This morning Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli unveiled the trailer for Phantasm: Ravager, which had already been shot in total secrecy. It will be the fifth and final entry in Coscarelli’s classic horror Phantasm series.
The film, “features Reggie Bannister (a veteran of all five films) in his decades long pursuit of the malevolent Tall Man, and it finally forces him to confront the mysteries at the heart of the ‘Phantasm] saga. The entire original cast is back including Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Kat Lester and Angus Scrimm, along with some great new characters.”
I spoke with Coscarelli (via email) about this last entry in the franchise and new director David Hartman (“Transformers Prime, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers). We also discussed the challenges of keeping the whole thing secret, whether or not this directly follows Phantasm IV: Oblivion and if we can expect Bubba Nosferatu in our future.
Congrats on the new film! How the hell were you able to keep it a secret? “Thank you! We decided early on that since fans seemed so keen for another Phantasm movie that we would try to surprise them with ‘Ravager’. It took a couple years to pull together all the elements necessary, but we figured that fans had been so patient since ‘Phantasm: Oblivion’ was released that they would want us to get this one right. It gave me great joy to return to something I have such passion about. And yes, filming is finally complete.”
Does it pick up where Phantasm: Oblivion left off? “Ah, you’re on to my style there. I’d prefer not to give too much away, but as a writer I am certainly a creature of habit.”
What was it like, emotionally, revisiting this territory? “For me it was very emotionally satisfying to co-write the screenplay with Dave and then watch him breathe life into it. These are characters that the fans and I share a lot of history with. I know it might sound weird but after so many years, I have become a Phantasm fan myself. And watching Reggie, Mike and the Tall Man play out their arcs to the end was wonderful for me to watch, and I trust it will be the same experience for the fans.”
When will the film be released? “It has more visual effects than any film I’ve been involved with to date, including ‘John Dies at the End’. In addition to being a terrific director, David Hartman is also a great visual effects artist, so he is hard at work right now, and will be for quite some time. I guess the short answer is “as soon as possible,” but that could be some time.”
Any update on Bubba Nosferatu or any other new stuff you might have percolating? “I’ve got a bunch of projects in various states of development. Nothing to report right now on the sequel ‘Bubba Nosferatu’, other than a couple months back I had an excellent dinner with both Bruce Campbell and Paul Giamatti. I can swear to you, they would make an awesome on screen team! Elvis is eternal, and his manager Col Tom Parker probably is too, so, with luck, the Gods of Graceland will help us find a path to get that movie to the silver screen.”