In a tightly moderated panel at this year’s Fan Expo Canada, fans were treated to an overview of indie-horror director Don Coscarelli’s career, spanning from the four film Phantasm franchise to his most recent project, John Dies at the End (review).
It was a mix of lucky happenstance and missed opportunities. Starting with his first film, which was bankrolled by his father, and subsequently picked up by Universal after a kindly newspaper movie critic whom his father had called for advice talked the film up to a studio exec.
Then there were the misses; the time he was offered the directing job for the sequel to Conan the Barbarian (he passed on it because he was just coming off a bad experience directing Beastmaster), and the time he almost made a Stephen King movie, only to have the project fall apart.
One of his oddest stories was about a negative review he had read for his film Phantasm. What made the review notable (in retrospect) is that it was written by Regis Philbin. Apparently, Philbin was perplexed that the police never seemed to show up, with all the murders, kidnappings, and car accidents throughout the film (it’s a fair question, actually).
When asked about Bubba Nosferatu, the proposed sequel to his much loved Bubba Ho-Tep, Coscarelli said that it was still something he’d really like to do, and that he intended to talk to Bruce Campbell in the coming months. He promised to browbeat Bruce and demand he get on board.
Likewise, the long-rumored Phantasm 5 was something that was ‘being talked about.’