J.J. Abrams and Disney have been really good at keeping most of Star Wars: The Force Awakens a secret. That’ll change tonight after the film premieres, and on December 16th when official reviews go online. Abrams and his company Bad Robot have had another secret going during this time: they’re doing a 4k restoration of Don Coscarelli’s 1979 cult classic Phantasm.
It’s now obvious that making Star Wars was a just a clever distraction so no one would focus on this Phantasm restoration. Well played, Abrams.
Phantasm is one of the great weird-ass horror movies. Shot on nights and weekends for $300,000, the film follows a young kid, his older brother, and their ice cream man friend as they battle an otherworldly mortician known as The Tall Man. If you’ve never seen it before, the trailer is below.
The original Phantasm was followed by three sequels, Phantasm II, Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead, and Phantasm IV: Oblivion. A fourth sequel, Phantasm V: Ravager, should be out some time next year.
As The AV Club notes, The Tall Man’s arsenal of silver flying balls inspired the silver stormtrooper outfit that Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) wears in The Force Awakens.
Still no word on the release date for the Phantasm 4k restoration, but it’ll likely coincide with the release of Phantasm V: Ravager.[via AV Club]