979.
Phantasm: Ravager Extended Teaser – In theaters October 7th