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SCHERZO DIABOLICO: Adrian Bogliano & Francisco Barreiro On Making The Film!

SCHERZO DIABOLICO: Adrian Bogliano & Francisco Barreiro On Making The Film!

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Adrián García Bogliano (“Here Comes the Devil,” “Late Phases,” “The ABCs of Death,” “Penumbra”) has spent the past several years making a name for himself within the horror genre. His latest film, “SCHERZO DIABOLICO,” the prolific and inventive Bogliano has created a tale of dread concerning a seemingly mild-mannered man who enacts a disturbing plan for vengeance.

The film centers on Aram, (Francisco Barreiro, “We Are What We Are,” “Here Comes the Devil”), a low-paid accountant living a dull existence. With a nagging wife who berates him for not being assertive, he quietly suffers while awaiting a long-deserved promotion. But there’s more to Aram than his quiet demeanor lets on: He has been secretly devising a scheme to get what he feels he is owed. One day he asserts his power menacingly when he kidnaps a schoolgirl (Daniela Solo Vell, “Eddie Reynolds y Los Angeles de Acero”) and keeps her tied up in an abandoned warehouse. What seems like the perfect plan soon unravels into his worst nightmare as his carefully constructed scheme comes crashing down piece by bloody piece. In this twisted thriller, Bogliano uses his startling visionary style to subvert genre conventions while keeping us guessing as to what will happen next in what becomes a gritty game of cat and mouse. As Bogliano’s his most ambitious work to date, “SCHERZO DIABOLICO” has captured the imagination film fans and critics alike, while establishing the young director as undeniable force in the world of horror cinema. The film was an Official Selection at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival and other major events. In short, it is the latest chapter in what is sure to be an amazing career for the young, passionate director, who has no plans for abandoning the genre he loves.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Adrián García Bogliano and Francisco Barreiro to discuss their blossoming careers, the challenges of bringing “Scherzo Diabolico” from script to screen and what the future might hold for these stars on the rise!

What attracted you to the entertainment industry early on in life and ultimately made you pursue it as a career?

Adrián: I wanted to be a part of the film industry since I was a little kid. My parents both studied film. They transferred their passion for film to me. I started writing fanzines and very small magazines in the early ‘90s. I also started reviewing films and stuff like that on the radio. I had also started writing my own scripts, so it was something I always wanted to do. I never hesitated on that! When I was a teenager, I started realizing what a director was responsible for and I realized becoming a director was my goal.

Francisco: For me, it was a little bit different. I didn’t know I wanted to be an actor until I was about 18 years old. I always loved theater and films but I didn’t have much experience in school. I started studying theater for three years at a school in Mexico. Since then I began working in theater and then began to make some films.

Your latest project is “Scherzo Diabolico.” Before we talk about the film, how did the two of you first cross paths?

Adrian Garcia Bogliano

Adrian Garcia Bogliano

Adrián: I saw Francisco in a movie and he really impressed me. It was the original “We Are What We Are,” the Mexican film. Francisco was absolutely great in the film! All of the cast was really solid and I was really impressed by Francisco’s performance. I was contacted to make a segment for “The ABC’s of Death” and it was going to be the first thing I was to shoot in Mexico, so I approached Francisco to see if he wanted to star in the segment. He wasn’t able to because he had other commitments at the time. We established a relationship then. When the time came to do “Here Comes The Devil,” I approached him and I wasn’t sure if he wanted to take part of that because when I came to him with the script, we were going to shoot in three weeks in Tijuana. I didn’t know if there would be enough time or if he would be interested. He was very willing to do it and he did an amazing job! “Here Comes The Devil” was a film where his part wasn’t a lot of meat to the part but he made the character really shine. He brought a lot of things to the character that I didn’t even imagine were possible with that character. I was really impressed with that and we wanted to do more things together. Finally, when we got the chance to do this movie, we wanted to do it together. I wrote this for him and my intention was to explore all of the possibilities.

How did the initial idea for the story of “Scherzo Diabolico” come about?

Adrián: I think it had to do with my love of a couple of movies and a lot of friends and people who were around my age. From the film perspective, I think it had to do with my love with two films that are very different but they have similarities. The first is a Swedish film of the 1970s called “Breaking Point” by the same director who did “Thriller: They Call Her One Eye.” “Breaking Point” is a really weird film about male fantasy. The other is Peter Medak’s “Romeo Is Bleeding.” It has been one of my favorite films since I was a teenager. I thought both of those films were very interesting with their really weird male fantasies where these guys interact with women. I thought that was a very interesting starting point. I also felt those male fantasies had a lot to do with what society tells us what we need to achieve in terms of success and happiness. That was the starting point.

Francisco, what did you bring to this character that wasn’t on the original page?

Francisco Barreiro

Francisco Barreiro

Francisco: I think I tried to work a lot in many subtle things. I felt the character was very complex. I was excited to have the powerful and amazing chance to explore very deeply in a character that changed a lot throughout the film. The main thing was to bring something very subtle and very human that the audience can connect with and feel is very real. For me, I felt this character could have a huge impact. He is not a bad guy and he only wants to be the next boss but he makes bad decisions. It is a complex study of a character and it was very interesting. Everything was there when I read the script and there were a lot of possibilities to work with. I tried to bring something deeper. For example, the character interacts a lot with other characters but, at the same time, he is often by himself. It was interesting for me to build a script in my mind, to make some dialogue silently in my mind, to keep developing this complex character. When the audience is watching this guy in silence but he is thinking and something is happening in his mind. I think we discovered some things. I used to talk a lot when I was alone and I would talk louder by myself. I tried to bring little details to make the character more real and more human. I was very into the details and that was the most interesting part of the work for me.

