DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

Read Gator MacReady's film review of Phantasm

Filmed in standard widescreen, the 1.85:1 anamorphic picture may look its age but it's still pretty sharp. The photography of the first Phantasm was always rather flat in the dark scenes, but any daytime scenes looks very colourful and this is the best the film has looked since it's original release. The Region 1 MGM release wasn't anamorphic and this Region 2 is a huge improvement. There is still some light damage to the film in a few scenes, but nothing to get in a fuss over.

Originally a plain old mono sound design, this new release has given Phantasm a full-blown DTS 5.1 remix. While it may not be up to the standards of major new movies, it does add some nice ambience and depth to the 28-year-old low budget prototype and gives it a fresh edge.

Copy picture

The featured commentary is from the old 1995 American Laserdisc and includes Don Coscarelli, Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister and Angus Scrimm reminiscing about the production and how they achieved all the practical effects. It's probably a great track for those who are into low-budget filmmaking.

The Behind The Scenes footage is silent, although narrated by Don and Reggie. It was shot on one of the very first camcorders and features a lot of the cast and crew milling around between shots. It's really weird seeing Scrimm without his make-up.

The introduction by Scrimm was made for the 1995 laserdisc and is merely Angus giving a brief description of his involvement in the film and the reaction the world had to it.

As I have said, there are loads of deleted scenes and many of them are featured here - stuff like Reggie actually owning the ice cream shop (instead of just the truck, as the film makes out) and Jodie sitting in his girlfriend's bosses office, acting like a big shot. They may have been superfluous to the film, but they would have been a welcome distraction from all of the sinister stuff.

Biographies (wow!) and trailers are also included.

Reviewed on: 28 Feb 2006
Share this with others on...
Phantasm packshot
Baffling Seventies horror flick about a scary tall mortician, killer dwarfs and sci-fi spheres
Amazon link

Product Code: DED6023

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic widescreen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1; DTS 5.1 surround

Extras: Commentary; home movie Behind The Scenes footage; introduction by Angus Scrimm; deleted scenes; biographies; trailers

Search database: