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A look at Roger Avary's treatment to PHANTASM 1999

Well, while everyone can look at the shiny metal balls about their Christmas trees... let us think and ponder a bit on a shiny fun ball movie for the new year... well... let's hope anywan...

The other day I caught a peek at the treatment to Roger Avery's definitive Phantasm sequel, Phantasm 1999. After reading through it, all I have to say is, WOW! Avery, with Don Coscarelli's input, has created a fantastic story arc for the series, and characters. This is some wild shit!

The story establishes that the entire east coast has become New York, and the west coast has become L.A., however every state in between has become part of the Tall Man's plague Zone; a walled off area the Tall Man controls. This mecca of decedence is infested with his byproducts of dwarves and zombies, and also sports the T.M.'s new base of opperations, a mormon moseleum; which happens to be the largest moseleum in the world. Anyway, the yellow ooze that the Tall Man embalmes his victims with causes the plague, which outsiders call the Bag Plague. (Those infected with the plague are called Baggers.)

Mike, our hapless hero, is stuck in the plague zone, and Reggie must save him, however the government has a different agenda. They once struck a deal with the Tall Man whereby people who denounce thier citizen ship, or become fugitives, will be banished to the Plague Zone.

The government ultimitely decides that they want to put an end to the Tall Man's reign, and join Reggie (Because they think he knows how to deal with T.M.) in his quest. The latter half of the tretment has Reggie and his army battleing dwarves and zombies in the Tall Man's catacombs, and the spectacular conclusion takes place in the Tall Man's dimension.

This is bound to be one fabulous sequel. Coscarelli claims he can make it for $5-8 million, but the script needs to find a home first. I know that Coscarelli has been trying to finance this project since 96. What seems to be holding him back is a force more malevolent then the Tall Man, Hollywood politics. Harry, if you post this, I hope execs at, Dimension, New Line, Rogue, Trimark, Artisan, and every other studio interested in intellegent genre fare reads this. It's about time that we see a horror film that doesn't boast a cast full of stupid teenagers spouting innane self referential dialogue. I'd rather see seasoned genre vets like Reggie Bannister, and Angus Scrimm in a solid, no holds barred Phantasm blow out. Remember this film could be made if geeks like us prove there's an audience for it.

Lenny Meyer

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