As a director, did you want to attempt something you might not of had a chance to do in the past?

Adrián: Yeah. There are always things like that with each project. With this project, there were a couple of different things. One was pretty crazy! We wanted to make this film with a very strange technology. It was very hard but it was interesting. We shot this film with a DSLR camera with an anamorphic adapter, which is a very heavy and bizarre thing they used in the old theaters to screen anamorphic movies. It is not a lens but a huge piece of metal that is very heavy and it gives the film a very particular look. I don’t think anybody has ever made a film with one of those. It gave the film a very particular look and aspect ratio that is very interesting. It is a very wide aspect ratio. That was exciting to try that combination of an old technology with a DSLR camera. The other thing I wanted to try on this film was to make a movie with a very, very small crew. I have made a bunch of micro-budget movies when I was just starting and this film was actually much bigger in terms of budget but I wanted to keep the crew really small. I wanted to try to make a movie with the smallest amount of crew possible and remain very concentrated and focused. It was very difficult but I was happy to try that and I would do it again for the right kind of movie. It is something that works very well. It is an idea I got a few years ago from watching Shane Carruth’s “Primer.” When I saw the credits, I realized there were about five people on the crew. I wanted to make a film that, even though you realize it is an independent movie, it doesn’t look cheap or bad. Everything you need for the story is there but you realize that it was made with a super small crew. Obviously, if you only have five people, each one of them has to do two or three different things during the shooting. It is a very interesting process and it keeps you very focused and on top of everything.

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Looking back on this project, what was the biggest challenge you faced and the biggest lesson you learned along the way?

Adrián: The biggest challenge to me was to do a film like this with such a small crew in Mexico City, where people are used to working with bigger elements. I feel like there is not a big tradition of guerrilla filmmaking. There is some people doing it, some great names there doing that, but there is not a big tradition. It was interesting to go there and ask people to do this because to some people it looked like we were completely crazy! “How is it that five people with this strange looking camera are making a feature film?”

Francisco: For me, the challenge of playing this character was a 1 in 1,000 opportunity. This kind of character is pure gold and the type you are waiting all of your life to play. That is a real challenge. An extra challenge was us having this guerrilla production. It was a great effort for everyone to make this film a reality. What I learned is that to keep trusting and working with friends. This film for me was a very ambitious film and, at the end, it became a really great film that I love. You just have to trust!

Music plays a big role in this film. What can you tell us about finding the right fit?

Adrián: Some of that music was already on the script and some of it, after we had the first cut, we started looking for the right pieces. I had a lot of ideas for the movie but I think the tone of the movie actually appeared in front of me. I realized how the movie should feel after listening to the piece that gives the film its title, “Scherzo Diabolico.” It is not only a musical thing but it is also a joke in Italian. The idea of a diabolical joke was very interesting to me and I realized it had to have these overtones of black comedy on it to really work and to give the audience the idea that it is some sort of a joke. I wanted to give the audience the idea that, at the end of the movie, the joke was going to be on Aram’s character. When I understood that, the rest of the pieces were easy to pull.

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Where do you see yourselves headed next when it comes to the types of projects you might pursue?

Adrián: In my case, I expect to keep making horror films. This is the genre that I love and I like to try very different things within the genre. I think the genre gives you so many opportunities to try very different things and to talk about very interesting subjects. That is what I plan to keep doing! I want to keep within the realms of the genre, while always trying new things. I plan to keep making movies with different budgets in different countries. After making “Late Phases,” which is my biggest film to date, the idea of going back to making the guerrilla style movie was something really exciting. I think it gave me the opportunity to try things that with films that are a bit bigger you cannot really do. To me, it is interesting to try different things and different sizes of projects all of the time.

Francisco: As an actor, my real passion is in theater. I have been working in theaters for the past 12 years of my life. That is my lifeline, where I feel most comfortable and feel the most capacity of decision, so I am going to keep working in theater. In the other side, I just try to look for a good challenge and good films where I get to work with my friends. For me, it is very important to work with friends and people that I know I can trust and admire. I will try to look, be patient and wait for different and more difficult films that can put me in some risk. I like that feeling and I like that challenge, so I will be waiting for it! In the meantime, I will be doing theater!

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Many people can look to you both to be inspired. What is the best lesson we can take from your journey so far?

Adrián: As a director, I think it has a lot to do with what I said previously. I think you have to keep working and keep doing new things. If you are a director, the only way to grow is by making movies and doing new things. You cannot measure your career in terms of increasing the size of your next project in terms of budget. It has to be more exciting and have new challenges. I think for many directors, unfortunately, the goal is often to make bigger films in terms of budget. I think that is a mistake. I think every movie is something different. The most interesting thing you can do is to keep pushing yourself, keep making movies and trying to find new ways to tell stories. The other thing is to doing movies about something you are passionate about. I am passionate about horror. I love movies and I see every type of film but my passion is horror, so I am trying to stick to it and trying to be better with each film within the genre. That is important. There are a lot of directors that use horror to move to something else. That may work for some people but I think the best thing you can do is something you love and really believe in. If you feel it enough and are passionate, you can try to master the craft.

Francisco: I think the actor in film is more complex than the role he may play. I am interested to try these filmmakers, these films and these stories where the actor can be more than just something representing a character. I am very interested in finding out what this means for me and continue developing the human study. I am always watching to look to people to understand little details of how they work. I also hope to continue following my passion and doing the work that I love! I want to continue to try and rethink what the real role of an actor in a film is. That is a very interesting and complex thing that I have been discussing with a lot of other actors. I think there is something very interesting there.

Thank you both so much for your time today! What you created and will continue to create is truly inspiring. I wish you continued success!

Adrián: Thank you so much, Jason!

Francisco: Thank you!

