Quint over at Ain't It Cool News has one hell of a scoop - that JJ Abrams's Bad Robot has been secretly performing a 4k restoration on the original Phantasm! Not only that, this bad boy is being restored from the original camera negative, which we've long understood Don Coscarelli to have spirited away in a vault somewhere. Quint also mentions that new Ravager footage has been screened at the site's annual BNAT event (do look up that acronym if you don't know it!)
That Abrams is involved is not that much of a surprise, mind you. He named a character in his upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens after Phantasm and cast Angus Scrimm in a recurring role on Alias some years ago. The guy is an admitted phan.
The AICN article continues, "Coscarelli has been hard at work producing a fifth Phantasm Installment (called Ravager), but word around the campfire is he had to put it on hold to focus on this restoration (which is why it's not in your living rooms just yet)."
Uh... Quint and I are apparently sitting around different Phantasm Ravager campfires. The article closes out with two gorgeous screenshots from the new transfer. Feast your eyes upon them below!