In Phantasm, at a funeral, Mike (Baldwin), watches as a tall mortician clad in black (Scrimm) tosses the unburied coffin into a waiting hearse as if it were nothing. Seeking the truth behind this unusual sight, Mike breaks into the mortuary, where he comes face-to-face with the sinister Tall Man. After barely managing to escape with his life, Mike enlists the help of his brother, Jody (Thornbury), and their friend Reggie (Bannister). Together they set out to uncover the secrets of the Tall Man and those who dwell in his hellish world. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Director Don Coscarelli and cast members Michael Baldwin, Angus Scrimm, and Bill Thornbury; the featurette Graveyard Carz Episode (SD 11:24); interviews from 1979 with Director Coscarelli and Angus Scrimm (SD 27:58); deleted scenes (SD 12:24); and upfront previews.
The 1.78:1 1080p AVC picture received a 4K restoration supervised by J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot. The results are sure to please the cult classic's ardent fan base, especially for those who have only seen the film courtesy of some of its substandard previous home video releases. While film grain is still evident, it has been greatly reduced and there is a new vividness to the color palette, which is now strongly saturated. Blood red is vivid, especially as it is spit out through the Sphere’s heads when they are impaled. Resolution is greatly improved, especially during close-ups, but otherwise softly focused overall. While contrast is decent, with strong black levels, shadow delineation is wanting. Black levels are impressive throughout the presentation, though, there is shadow detail. Fleshtones are general pasty at times and inconsistent and unnatural. Overall, Phanstasm has never looked better. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack has been re-envisioned from its original monaural source (available as a Dolby Digital track option). Surround design is rather effective and creates a far more dimensional sense than the original monaural soundtrack. Atmospherics are still frontal focused, as are the sound effects. The music score, however, has been effectively enhanced with decent fidelity and a subtle surround presence. Dialogue sounds froward, as before, and not well integrated spatially. Overall, the sound quality is noticeably improved, especially when compared to the otherwise anemic monaural track. (Gary Reber)