Scherzo Diabolico,’ the new genre masterpiece from the mind of Adrián García Bogliano, is now available on VOD and Digital HD platforms from Dark Sky Films!

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New Poster For ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ Slashes It’s Way Online

New Poster For ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ Slashes It’s Way Online

Warner Brothers has recently released a brand new promotional poster the highly anticipated reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Check it out below along with the recently released trailer for the film. Looks like this one could be a winner!

Official Plot Synopsis: Freddy Krueger returns in “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” a contemporary re-imagining of the horror classic. A group of suburban teenagers share one common bond: they are all being stalked by Freddy Krueger, a horribly disfigured killer who hunts them in their dreams. As long as they stay awake, they can protect one another…but when they sleep, there is no escape.

Directed by Samuel Bayer, the film stars Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Rooney Mara, Kellan Lutz, Katie Cassidy, Clancy Brown and Connie Britton. ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ is slated to hit theaters on April 30, 2010.




Trailer Park Movies | MySpace Video

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‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ Trailer Slashes It’s Way Online!

‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ Trailer Slashes It’s Way Online!

nightmare_on_elm street_logo_2009The first trailer for the remake of a ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ has debuted via Myspace. Check it out below and weigh in with your thoughts!

Directed by Samuel Bayer, the film stars Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Rooney Mara, Kellan Lutz, Katie Cassidy, Clancy Brown and Connie Britton. ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ is slated to hit theaters on April 30, 2010.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

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Danielle Harris Talks ‘Halloween II’, ‘Fear Clinic’ and HorrorGal.com

Danielle Harris Talks ‘Halloween II’, ‘Fear Clinic’ and HorrorGal.com

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Danielle Harris’ career in television and film has spanned an amazing twenty two years. Not too shabby for a thirty two year old actress who idolized Brooke Shields as a young girl. Danielle is most easily recognizable as Jamie Lloyd from ‘Halloween 4’ and ‘Halloween 5’ and more recently as Annie Brackett in Rob Zombie’s re-imagining of John Carpenter’s classic film, ‘Halloween’. While she may be an icon in the world of horror, she is also an accomplished voice over actress and aspiring director. Armed with a great personality and stunning looks, Danielle has recently set her sights on a new venture. What is that venture you ask? It’s HorrorGal.com and it will be making it’s way to the web just in time for Halloween. Steve Johnson of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Danielle to discuss her career as a child star, her love of the horror genre and it’s fans, her upcoming book and of course her experiences on the sets of ‘Fear Clinic’ and ‘Halloween II’. Stay tuned for the Barbara Walters of the horror genre. Confused? I guess you will have to read on then…

Where did you grow up?

I was born in New York. I lived there until I was two. I moved to Florida from two to seven. Back to New York from seven to just about thirteen. Then California from thirteen to thirty two. I’ve kind of been all over the place.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in film?

That’s a tricky question. As a kid, I just wanted to be on TV. I really liked it and it was really fun for me. I got to get out of school. I got to hang out with a bunch of adults. I got to stay up really late. That kind of stuff. When I was seven, it was kind of my break into TV and film. I was on a soap opera and all that jazz. I think when I really was like, “this is what I wanna do with my life,” I was probably thirteen or fourteen. I was like, “wow, this is what I want to be when I grow up. I really want to keep doing this.”

Did you have any influences, be it other actors or otherwise?

I used to have this saying when I was a little girl, when I used to do beauty pageants. I always used to say, “I want to be bigger and better than Brooke Shields.” I just loved her. I grew up watching ‘The Blue Lagoon’ and ‘The Honeymooners.’ Audrey Meadows and Brooke Shields were my idols. I loved Debra Winger and ‘Terms of Endearment.’ Those were my three influences.

You were a child star and we all have heard countless stories of child stars going bad. How did you turn out so “normal?”

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Normal? It depends on what you consider normal. [laughs] I was this child star in this crazy adult horror genre, which not many kids really have that. It was kind of this weird little thing. It’s different because I would go out and I was drinking when I was much too young. I was doing things that you were not supposed to do, which everybody does. No one waits until they are twenty one to have a drink. I was partying and hanging out with my friends and doing all of the stuff college kids do, but we weren’t in college. We were working actors. All of my friends were other working actors. Our college days were spent with each other on other people’s sets, or going and visiting them on location when they were shooting movies, or hanging out at everyone’s home because they were eighteen. Most of my friends were just buying their first home. By the time I turned twenty one, I was so over partying and going out. When I was legally allowed to do it, I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I think there was no chance for me to ever get in trouble because I was over it. Even now, going out last night. My boyfriend’s in a band. It’s this great band called Analog Smith. They were playing at the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills. They were going on at ten and we were driving over there at nine and I was yawning. I was like, “god, this is so lame. I used to be so cool.” What happened to that girl when I was fifteen?” First of all, “A,” the paparazzi didn’t really exist. Whatever was going on, people really weren’t chasing you everywhere. So you really didn’t see it. The fans and the general public didn’t have privy into everyone’s life as they do now. Unfortunately, these poor kids can’t even grow up without having everything video taped. So it’s all that stuff. I had a good group of friends, and I was anti-drugs, and stayed away from anyone that really partied. I just sort of hung out with my little group.

You’ve had roles in motion pictures and on television series. Which format do you prefer?

