A couple of weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly broke the news that Well Go USA Entertainment had acquired the rights to the PHANTASM franchise, which includes PHANTASM: RAVAGER, the upcoming final installment. The David Hartman-directed sequel, which was secretly shot before being announced in 2014, will have a release date for theaters and VOD in October! In addition, that 4K restoration of the original film, titled PHANTASM: REMASTERED, will be shown in cinemas, as well.
Here were the first details of the rollout for the entire series, courtesy of EW:
Phantasm: Remastered will screen in cinemas on Sept. 24 as part of the first Art House Theater Day. Phantasm: Ravager will be released in theaters and via digital HD on Oct. 7. Phantasm: Remastered and HD restorations of both 1994’s Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead and 1994’s Phantasm IV: Oblivion will also be released on cable and digital platforms that day (although plans aren’t finalized, EW has been told 1988’s Phantasm II will be available to view, as well). Later in the year, the films will be released individually on Blu-ray and DVD as well as in a collector’s edition set.
This was the news we’ve all been waiting so long to hear. Not only are we finally getting PHANTASM: RAVAGER, but all the previous PHANTASM movies in High Definition. I’m really excited for this, because PHANTASM has been one of my very favorites since high school. Don Coscarelli’s 1979 film remains a freaky spookshow nearly 40 years after its release. And the sequels continue to be an entertaining rabbit hole to fall through again and again. But even in the throes of my excitement, this question kept popping up in my head: Wait, who the hell are Well Go USA?
Seeing as I had never heard of this label before, and since PHANTASM is a major gain for them, I decided to find out more about Well Go USA Entertainment, and bring those unfamiliar with them up to speed, as well.
From the company’s website:
Well Go USA Entertainment is a theatrical and home entertainment distribution label that specializes in bringing top content, including the best in Action, Genre and Independent films from the US and around the world, to North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. As a leader in independent film distribution, Well Go’s titles can be seen across a variety of platforms, including theatrical, digital, subscription and cable VOD, packaged media and broadcast television. Well Go currently releases three to five films per month. Well Go USA Entertainment’s corporate headquarters is in Plano, Texas, with offices in Taiwan and China.
The label has been around since 1975. Browsing through the company’s website, Well Go USA has brought over quite a number of films from Asian markets, featuring stars such as Chow Yun-Fat, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Jet Li, and Donnie Yen. Among the movies they have on home video include the IP MAN series, 1911, the parody film SUPERNATURAL ACTIVITY, and a Korean remake of the John Woo classic, A BETTER TOMORROW. On the horror front, they have DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD, SADAKO, ZOMBIE HUNTER (starring Danny Trejo), and STRIPPERS VS. WEREWOLVES (with Robert Englund).
This year, Well Go USA have released a number of movies to theaters, including the British black comedy KILL YOUR FRIENDS (starring Nicholas Hoult and James Corden), IP MAN 3, and the Korean supernatural film, THE WAILING. Their most recent theatrical film is the Korean zombie flick, TRAIN TO BUSAN. This past Friday, Blumhouse’s Ryan Turek offered his thoughts on the film on the podcast Shock Waves.
Having the PHANTASM films under their belt will be a major win for Well Go USA Entertainment. The demand for PHANTASM is hotter than ever now, and the label is sure to be reaping the rewards of that. It will be interesting to see what the details are for the PHANTASM Blu-rays (and the collector’s set). We’ll keep you posted on news of that in a future episode of The ScreamCast. But what will also be interesting is where Well Go USA will go from here on out.
For more info on Well Go USA Entertainment, you can visit them here.