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Baker's Dozen

A Cinema Baker's Dozen: Phantasm Director Don Coscarelli's Favourite Films
Mat Colegate , February 14th, 2014 05:58

Mat Colegate asks the director of Phantasm, Bubba Ho Tep and the recently released John Dies At The End to pick a Baker's Dozen of his favourite films


Invaders From Mars – (William Cameron Menzies, 1953)
“I grew up with great TV series that helped my love of genre. I was watching The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits and a lot of genre stuff. There were several different movie shows on. There was one that played every Saturday night that was strictly horror films and they would run a lot of things from the 50s and early 60s, like Quatermass and the Hammer movies. There was one channel that had this thing called The Million Dollar Movie. They would play a film every day for a week. It would play every day at 5pm and one of the ones they played I've got here on my list - you might not say it's great art but it had a big impact on me - Invaders From Mars. It was directed by the great William Cameron Menzies, who was actually a production designer - I believe he worked on the Wizard Of Oz! As a result the design of it is beautiful and the sets are very dark and strange. When I was very young I was watching this weird story about a kid waking up one night and seeing a spacecraft fly about in the field outside his house and all the people in the town starting to change. The kid can't find anyone who will listen to him! That was a big influence on Phantasm."