As an impressionable nerdy teen in California during the late '70s, Don Coscarelli's original R-rated Phantasm was one of the coolest supernatural flicks any respectable young horror fan could sneak into, either in the back row of a massive balconied movie palace or from the steamed-up windows of a Z-28 Camaro at a local drive-in. Its haunting surrealism, chrome death-spheres and nightmarish narrative gave it an art-house attitude lacking from the glut of most unimaginative stab-and-slash offerings that season.
After three underwhelming but entertaining sequels over the decades, it seemed like we'd never get a fifth Phantasm movie out of Coscarelli, but his determination and inspiration pulled Angus Scrimm's long-striding Tall Man out of retirement for one last round of insanity with the ghoul-busting gang of Mike, Reggie and Jody battling the inter-dimensional alien undertaker. Scrimm passed away earlier this year, making the new Phantasm: Ravager one of his last on-screen performances.
Directed by David Hartman and premiering at last weekend's Austin Fantastic Fest, Ravager was filmed under a cloak of secrecy from 2012-2013 before eventually landing a distributor last year after a long delay. All of the Phantasm flicks, including Phantasm: Ravager and a J.J. Abrams-assisted restored 4K version of the 1979 shocker, Phantasm: Remastered, will be available on Digital HD and On Demand October 4. Phantasm: Ravager and Phantasm: Remastered both burrow deep into theaters on October 7.
Have a look at this new featurette of Ravager's cast and crew as they sink into the ominous mythology of the Phantasm Phranchise and reveal what it took to get one final chapter in the can. Also includes a touching tribute to the late Angus Scrimm.