Don Coscarelli

a big ball in PHANTASM V RAVAGER

We live in a world where press releases are sent out alerting the media when movies begin pre-production, add cast members, or have started shooting, and even smaller films are known quantities well before they hit screens. Between official announcements, set photos, and cast/crew tweeting about the experience, there’s very little left to surprise us when it comes to movies in production. Can you imagine a movie being completed these days without anyone outside of the filmmakers knowing about it? Joss Whedon pulled it off a couple years ago with his Much Ado About Nothing redo, but his coup seemed to be the exception to the rule. Until now. Say hello to the first teaser for the already filmed and completed Phantasm V: Ravager. The ball is not only back, it’s bigger than ever and still doing the bidding of the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm). Reggie (Reggie Bannister) and Mike (A. Michael Baldwin) are forced to do battle with him, the balls, those mischievous little Jawa bastards, and their own sanity in what may be the final Phantasm installment. Check out the teaser below.

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John_Dies_At_The_End

Editor’s note: John Dies At The End is now playing in limited theatrical release, so let’s flash back exactly one year to look at Allison’s Sundance review, originally published on January 26, 2012. We all know what it means to be sauced, but John Dies At The End shows audiences what it means to be “on the sauce” – soy sauce that is, a hallucinogenic drug that not only messes with your mind, it messes with how you perceive time. This idea could be fun, but when you know one of your best friends meets his demise somewhere in that disjointed timeline (no spoilers there, as it’s revealed in the film’s title) this time manipulation becomes both stressful and confusing. While at a party, Dave (Chase Williamson) gets into a conversation with a reggae “magician” (Tai Bennett) who Dave doesn’t believe can do real magic. But when Robert Marley (the magician’s name, of course) is able to recount, in vivid detail, a dream Dave had the night before, he gets Dave’s attention. Later that night Dave gets a call from his best friend, a panicked and confused-sounding John (Rob Mayes), who thinks he has called Dave a bunch of times already that night and needs him to come over right away.

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John Dies at the End

If you watch the new trailer for co-writer/director Don Coscarelli’s (Bubba Ho-Tep) latest film, John Dies at the End, you’ll probably be left with some questions. Why are those pills that can grow wings called “soy sauce?” Can taking them really make you jump to different dimensions? Is the main character talking into a Polish sausage like it’s a cell phone? Don’t let all of these questions left hanging in the air worry you—a lot of them don’t even get answered after you watch this crazy film in its entirety—just focus in on the fact that Coscarelli has taken David Wong’s crazy novel of the same name and made a crazy movie out of it, and the results are crazy hilarious.

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Phantasm Commentary

Experiencing Don Coscarelli’s latest, John Dies at the End, was a trip at South by Southwest. Actually, experiencing any of Coscarelli’s films are a trip of one kind or another, and the guy is such a pleasant film maker you can’t help but want to hear him talk about his earlier works. That’s why we’ve chosen Phantasm this week. One of his earliest works, it was this horror film that landed Coscarelli on the industry map, turning its success into a full-fledged career that continues to this day. It’s also his scariest and arguably his best to date. But, as interesting as it is to hear Coscarelli speak, it’s good to have friends, and he’s brought three of them along for this commentary track. The DVD box boasts Reggie Banister, who plays the guitar-wielding ice cream guy, Reggie – Pretty sure the part was written for him – but he doesn’t appear on the commentary. Instead, it features the other two leads, Michael Baldwin and Bill Thornbury, and the Tall Man himself, Angus Scrimm, who isn’t even listed on the box. Regardless, we’ve got the writer/director on board and three of the film’s main actors, so grab a seat and check out all the things we learned from hearing these men talk about Phantasm. It’s the commentary that’s got balls. If you haven’t seen the film, I regret the euphemism already.

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Even with its relatively limited resources, John Dies at the End creates a bigger and more involving world than most films with over 20 times its budget. This is one crazy world filled with even crazier characters. Writer/director Don Coscarelli‘s adaptation isn’t a lick afraid of silliness, and that is John Dies at the End‘s key charm. To describe everything that goes down in John Dies at the End would be a massive and confusing chore. In short: there’s a lot. From alternate universes to a meat monster, it’s got plenty going on. The two leads, young and good-looking twenty somethings Dave (Chase Williamson) and his buddy John (Rob Mayes), take a drug known on the streests as “soy sauce,” and it’s the kind of drug that opens one’s eyes in ways unimaginable. The pair get into some oddball situations, involving the likes of Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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