What I love about movies is that there’s nothing like making a movie. There really isn’t. Going to the theater, and seeing it in a theater, and the whole process, and being on location. Weather it is a million dollar budget movie or a hundred million dollar budget movie. I have done both. I think that it’s an amazing experience. The family that you create in a short period of time and everyone’s there because they love what they do. So that’s really fun. I love making movies, but there’s something really nice about a TV show. The consistency. The steady work, which is something that most actors don’t have any idea of. Being able to know that I have eight months of a job. I get to play this character with the same people that I love and I’m going to have a job for eight months. If you’re not on a TV show, that’s unheard of. Even if I do big movies, sometimes there’s been a two year gap in between. Sometimes there’s been a month. Sometimes there’s eight months. You just never know when the next job is coming and right after one movie is done, you have to start all over again. That’s the only bad part. A girlfriend of mine was on a show called ‘Women’s Murder Club’ for ABC. The show ran for a season and then it got canceled. After that, they put her on a show called ‘Defying Gravity,’ another ABC show. You build those relationships with the networks and then it’s a little bit easier to go from one to the other. With movies, unless you become a movie star, it’s right back to the auditions, which is kind of frustrating.

You have done a lot of voice over work for numerous animated series and films. Is that something you enjoy?

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That’s the best job in the world. Voice overs are the best job in the world. I actually just auditioned for one today. “A,” it great to be able to fit with kids. I love saying to kids, “do you ever watch ‘The Wild Thornberry’s?'” They’re like, “yeah!” I’ll say, “do you know Debbie Thornberry? What do you think of her?” They’re like, “she’s mean!” I’ll say, “close your eyes, I want you to hear something.” I’ll have them close their eyes and I’ll do my Debbie Thornberry voice. When they open up their eyes, the smile on their face is so awesome. Doing as many horror movies as I do, I don’t really have that. I’ve got the kids stuff and the horror stuff. Mostly it’s the horror stuff the kids can’t see, so it’s something that I really enjoy doing. It takes about an hour to do an episode. You can go in your pajamas. Once a week if you’re on a series. I did the series for like six years I think. You just get to go in, and play, and be a goofball. I did this series for NBC and Dreamworks called ‘Father of the Pride’ with Carl Reiner, John Goodman, Cheryl Hines, and myself. Not only was I the voice of a lion, what’s cool about Dreamworks is that when you’re recording in the studio, they setup all of these mini cameras so they record your mannerisms. I didn’t really realize they were doing it. They send it to the animators. So basically I am watching this TV show and I’m a white lion, but the thing looks like me. My eyes, the way my eyebrows move, the way my hands move, my mannerisms. This lion completely resembles the way I, Danielle, function. It’s so weird and so cool at the same time. That’s awesome. On my vision board I’ve got, “I want to be on another animated series.” That’s just the best.

Are there any challenges to that type of work?

The only challenge is if you don’t allow yourself have fun. Aside from the lion, I would do all of these other crazy animal characters. You just really have to let yourself go. You cannot be inhibited. You never know what it’s going to sound like when it comes out of your mouth, when you’re trying other voices. You don’t really practice it, so you go in the room and you never know what it’s going to sound like. It always sounds different. It’s really cool. It’s an awesome job.

danielleharris-1You have become closely associated with the horror genre. Do you feel like you want continue to stay in the realm of horror or would you like to look for more roles outside of the genre?

I am always looking for great roles regardless of the genre. It’s a little bit easier for me to work in the horror genre because I already have a name established, and I love it, and I have fans that love seeing it as well. It’s like the one thing that I know more than anything else. I know the horror genre. It’s fun for me, and it’s cool, and I get to work with the same people all of the time. It’s a whole little world within itself. The fans are incredibly loyal, which I love. The competition is slim. Yeah, I would loved to have done ‘Juno.’ I would have loved to do ‘(500) Days of Summer,’ which is a great movie. I would love to do independent movies, but they just don’t come my way because I am not a movie star in that world and I’m not on a TV show. There’s a whole list of girls they’ll go to before they go to me. In the horror genre, there’s not a lot of girls on the list and I’m usually in the top three, which is something that I love. I didn’t choose this, it chose me. I’m really happy with it. I’m tired of kind of fighting it. For years I kind of fought it and wanted to do other things. I was like, “I want to be seen as something else. I can do other things. It’s not only horror movies that I can do.” It kept coming back, so I just surrendered to it. There’s a quote that I live by, “if you want to make god laugh, tell him your plan.” I am not choosing my destiny, it is totally choosing me. I am happy with it.

Most people associate you with Jamie Lloyd from ‘Halloween 4’ and ‘Halloween 5.’ Did you have any input into the development of the character or was it laid out for you in the script?

No. I was ten. It was as basic as you can get. The script was written and there was an audition for it. A bunch of girls went in. I was in New York City. I went in and I read for the casting director Deedee Bradley. She brought me back to meet with the director and it was me and Melissa Joan Hart for the role. You know, ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch.’ It was down to the two of us. She could have been Jamie Lloyd. [laughs] At that age they just want to make sure that you’re a good kid, and you’re not going to be a brat, and that you can take direction. They wanted to hear me scream and wanted to see if I could cry. That is what got me the job. That was it. I had never been in a movie before, it was my first movie. I ended up being flown to Utah and I’m the star of this movie at ten years old. I never would have expected it to be what it is. Twenty two years later, I never would have thought that we would still be talking about it. It’s kind of nuts to me, but it’s pretty awesome.

You have worked with Rob Zombie on two ‘Halloween’ films now. What has it been like working with Rob and what have you learned from him?

Rob’s an asshole! No, I’m just kidding! Rob’s awesome! [laughs] Rob is great. Rob is the fan of all fans. Who better to direct a movie like this than the fan that is going to give you what you want. He’s someone that really is excited to be a part of it, and let’s you play, and let’s you do your own thing. He hardly ever yells cut. He lets you change stuff. If you were to read the script and then see the movies, they’re completely different. He gives his actors carte blanche and there’s that trust. He knows that we’re going to do the best that we can do with what the situation is. I trust that he’s going to guide me in the right direction and stop me from doing things that aren’t working. It’s a dance. It’s a really awesome dance. He’s just great. He knows his shit, he really does. He really knows what he wants and he’s incredibly creative and very smart. I trust him. It’s really nice to work with someone like him and I can’t wait to do it again. I would like to do it not in a horror movie. That would be really cool. A romantic comedy would be awesome.

