The Phantasm Collection

5 out of 5

Movies are reviewed individually.

What you get content-wise: 5 blu-ray editions of the Phantasm movies, with all (as far as I can tell) previously available extras on each disc – commentaries, features, trailers, etc.  All the flicks have a fair amount of this stuff, and I’d say that in each case, at the bare minimum, the commentaries have good info.  Most of it was also seemingly recorded either post Phantasm IV or V, so it doesn’t have the stank of being outdated, along with the fact that Coscarelli and crew are all pretty intelligent and aware of what they’re doing with their medium and their audience…  You sense the camaraderie; you sense Don’s technical skill; you sense the respect and friendship the crew and actors have for one another, which tends to make them engaging during the extras, thus making it engaging for the viewer / listener.

You also get a bonus disc (also blu-ray) that has a fair amount of convention Q & A footage, plus some extended ‘making of’ features that maybe date from Phantasm III VHS days.  If you’ve watched all of the other extras, you’ll end up hearing some repeated info and stories on the bonus disc, but it’s still worth a watch for some extra snippets if you’re making a dedicated tour of the box set, and it’s an appreciated “gotta have it all” bonus nonetheless.

More impressively, you get “The Phantasm Compendium”, which is an amazing DVD-sized booklet with in-depth interviews and analysis.  Again, you’ll be familiar with the info by this point, but it’s still a fascinating read and an appreciated, thinking-of-the-fans extra.

Packaging-wise, I suppose I could find fault that this is just a slipcase for 5 blu-rays (the bonus disc is packaged with Ravager) and the Compendium, but what this allows for is each blu-ray has either a matching cover (sleek black with a stylized sphere indicating the film number) or, on the reverse, the original covers.  Obviously if this were packaged in a slimmer box, we wouldn’t have gotten that, and that’s pretty cool.

Gang, you also get a big-ass poster.

This is the only way to get a couple of these flicks on blu-ray; if you’ve only seen Phantasm I, perhaps watch one of the other ones to figure if you want to make the dip for the box, since II – V are more the testing grounds for your tolerance of the style.  But if you’ve made it past that and are considering it: go for it.  And of course, if you’re an, ahem, Phan, you’ll have pre-purchased this anyway.