Day 1: Phantasm (1979)
Day 2: Phantasm II (1988)
Day 3: Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994)
Day 4: Phantasm: Oblivion (1998)
Day 5: Phantasm: Ravager (2016)
Day 6: Phantasm Collection Bonus Disc
So we have made it to the last day of Phantasm Week and I have to say that I had a blast. Having only seen the first film and parts of the fourth film (which I don't really remember which parts), I was excited to be able to sit down and do a marathon of all five films and do it with the ability to watch them with very little knowledge of where the series was going. I had fresh eyes on this series and that is a true rarity in this day and age. By now I should have seen more than the first film, and I almost did because Well Go USA had released the first and fifth films on blu-ray about five months before this complete collection hits shelves. There were many times where I would be in a Best Buy and be staring at the blu-rays of the first and fifth films, saying to myself "I should buy these and then get the middle films from the library or see if they are on a streaming service" I almost did that, but I knew that this collection was coming so I steered the course and waited it out.
The fact that Well Go USA was able to pull this off was a miracle in and of itself. Well Go USA is a company known for releasing Asian films like the Ip Man series and Train to Busan and smaller English language films like Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem and A Single Shot with Sam Rockwell. Sure, they have released horror films in the past, but nothing with the magnitude like The Phantasm Collection.
Fans were scared that Well Go USA was not the right choice for the job. They wanted Scream Factory or Arrow Video to get the rights because those companies were known for putting the time and resources behind releasing many classic horror films on blu-ray. In fact, Arrow Video won the rights to the Phantasm series in the U.K. and the fans lost their shit. But for someone like me, who loves Asian cinema and has a number of Well Go USA's blu-rays in his collection, I held out hope that Well Go USA was going to do right by the series and fans.
Now, onto the collection itself:
Well Go USA did a bang up job on this set. The first thing that you will notice when you pick up this set is the striking artwork on the front of the box. This image, an artist's rendition of a scene from Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead, is beautiful and the right way to begin one's journey into this set. The lettering used for the title, the staring of The Tall Man at us, the foil paper used to give the set a shine is all perfect.
We then move onto the left side of the box. This is the spine that most, who don't display the box facing forward, are going to use to identify the set on shelves. Again, the letter, the silver sphere, and the foil paper are perfect and stand out just enough for a fan to spot it on their shelf.
Everything is snug in the box and the spines are easily identifiable. You can tell which film is which and also where the poster and book are.
The only complaint that I have about this set is that the blu-ray cases are a millimeter or two wider than the box itself, meaning that they stick out just a tad. The book and poster are the right dimensions, but the blu-ray cases are not. It is a minor complaint and one that I can look past as this is Well Go USA's first time releasing a box set like this. Not everything is going to be perfect and if this is the biggest complaint that I have then I will take it.
The second thing is there is no information about any of the transfers or soundtracks used in this box set. Now, this is something that only Arrow Video and the Criterion Collection do so it isn't something that I was look for, so it really isn't a big deal.
The book is like a paperback book only a bit fancier. The page count is 120 and that is 120 actual pages, not including the front and back covers. Some companies boost up their page count by adding the front and back covers to the page count, as well as adding blank pages to the front and back of the book. I don't like this practice and was pleasantly surprised that Well Go USA did not go down that same route.
All in all this is a very well done book that compliments the set nicely.
This is a truly amazing set. After going through the whole set, I started to think about other films that Well Go USA could give this type of treatment. With so many companies trying to buy up all they can, there isn't much left for the company to grab up. Most of the films that horror fans want are tied up with companies who could give rat's ass about releasing them. Films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, He Knows You're Alone, The Hitcher, Fright Night Part II, and so many more may never see the light of day.
One film that has been rumored to have been bought up by Well Go USA is original Dawn of the Dead. If true, this could be Well Go USA's Christmas present to horror fans and cement their place in the horror blu-ray marketplace. If they do what they did with this set, Well Go USA will be the new place to go to get your horror fix.
The Phantasm Collection is a must own for fans of the series and those who want to take the dive, but aren't sure. The series is worth the watch.