J.J. Abrams and Don Coscarelli pay tribute to the late, great Mr. Angus Scrimm thru a meticulous high def restoration of one of my most beloved movies of all time: Phantasm.
Let me start by saying that I am generally not a fan of remastering older material. For me, the way a film looks. Its grittiness, its graininess, cigarette burns, lint caught in the projector, etc…all part of the experience for me. So naturally I was skeptical of this project when it was announced. Also, being that a big Hollywood player such as Mr. Abrams was involved, I thought to myself ‘oh shit. He’s going to pull a ‘Lucas’. He’s going to add CGI balls everywhere, maybe add more digital minions walking around.’ I am pleased to report that none of that happened. Nothing was added at all. The film was not altered in the slightest, except for some color corrections, I feel the color temps are a little cooler and of course, everything looks sharper. Having said that, yes, the graininess of the original print is gone.
The shadows are sharper and more defined. The blood still looks the same, which I am glad they didn’t mess with the hues too much. The sound is considerably cleaner as well and the surround mix is much more effective; and that I do appreciate. Sound plays a big factor in horror so kudos there. All in all, I don’t think this needed to happen. If I had a say in it I would’ve asked JJ to instead put the money into Ravager so the CGI effects of it are a little better (I’ll review Ravager in a separate blog but for now you can see my review on Facebook).
The good news is that you can own the remaster digitally from a number of different outlets. I bought mine for $12.99 thru the SONY store on my PS4. It is a couple of dollars cheaper on iTunes and Amazon as well, I think. I do hope it finds it’s way to Blu Ray soon because I would like to own it physically. But I am just as content in watching my Anchor Bay region 2 DVDs.
Thank you for reading…
-Orlando G Acosta