Dustin McNeill here, Chief Archivist of the Phantasm Archives (http://phantasmarchives.net) and author of the upcoming book, Phantasm Exhumed (http://phantasmexhumed.com). Chad and Andrew have so far walked you through the first four Phantasm films. There’s been a lot of blood spilled along the way, much of it yellow, and we’ve now arrived at the newest series entry. What better way to wrap up Phantasm Week than with a closer look at the recently released teaser for Phantasm: Ravager? If you’re like most “phans” out there, you’ve probably already watched this minute long preview dozens of times, but let’s go through it once more and examine some of the details.
1. ANGELES ABBEY
The very first image in Ravager’s teaser is a slow moving shot down a creepy mausoleum hallway. If it feels like you’ve been here before, your instincts are right – you have! You’re looking at Compton’s picturesque Angeles Abbey, which was previously seen in Phantasm’s III and Oblivion. Returning to old stomping grounds is a great way to begin Ravager’s teaser as it helps connect back to the previous films.
2. The Regman!
The first character featured in the teaser is Reggie and for good reason. Fans of the ice cream vending road warrior ought be satisfied with his screen time in Ravager. He is front and center here like never before. Unfortunately, things don’t look so good for the Regman in this shot – he appears to be strapped down, but to what nefarious purpose?
3. “Previously on Phantasm…”
This shot is particularly interesting because it could easily be a continuation of Phantasm: Oblivion’s ending. Reggie, looking slightly battle worn in his ice cream duds and brandishing the four-barrel, is moving with purpose through the desert. Recall that we last saw Reg looking exactly like this jumping through the space gate to avenge the near death of Mike. I can’t say for certain this scene picks up from the last film, but I can say that Ravager will show phans what happened in the aftermath of Oblivion’s ending – not like that should surprise anyone. Immediate continuations are simply part of the Phantasm formula by now.
4. The Lady Still Wears Lavender
With this shot, we get wonderful confirmation that Kathy Lester’s Lady in Lavender has returned to the series in full form. Kathy last appeared in Phantasm III as a nurse in a cameo so brief it actually equals her appearance in the Ravager teaser in terms of screen time. It’s safe to say we’re going to be getting much more Lavender this time around. Kathy was also the first cast member to comment publicly upon the new teaser’s release, posting to Facebook: “The Lady in Lavender is back…and she’s got Balls!”
5. New Weapons
At first glance you might think Mike is holding the four-barrel shotgun here, but that’s not the case at all. As you can see a moment later in the teaser, both he and Reggie have a whole new arsenal to use against the Tall Man and his undead army. You’ve really got to hand it to the Ravager team for not scaling back the action in light of the film’s micro budget.
6. The Battle ‘Cuda
At the :34 second mark, the teaser reveals the glorious return of the ‘Cuda. Not only is the sleek muscle car back, it’s apparently been armored for battle, which is probably something Reggie should have done during or after the events of Phantasm II. Phans in the know might recognize the “Battle ‘Cuda” concept as first hailing from Roger Avary’s proposed Phantasm 1999 sequel.
At the :36 second mark, we get a brief look at one of the new cast members for Ravager, veteran character actor Daniel Roebuck. You might recognize him as one of the bumbling funeral home attendants in Bubba Ho-Tep or as the masked Largeman in John Dies at the End. Not-so-spoiler alert: his role has a nasty run-in with the business end of a silver sphere.
8. Which ‘Cuda?
At the :38 second mark, we get a better look at the film’s ‘Cuda and, surprisingly, it’s not the same car Reggie was seen driving in the last two Phantasm movies. That vehicle, a convertible, is nowhere to be seen in the teaser. Instead, we’re treated to the Phantasm II hardtop ‘Cuda, which has been in the possession of Don Coscarelli ever since that film’s production.
9. The Spacegate Room?
At the :42 second mark, we see a cautious Reggie walking into a massive space gate room, a familiar white locale not seen since the ending of Phantasm II. Already present is the Tall Man. You can be sure an interesting confrontation ensues, one that director David Hartman called “powerful” in the film’s initial press release.
The title Phantasm: Ravager was completely new to most phans when the first teaser poster appeared on AintItCool.com on March 25. Sharp-eyed viewers, however, might have noticed the film teased several years back in the set dressing for John Dies at the End at the 5:21 mark. A faux Ravager DVD sits among David Wong’s home media collection (as does a fictional film titled “Don of the Dead.”)
And with that, the teaser trailer for Ravager finishes up way too soon. If you’re like me. it actually took a second viewing to realize there wasn’t a word of dialogue to be had in this trailer. That’s likely to come in later previews and the filmmakers can be sure phans will be listening closely when it arrives. With a whole sixteen years having passed since the last sequel, expectations have never been higher – especially now that it’s been confirmed Ravager will wrap up the current continuity. How will the film stack up? You bet Chad and Andrew will be here on release day to let you know.
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