A romantic comedy by Rob Zombie? That would be interesting.

Yeah, totally. If you look at all his stories, he really writes for women. All the people in his movies, they’re really strong female characters. He’s got a great relationship with his wife and he’s all about the relationships. The blood and the killing and all of that stuff kind of comes after. It’s really about the characters. He took Halloween… He took Michael Meyers who was what they used to call the Shape because he didn’t really have a personality… There was nothing to him. He created a person out of the Shape. He created a personality, a back story, and emotions. You’ll see it even more in Halloween II. This thing now has something to relate to. There’s pain, suffering, anger, and mental instability. There are all of these things that make up Michael Meyers that Rob Zombie has created. Thirty years, no one did it. Rob came in and gave him life.

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What was the biggest challenge while working on Halloween II?

For me, I always want to work more. In the 2007 Halloween, I was like, “awww, I only get to work three weeks. I really want to work more.” It’s like I want to do so much more. I’m like, “I want to do this, I want to do that.” It’s Halloween. That’s like coming home almost for me. I’m so used to being on set with Michael Meyers, and being in every scene, and working every day, and now I have to sort of pass the torch onto Scout, which is awesome. She is like my sister, so I have no problem doing it. Obviously I could never have done the Laurie character because I am a lot older than her. I wanted to be a part of it every single day. My character didn’t allot for that, so I came and did my job and then it’s like, “ok, bye guys, have fun!” I think that was kind of it. Also worrying about whether or not fans would buy me as somebody else. I didn’t know if people would be ok with having me now become another person. Now after four, I’ve done just as many, if not more than any other character in the ‘Halloween’ series. I’m the only one that has been able to come back as another character. I don’t think that’s really been done very often. I could have made a cameo, but that would have been weird. Originally, nobody wanted me to do the movie. Rob didn’t want me to do the movie. He didn’t want anybody from any of the other ‘Halloween’ movies. I had to audition for it. It was really weird going in, reading, and getting sized for ‘Halloween’ and having to go in and go on tape, and audition for Halloween when that was sort of who I had identified myself with. It was kind of crazy how my career did a little bit of a one eighty there.

Do you have any interesting stories from the set of ‘Halloween II’?

Hummmm…, gosh. Let’s see. There’s so much. [laughs] What do I talk about? I can’t really say too much because I don’t want to give anything away. I can’t say I’m doing this thing. Let me think, let me think. I am going to have to come back to that one.

Some of the cast has been together for two movies now. How is the relationship between you guys?

It’s like family. It’s a real thrill to come back for sequels. The first night we were there, there was a hurricane watch. We were shooting in Georgia and staying in a hotel going, “oh my god, I have no idea what to do right now.” Brad had got there and Brad came and knocked on Scout’s door and said, “I don’t have a car, can I borrow your keys?” He was freaked out and wanted to get out of there because it was right in our path. So here we are, we’re all co-mingling going, “I don’t know what do to” and “oh my god it’s hailing outside, and there’s lightning, and the whole hotel is shaking, and it’s pitch black out, and we’re sitting in our room at the Holiday Inn Express.” Whoever said show business was glamorous has never worked in show business. In a tiny little town. You’ve got a bunch of Californians going, “oh my god! Hurricane what? Do I get in the bathtub? What do I do? I don’t know what to do?” I am sure you can tell me being on the east coast. It’s definitely something new. And getting calls two hours before you’re supposed to be up for your call time, asking you to come downstairs and come to set because Rob has decided that he wanted to write something else. You’re like, “ok, what is he writing?” You get to set and they tell you, “he’ll tell you when he gets here.” When you get there, he comes in the trailer and says, “ok, I have an idea.” I always feel like his scripts are blueprints and then after he sees what we do as actors and after he sees sort of what our relationships are, then he starts writing while we’re shooting. He comes up with stuff. That’s what makes the movie. I’ve been online before and fans are like, “oh, I’ve got a script. I’ve read this…” It’s like, you can read the entire script and then when you see the movie it’s going to be completely different.

You are starring in a web miniseries ‘Fear Clinic.’ What can you tell us about that project and your role in it?

danielleharris-8

It’s so cool. Robert Englund and Kane Hodder are both involved as well. It’s two people that I have always wanted to work with. They are buddies of mine from the convention circuit and the horror world. Again, it’s back to that question you asked me earlier. What do I like better, TV or film? This is sort of film-esque, but steady work. So I get to do these little mini-movies in my world that I know and love. I don’t really know any other TV shows like this that exist anymore. There used to be ‘Tales From the Crypt’ and ‘Twilight Zone’ and all of those, but those aren’t around anymore. I get to still do what I love to do for people that know me, in my world that I am very comfortable in, with friends. We’ve done five episodes now and this could very well be something that I get to do for the next five to ten years. Every single episode is basically a different phobia. The plot of the story is there’s Dr. Andover, who Robert Englund plays. I play Susan. I am the resident patient at the hospital. The hospital is a phobia clinic that is to cure people that have extreme phobias. Robert’s character, Dr. Andover, uses experimental drugs and he has a very unorthodox way of treating his patients that seems to work for everyone but me. My parents are gone, so there’s sort of this protagonist/antagonist relationship, this love/hate, father/daughter sort of thing between he and I. He’s become obsessed with curing me, which he can’t. I am scotophobic and scotophobia is a fear of the dark. It’s not the dark that I am afraid of, it’s what’s in the dark. Inside the dark are where my fears manifest and my fears keep changing as I am growing as a person. It’s never a fear of bugs or a fear of claustrophobia. My phobia is to Dr. Andover, completely incurable and it’s making him crazy. It takes place in Mexico. You have Kane Hodder’s character. They prep their whole back story. It’s very fun. FEARnet is a great, great outlet for it. Our director Robert Hall is badass. He’s got an amazing special effects company. It’s called Almost Human. He did ‘Buffy’ for a million years. He’s done huge, huge movies.

