The 1979 horror film, Phantasm, has been remastered by J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot. Abrams showed up last night at the Stateside Theatre to bring this to Austin as part of the Midnighters. Abrams has always loved this movie that he even named a character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Captain Phasma after it (in reference to the chrome sphere in this film). Abrams reached out to Director and Screenwriter Don Coscarelli and told him that he wanted to remaster the film using a 4K restoration to the way it was intended to be seen.
If you aren't familiar with the film, Phantasm follows a thirteen-year-old named Mike (Michael Baldwin) tries to uncover why people are dying in their town in Oregon. He realizes that a tall man (Mike calls him "the Tall Man") who is the mortician can morph into other people and then kill. Mike wrangles in the help of his brother and goofy friend to break into a mausoleum and conquer him, but they have to ward off all his weapons that fly toward them including a sphere that turns into saws and knives.
J.J. Abrams had the opportunity to work with Angus Scrimm on the set of Alias who plays The Tall Man in Phantasm. He thought a lot of him. When he spoke with him, Angus had this booming accent and when Abrams asked him where he was from, he said Kansas City, which of course wasn't what Abrams thought he was going to say. Angus died in January at age 89 so Abrams dedicated the night to him! Don Coscarelli was in attendance along with actors Reggie Bannister and Kathy Lester.
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