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ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, M. Night Shyamalan, and Nerd Rap Battles at Fantastic Fest

Fantastic Fest is heralded as one of the best events of the year for discovering new material. That said, the Austin phenomenon is hardly opposed to lending the spotlight to something a little more familiar, such as a beloved film franchise or established television show, especially the kind befitting of the festival’s penchant for the strange and sinister. You can bet that the likes of the Phantasm movie series and Starz’s original program Ash vs. Evil Dead pass muster in this category, and both took a trip down to Austin, Texas to bring their forthcoming installments to Fantastic Fest ’16.

On her fourth day surveying the festival grounds, our own Clarke Wolfe chatted with Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli about the legacy of his cinematic realm, which he has trusted with David Hartman, director of the series’ fifth feature, Phantasm: Ravager. While Coscarelli suggests that the story ends with chapter five, fans have clearly not had their fill of otherworldly undertakers and dwarf zombies.

Clarke also crossed paths with genre kingpin Bruce Campbell, whose Ash vs. Evil Dead graced Fantastic Fest with footage from its upcoming second season. Bruce and his new screen father, Hollywood legend Lee Majors, offered a few small insights into what to expect from season two, which premieres on Starz on Oct. 2. We’re still largely in the dark, but prepare for a morgue scene and heavy catchphrasing.

Sometimes, even original projects courier an air of familiarity thanks solely to the reputations of the artists who brought them into being. Nobody in filmmaking is saddled with connotations quite as rigid as director M. Night Shyamalan is. As soon festival-goers found out that it was his latest film, Split, that was serving as the year’s secret screening, you can bet they had already prepped one major expectation: a huge TWIST.

Finally, Clarke made good use of her expertise is nerddom, accepting the role of judge of Fantastic Fest’s Nerd Rap Battle. Watch above to get a glimpse of the competition and to hear a few words from Coscarelli, Campbell, and Shyamalan.

Are you looking forward to the latest chapter of Phantasm, the next season of Ash vs. Evil Dead, or M. Night Shyamalan’s new film? Let us know!

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