Just knowing that FEARnet was involved, it’s sort of something consistent. I get to work with these people every day, hopefully, which would be a dream for me. Watching Robert Hall’s other movies, ‘Laid to Rest’ and ‘Lightning Bug’ and seeing what he could do with the effects, it was like, “oh my god! This is so cool” It’s got great actors, great writing, and cool characters. There is the possibility of years of something consistent, which is great. This is my job? This is a gravy job. I think it’s changing. I’m not a big web series person. I don’t know if you’ve seen the trailer online or not, but it looks unbelievable. This is something that I think is going to just raise the bar for what people think about web series. This is sort of reinventing what everyone thought of. We’re raising the stakes a little bit. I’m really excited. It’s a labor of love. None of us are working for money, that’s for sure. It’s definitely something that we all just really wanted to be a part of.

What can you tell us about your upcoming website HorrorGal.com?

We have a October 31st launch date. Of course! I’m just working really, really hard. I just got tired of feeling like there was nothing for the fans. I spend a lot of time on myspace, a lot of time twittering, a lot of time putting videos on You Tube, a lot of time traveling to conventions, and talking and hanging out. It felt like all of the sites that I’ve seen didn’t… They are a bunch of great people, but a lot of it is text. A lot of it is just written articles and people stealing from other sites. Basically magazines online. It didn’t feel like there was anything interactive. It goes back to why I want to direct stuff. I have been working in the genre and this business for a really long time and I’ve got some great friends that people would really like to know some really cool stuff about. I think within the last two years, doing a ton of interviews online, over the phone, and on camera, I kept feeling like I was getting asked the same questions over and over again. I feel like the fans just want to relate to someone. I think that’s why TMZ is so popular. I read US Weekly and People. There’s a section of magazines where it’s like, “look, stars are just like us. They go get coffee. They fill up their tank with gas. They shop at the supermarket.” I read that stuff and I kind of want to know. I’m like, “oh, that’s cool. They’re buying Diet Coke. I buy Diet Coke.” I’m someone that’s fallen into that trap. I thought there’s nothing like this in the horror genre. There’s nothing like this for them. I want to know what they want to see. So I started doing my research and I thought I could do some really cool interactive stuff. Economies change, people can’t spend two thousand dollars and fly to wherever to go pay for a convention, and put themselves in a hotel, and pay twenty dollars for an autograph, and do all this stuff. They just can’t do it. So how do they gain access to their favorite celebrity? I was like, “you know what, I am going to give that to them. I am going to do all of these cool things that people can’t do.” It may be sixteen year old kids that I get emails from all of the time on my pages saying, “I love you. You’re my favorite and you inspire me. I’m your biggest fan. I can’t wait until I am old enough, and have a job, and can come out and meet you. That would be my dream.” I thought, “wow! What if I have a cool contest?” There are so many people out there that are incredibly creative that never get their work seen. What if I have a contest? Put together a short film, your horror film. The world will see it. The fans will rate it. Then whoever wins, maybe I’ll do a skype. Maybe I’ll sit down and they can meet me and we can skype for a half an hour. That will be their prize. Then I’ll send them something autographed. There’s a way to build those relationships and be a part of their life that’s not just reading about them. I just wanted to give that. I thought that was such a cool idea. I just didn’t see anyone really doing that. I love my fans. I think it’s super cool.

danielleharris-3I don’t know if you have seen, I started doing the random questions section that I’ve put up on my myspace. I’m just sort of grabbing it and starting to get a huge library of my friends basically. I did it with Rob Zombie the other day. I popped it up on myspace the night before last. I really want to know those questions. I don’t care about… No offense, but everybody wants to know what it was like to work with Rob Zombie. It’s like, “he’s great, he’s cool, blah, blah, blah.” I want to know more about Rob Zombie. I want to know what he eats for breakfast. I want to know how many animals he has. Rob has a pug. He has a black pug. I was like, “oh my god! You have a pug?” That something I would never think Rob would have. This little, black, fat, old dog. I was like, “oh my god! Your dog is awesome! What’s your dog’s name?” His name is Dracula. I was like, “that’s the coolest!” It’s those things that I think people want to know. They want to know the real shit. They don’t want to know the shit that they keep reading about. I just want to give them something more. It’s going to be forever changing. Like a day in the life. I want to video tape myself going to premieres, and bring the fans along, and stream it live. I want to have podcasts. I want to bring my cameras on the set where no one else has access to. I want to do interviews that no one else can get. I want to be the Barbara Walters of this genre. It doesn’t exist. People like us don’t get asked those questions. If we do end up on Entertainment Tonight or 20/20, it’s usually a two minute blurb about how ‘Halloween’ is coming out this weekend, blah, blah, blah. We don’t really see that. It’s like this little world outside of the rest of the world. I don’t know? I just wanted to do something different.

I just saw the Rob Zombie interview on your myspace page.

