Bad Robot & Don Coscarelli team for 4K “PHANTASM” Restoration!Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
Earlier this year, news broke out of Texas Frightmare Weekend that Don Coscarelli was “retiring” his personal 35mm print of his fright favorite PHANTASM, a film whose prints have become decidedly difficult to find in its native format. For some, the move came as an unfortunate turn, considering that the 35mm theatrical experience is still one embraced by a majority of horror hounds, while rumors began to swell that the print’s retirement had something to do- promotional or otherwise- with the upcoming release of PHANTASM V: RAVAGER. Yet no one could have predicted the truth behind the matter, revealed this weekend at Harry Knowles’ Butt-Numb-A-Thon, as J.J. Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, have teamed with Don Coscarelli on a 4K restoration of PHANTASM!
Transferred from the original camera negative, this secret restoration has been in the works for quite some time now, so much so that its pulled Coscarelli’s attention from RAVAGER for the time being. However, with RAVAGER well into post-production and the revelation of the 4K transfer, one could certainly hope that 2016 will be the year that the horror community gets both highly-anticipated releases. However, with this knowledge the question remains: who will be releasing the films and could a high-definition complete collection set be in the cards?
For those who don’t know, Don Coscarelli is notably protective of the PHANTASM franchise’s home video releases, licensing and approving them as he sees fit. And while the likes of Scream Factory and Arrow Video may salivate at the prospects of releasing a box set with a pre-paid 4K transfer of PHANTASM on board, Bad Robot may be quite particular about who eventually gets the rights to share the film with the masses, if they don’t release it themselves. In any case, this is a particularly exciting development in the history of the PHANTASM franchise, and this writer can only hope that the new, gorgeous print of PHANTASM will be hitting a theater near you sooner rather than later.