Earlier this week, the teaser poster for Phantasm: Ravager -- the fifth (and what's being called the final) film in writer-director Don Coscarelli's oddball indie horror series -- was making the rounds with rumors that Coscarelli had somehow finished production on the sequel in secret.
Well, those rumors were half right: the Phantasm: Ravager shoot is complete, but without Coscarelli at the helm. Instead, for the first time in the series' history (as this morning's press release informs us), another director is sitting in the chair: animation director David Hartman, who's been working off and on with Coscarelli since 2002's Bubba Ho-Tep.
This makes Ravager -- which Hartman co-wrote with Coscarelli -- his feature film debut, apparently shot around Southern California between 2012 and now. The lengthy shoot isn't too different from the way previous entries in the series were handled, typically done in and around other projects as cast and crew availability -- and money -- allowed.
A tidbit from the press release:
RAVAGER 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. Coscarelli allows, "There are also some surprises thrown in that I promise will astonish long-time fans."
As a longtime fan of the series, I'm a little torn: I'm happy that Coscarelli has finally gotten a chance to see the series end on his own terms, but I wish it was him in the director's chair. For its handful of faults (mostly owing to budget), John Dies at the End showed he was still on his game.
Anyway, the teaser trailer made its debut on Entertainment Weekly this morning and you can check it out below.