It’s cool isn’t it? It’s stuff that no one really asks. I think that if I didn’t have a relationship with these people, it would be hard for me to come in and ask them some personal questions. I may get deep with some people that I know really well. I may ask them really personal stuff that they’ll feel comfortable talking to me about, that they may not feel comfortable talking to someone that they’ve never met before that they’re having a phone conversation with. I’m going to explore a whole bunch of different things. I am also fascinated by what my friends think. Quentin Tarantino is a good friend of mine. Eli Roth is another good friend of mine. We sit around and shoot the shit about movies. Quentin has turned me on to so many movies. He can talk about movies for days, obviously. He’s a big movie buff. Fans want to know what they would recommend. I just went and saw ‘Funny People’ the other day. I thought it was good, but it was really long and I didn’t know that it wasn’t a comedy. I think fans want to know from their favorite celebrity what they thought of something. It’s like why actors are now the faces of Maybelline and why they are doing Louis Vuitton campaigns. People want what they have. They want to buy what they have. They want to listen to their favorite celebrity versus some person they don’t know, a person they don’t have a connection with, someone that’s writing a review about something. If I get online and say, “oh my god, this movie was dope. You guys have to check it out,” they’ll probably go see it a little bit quicker, especially if it is in our world. Myself , as well as all of my friends are very opinionated because this is what we do for a living. I want to do a review. I want to do it on camera. My site is really geared towards a lot of video content. I’m not a writer. I don’t have any writers working for my site. It is one hundred percent me, with my video camera, and all of my friends. Whatever I can do to make this the coolest thing… It’s completely run by me. I am a one woman show right now. When it gets up and running, then I can have people coming in. If they want to know who’s doing what movie, they can go read Fangoria, they can go read Shock Till You Drop, they can go read Dread Central. They’ve got that base covered. I want to give them something else.

I am going to call your bluff. You were talking about wanting to get personal. What is a question you haven’t been asked in an interview?

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Oh my god. [laughs] I can give you the top ten things that I always get asked and everything else are things that I haven’t been asked. [laughs] No one ever gets personal with me. I am writing a book right now. My writer is a fan. Anytime anybody really sits down with me and has a conversation with me, they are like, “oh my god! I had no idea that this was like this, or that you thought like that, or that this was your childhood.” No one ever has any idea idea. I get asked all of the same stuff. I get asked was I scared growing up. How did I get started? Why do I like doing horror movies so much? What was Donald Pleasence like? What was Rob Zombie like? How tall am I? That’s usually one that’s in person. What did my mom think about me doing these movies? I get it. People do want to know. My stalker comes up every once in a while. Is that still an issue and what that was like? It’s kind of the norm, but what else do you talk about when you don’t know someone. That’s why by me knowing these people, I can ask them stuff that no one else really knows to ask.

What’s the biggest misconception about yourself?

Let’s see. I read my IMDB board, which I probably shouldn’t. I do so I know what people are talking about. For every not so nice fan I’ve got five hundred amazing fans that will go to battle for me any day. One of the things that always comes up that kind of upsets me is people are always like, “isn’t Danielle Harris tired of riding ‘Halloween’s’ coat tails? Can’t she do something else?” Of course I can. I’ve done more movies that are not horror. I’ve done more stuff that’s not in the horror genre than I have that’s in the horror genre. I can count on two hands how many horror projects I have done. I’ve been a working actor for twenty five years. It’s just so happens that this is the stuff that comes to me. I like to work. I keep living, so they keep coming back with ‘Halloween’ sequels. It’s not like I’m begging anyone for a role in ‘Halloween.’ They’re coming to me. They didn’t for Rob’s, but I wanted to work with Rob and I wanted to be a part of it. Not because I needed the money. Not because I needed to work. I work all the time. It’s genuinely what I like to do. I like this world. People are like, “oh, she’s just got to pay the bills or all of that.” There’s a movie I am probably going to get ready to do. It’s a five hundred thousand dollar budget movie. I was just actually talking about it. I’m getting paid nine hundred dollars a week. I don’t sell out in other words. I’m doing the movie because I think it’s a really great script and I would like to work with the actors that are attached. These guys made another movie two years ago that they did for five hundred thousand dollars that I just watched. I think it’s pretty cool. It’s a vampire movie. It’s not a slasher film. That’s something that I have not done yet. I would be pregnant and I would be shooting guns. These are all things that I think about when I’m reading a script. I’m like, “that’s badass! I get to be badass!” I think a role like that would be really fun. I think I want to go do that. So what that it will probably cost me money to go and do it, but it’s not about that for me. I just really like what I do.

You mentioned your book. Can you give us any information about that?

We’re just in the beginning stages right now. We’ve got a title. We kind of started thinking about it over the last couple of days. I’m not going to say what it is yet because it’s not definitely it. I think our goal is to have it out available in paperback probably by Comic-Con 2010, maybe 2011. It’s a big process. We probably have another six to nine months of writing to do before it’s done, then the publishing company will probably take a good six months to get it out. So it’s going to be a minute. It’s to sort of let everybody in on who I am, and what I have been through in my life, and my views and opinions of being a child actor. Like you asked me the same thing about how did I not end up like all of these other kids and my opinions on why they ended up the way they did. I’ve grown up with everybody in the business, so my story is about them and what it’s like to work, as well as a lot of my family stuff, which nobody knows. Really personal stuff. The story is geared towards women. This is a journey. This is someone that’s been through a lot in her life. I’m thirty two, but I’ve been through enough for five thirty two year olds. These are things that nobody knows. I really feel it’s time to shed the Jamie Lloyd child star persona and really let people know who I am and what I am about. I think it’s just kind of about that time.

danielleharris_interviewWhat can you tell us about ‘Prank?’

