I happened to be recently watching Don Coscarelli‘s “Bubba Ho-tep,” when I occurred to me that since Marvel Studios is working on a Doctor Strange feature (supposedly with John Hamm as the lead) he would be a perfect choice to direct it.
Off the top of my head, there are five reasons that this is the case.
• First, Coscarelli Knows Strange (Pardon The Pun)
This is the director who created the four movies that comprise the Phantasm series, so his genre bonafides are in order. And speaking of those films, only two of them, “Phantasm” and “Phantasm II,” are worth seeing. The others are a bit repetitive and in my view for die-hard fans of the series. That being said, what all the films are is innovative in terms of their special effects and underlying plot.
What they also share in common is that they’re very unusual movies (even when they don’t particularly work, it’s interesting to see where Coscarelli is going with them). Then there’s the fact that they’re all made with shoe-string budgets, yet don’t look like that is the case.
And speaking of show-string budgets, if you look carefully at any of the films in the series, you can tell (based upon the way that the Sphere sometimes travels) that there were instances that someone more than likely just chucked it down a corridor. This could be interpreted as being cheap, but if you keep in mind that they were often working with somewhat minimal resources, you can see how innovative Coscarelli and his effects team sometimes were.
• Humor Matters, And Coscarelli Understands That
In his more recent films, particularly “Bubba Ho-Tep” and the vastly underrated “John Dies At The End” you see that Coscarelli understands the role humor plays in crafting an interesting and fun horror film. This is a principal that is applicable to any type of movie. A well-placed joke can do a lot to alleviate tension, and make an upcoming scare even more effective. Most importantly, you would never mistake either film for a comedy because the humor happens as it does in life, which means it’s of the situational variety, as opposed to slapstick.