After nearly 20 years of waiting and hoping from Phans, 2016 finally brought us the long-awaited fifth installment in Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm franchise. Although this time directed by David Hartman instead of Coscarelli – with the latter still playing a big role as writer and producer – Ravager arrived to mostly positive reviews from series diehards, despite some iffy low-budget CGI effects and an ending that raised more questions than it answered.
A few weeks prior to Ravager’s debut saw the release of Phantasm: Remastered, a remastered version of the original classic personally supervised by Coscarelli, and funded in part by Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. At the time of their original release announcements, distributor Well Go USA promised that both Ravager and Remastered would make their way to Blu-Ray by the end of the year, and the full details on both are now in.
- New 5.1 Surround Sound
- Original Mono Track
- Audio Commentary with Director & Writer Don Coscarelli, Michael Baldwin (Mike), Angus Scrimm (The Tall Man), and Bill Thornbury (Joan)
- Graveyard Carz Episode
- Interviews from 1979 with Don Coscarelli and Angus Scrimm
- Deleted Scenes
- Audio Commentary with Director David Hartman and Writer / Producer Don Coscarelli
- Behind the Scenes
- Deleted Scenes
- Phuntasm: Bloopers and Outtakes
On the surface, Ravager has a fairly light extras haul, although what’s there sounds pretty interesting. The commentary with Hartman and Coscarelli will probably be the most treasured feature, as hopefully the duo can help Phans make a bit more sense out of that ending. It’ll also be interesting to what scenes didn’t make the final cut.
As for Phantasm: Remastered, extras wise it seems to retain just about everything from the original MGM DVD release, although it’s sadly missing the extras from the later Anchor Bay DVD. In that respect, this can’t be considered a definitive home edition. Still, the main attraction is no doubt FINALLY having the film itself in glorious restored HD, instead of the often murky VHS and DVD transfers viewers have been offered up until now.
Both Phantasm: Remastered and Phantasm: Ravager hit Blu-Ray on December 6th. Well Go USA has yet to announce Blu-Ray releases for Phantasms III and IV, although both sequels can currently be purchased in digital HD formats.