Cult 101: Phantasm (1979) 4K Restoration
Director: Don Coscarelli Run Time: 89 min. Rating: R Release Year: 1979
Starring: A. Michael Baldwin, Angus Scrimm, Bill Thornbury, Kathy Lester, Reggie Bannister
Country: United States
Presented as part of the 2023 edition of Cult 101.
About the film:
A young boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a mysterious arsenal of terrible weapons with him. Phantasm (1979) deftly mixes gothic horror, sci-fi, surrealism and a killer prog rock score together in a grief-ridden adolescent fever dream that horror fans have never stopped worshipping.
“Don Coscarelli’s horror masterpiece isn’t just creepy, funny and wildly entertaining – it’s weird. Deeply weird. Endearingly weird… It’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in The Goonies. And it somehow works.”
—Jacob Hall, Slash Film
At only 23 years old, Don Coscarelli wrote, produced, directed, shot and edited his magnum opus — one that’s truly withstood the test of time, and has influenced many successive generations of filmmakers. With the help of one of those filmmakers, J.J. Abrams, Coscarelli restored his masterpiece in 4K and presented it at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival.
About the filmmaker:
Don Coscarelli is a film director, producer, and screenwriter known for his cult favorite sci-fi and fantasy films, including the sword and sorcery epic The Beastmaster (1982), Phantasm (1979) and its sequels, and John Dies at the End (2012). His films have screened at numerous film festivals, including Sundance, Toronto, Fantasia, Sitges, and SXSW. Among other projects, he directed the 1984 music video Dio: The Last in Line and directed and co-wrote the premiere episode of the 2005-2007 television series Masters of Horror. In 2018, he published his memoir True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking.See our upcoming films