Musician, Actor, Producer, Screenwriter, Activist - Referred to as "The Hardest Working Man in Horror," Reggie Bannister is known world wide for his starring role as the intrepid ice cream vendor-turned hero in the action-horror series, Phantasm I-IV. His career spans over 40 years in television, film and entertainment with a background that includes writing, acting and music. His most recent projects have been Steven King's "One For the Road" (from the Night Shift Anthology), (2011), "Primitive" (2011), "Abolition" (2011), "The Ghastly Love of Johnny X" (2010) (with the late Kevin McCarthy), "Bloody Bloody Bible Camp" (2010), "Walking Distance (2009)," "Small Town Saturday Night" (2009) (with Chris Pine, John Hawkes, and Muse Watson), and "Satan Hates You" (2009) (with Angus Scrimm).
Reggie has released six (6) musical albums which include rock, country and folk and is a veteran of stage and television. Since the '60s he's played with such groups as Stone Country and Greenwood County Singers, as well as many greats such as Red Skelton, Robert Goulet, Bing Crosby, Carol Channing, Sonny and Cher, Stevie Wonder, and many more. He continues to write, play, compose and currently promotes his albums, "Naked Truth," and "Fool's Paradise," with promises of compiling an anthology album of earlier works. Reggie is a sponsored musician of Samick Music/Greg Bennett Guitars, Toadworks USA, and CD Baby. He's even guarding the forces of good on "Transformers Prime" (2011) Episode 10: "Deus Ex Machina."
A gifted writer, Reggie has co-authored two scripts and is working on another horror piece. He is the Vice-President of an independent production company with his wife in Southern California, Production Magic, Incorporated. He is a popular guest and speaker at charity events and genre' media conventions. Other film credits include Kenny & Company, Survival Quest, Silent Night, Deadly NightIV: The Initiation, That little Monster, The Demolitionist, Wes Craven's Wishmaster, Carnies and most recently, Dark Path Chronicles. There is currently a move to film Phantasm V, in which Reggie will return to his starring role of "Reggie" in the fifth installment of the series. When asked to what he attributes the popularity of his heroic character, he states, "I think (Reggie) is seen as 'every man's man.' Not pretentious, often flawed, but with a lot of heart and guts. He does the things, and reacts the way, most men feel they would given the same situation." he added, "There's a lot of camp in scenes with Reggie. The humor comes from his being so... human."
Reggie is also credited as Assistant Director, Co-Director, Co-Producer, Associate Producer, Producer and is often on the Special Effects Team with his wife, Gigi. Reggie resides in Southern, California, with his wife and two cats and performs music regularly at local events in his mountain community.
|Gigi Porter||(29 September 2001 - present)|
|Gayle||(1988 - 1997) (divorced)|
|Susan||(1982 - 1987) (divorced) 1 child|
His role of Reggie in the Phantasm series
He and his current wife, 'Gigi Bannister,' are both vegetarians.
Following the filming of Phantasm (1979), his day job was as flower delivery for a The Sunnyside Mortuary & Cemetery during two years. The same place some scenes of Phantasm were shot.
He currently runs a production company called "Production Magic Inc" with his wife 'Gigi Bannister'.
For most of his life, was an occasional smoker. He didn't smoke at the time of filming Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 (1990) (V), and had to play a character who was smoking constantly. He tried to convince director Brian Yuzna about his character to switch from cigarettes to eating sunflower seeds, but Yuzna didn't agree. He no longer smokes unless for a character.
He met the late "George "Buck' Flower' in the set of Wishmaster (1997) and they both became good friends until George passed away in 2004. As a homage, Reggie based his performance as "Gus" in The Final Curtain (2007) (aka Acts of Death) upon him. In Wishmaster (1997), George once asked his wife, 'Gigi Fast Elk Porter' if he had a sense of humor. George then inserted the line "Bald headed baboon" for the shock value. It worked.
Called the "hardest working man in horror," he is a fan favorite of horror conventions. He started going to conventions after feeling that Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994) (when going direct to video) needed more promoting. The release of the movie was delayed for almost a year and, after a very limited theatrical release, it went direct to video.
The strangest place where he has had autograph was on a woman's breast and another on a man's arm, who then tattooed the signature. There are several fans who inked his face in a tattoo. To date, he has never turned away an autograph or photo request.
He plays basketball, does weight training, push ups and sit ups in a daily basis to be on good shape when he plays a role in a movie.
His favorite filmmaker is Alfred Hitchcock.
He admires Quentin Tarantino and says he would love to work with him.
His favorite music albums are "Eagles Live", "Best of CSN", and "Best of Jimmy Hendrix".
He greatly admires Laurence Olivier and considers him one of the greatest actors ever, if not the best.
Reggie's daughter is also an actress and vegetarian.
"These movies tickle something dark in people's imaginations. They deal with death -- and that's the great unanswerable question." (on the appeal of the "Phantasm" films)
I'm a product basically of the Sixties.
I'd get burned out on music and I would turn to acting. I would get burned out on acting and I'd turn to music.
Possibly, the real key to what made "Phantasm" what it became was that there were a lot of people jamming ideas, what are we gonna do here, I don't know, let's construct something, let's make something. The old "mother of invention".
This genre, horror...I've been fascinated with it ever since I was a little kid. And I've tried to figure it out. The people that I've known as fans are extremely bright, intelligent, creative... to call them strange, you'd have to be so locked into the "everyday mundane world" that you couldn't see outside it. These people aren't strange, they're different. And both on an intellectual level and on a social level, they're wonderful folks. I just love'em. Every time I go to anything, and they come up to me and talk to me, I go, jeez, this could be a friend. I like to intellectualize, I like to talk politics, I like to talk spiritualism, I like to talk about things that matter. And so do these people, and we just get along great.
I was drafted into the Army, went to Vietnam, got back, and I felt like I had been robbed of my life.
[About making a fifth Phantasm movie]: Hopefully, we'll get to do one more before everybody croaks.
(April 2003) Moved to Crestline, California with wife, Gigi Fast Elk Porter.
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