‘Prank’ started off as a really great idea. The producers said we’re doing an anthology and we know you want to direct and here’s a great opportunity and we would love for you to do this. I made a whole whopping one hundred dollars. Ellie Cornell is going to be doing one and Heather Langenkamp. They’re both my friends. I thought, “oh my god, that’s awesome!” It was chance to work with the Red camera that Sony makes. I’ve wanted to do that for a little while and sort of delve into the directing world. I thought that was the next step for me. I still think that’s probably a big possibility. I am looking to option horror scripts right now because I want to hire all my friends. I want to make it a big party basically. There’s tons of actors that are friends of mine that I’ve never gotten a chance to work with that I’ve always wanted to work with. So I can’t wait to be able to do that. We shot it over five days. I was able to hire some of my friends in the cast that I think are really talented. After we finished ours and it was edited, mixed, color corrected, and scored, they were supposed to start the other two, but they had a bit of an issue with financing. Everything was put on hold. The budget for the other two movies. I don’t really know exactly where they stand now. I keep saying, “hey, let’s just release it. I think ‘Prank’ is pretty good.” ‘Prank’ is just the name of the anthology and then each story is different. My particular ‘Prank’ is called ‘Madison’ because that’s the main character’s name in the movie. I thought, “let’s just do it!” I’ll probably put it out. I’ve been trying to sort of leak it so everyone can see it. I think that they would really like it. I think it really works best as an anthology because there is a through story. Just kind of by itself you’re like, “oh, that was good!” It’s better when the three of them are together. So everything went on hold. They haven’t even shot the other two. I know that they were shopping it around for a TV series. They were shopping it to do three ‘Pranks,’ so there would be nine female genre actresses that are now directing for the first time. That’s sort of the catch, that it’s first time directors that are famous genre actresses. They’re all women based stories. There are really no female directors in this genre. I don’t know of any. What got me excited about doing it was I really kept feeling like I was working on these low budget indie horror films that I thought would be really fun. There were a couple that ended up not being fun. It was mostly one in particular. I won’t say which one it was. It was mostly because I felt like the director just didn’t know what he was doing. The producers didn’t know what they were doing. I kept feeling like I am getting all of these movies, I’m getting hired for all of these two, three, five, six million dollar budget movies, and they’re coming up and asking me what they should do. I am watching them block the stuff, and cut the stuff, and set the stuff, and do all the stuff on set. I am like, “what are you guys doing? Let me help you.” I was able to sort of make those changes with them, which they loved. They’re like, “oh cool! You’ve done a lot of these! Please tell me any suggestions. I am all ears!” I thought, “god, why am I doing this? Why am I waiting for someone else to hire me when I can just do this myself? Why aren’t I directing?” I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve worked with some pretty amazing people. So I started directing theater. That was sort of what got me into it. I’ve always been sort of an actor’s director and I love other actor’s directors. I was like, “this is something that I really, really like.” I actually like directing more than I like acting. Believe it or not! I’m kind of a control freak, so that’s probably why I like directing. I am also responsible for the finished product. As an actor there are some movies that I have done that are just crap, but they started off great. The script was great. The cast was cool. I thought everything was going to be great. Then you see it and you’re like, “Oh god! Yikes!” I can only do my job and then after I’m wrapped it is not up to me what that movie comes out like.

Do you have an advice for anyone who would like to get involved in the film industry?

danielleharris-7As an actor I would say if you’re over twenty one, don’t bother. You’ve got a lot of competition. In this genre a lot of people are really creative. I see a lot of kids thirteen to nineteen make their own little short movies. I see a lot of them on You Tube. Really great special effects makeup and all of that. In this world I think you can kind of start at any age. I always say keep doing it. Do it yourself. You never know. You never know who is going to see it. Here you go. Here’s a great example. I am looking to option a horror script to direct, to hire my famous friends to be the actors. I can get financed. I can make your movie. Even if you are eighteen years old, if you’ve got a great idea for a horror script, all you have to do is give me a treatment. You can hire writers to write it. I’m not a writer, so I can’t write it. No matter who you are. You could be living in the middle of nowhere. You could be living in a tiny podunk town. You may have this great idea because you’re a fan and I may make your movie. So you never know. That’s going to be something I am going to offer on my site. Make it short and shoot a trailer. Get your video camera. It doesn’t take much. People have access to do it on their own now. I see stuff on You Tube all of the time. Get your friends, get your camera, go out, take a day, take two days, take a week, take a month. Make this your project. Be creative. Be passionate about something and put it on the internet. There’s your outlet. The internet is such an amazing outlet for creativity for kids and even for adults. People are sitting in their small towns, in their job that they hate, and they feel like they’re never going to get out. All they really wanted to do was live this dream that is totally unfulfilled. Well get off your lazy ass and go make a movie. You can do it. It’s not that difficult. It’s just about motivation. Hopefully people that read this article will listen to me and be motivated to get their ass off the couch and go make a movie because anyone can.

Do you have any last words?

Thanks for being so loyal and stay tuned. There’s a lot more of me to come.

Thanks for your time and best of luck!

Thanks guys! Have a good weekend!

Posted in Blog, Featured Stories, Interviews, Movies, TV and More!Comments (2)

‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ Remake Release Date Pushed Back

‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ Remake Release Date Pushed Back

The remake for ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ which was originally scheduled to hit theaters on April 16, 2010 has been delayed. The rebirth of this slasher franchise will now be released on  April 30, 2010.

The reasoning for the date which is simple according to Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes who recently told ShockTillYouDrop.com : “We’re all alone on that weekend. There were two other movies on the 16th. The 30th we’re all alone and that takes us into May.”

Last week, fans were treated to the first poster for the remake for ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ which you can out below and weigh in with your thoughts…

Directed by Samuel Bayer, the film stars Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Rooney Mara, Kellan Lutz, Katie Cassidy, Clancy Brown and Connie Britton.

a_nightmare_on_elm_street_poster

Source: IGN

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30 Years of Phantasm: An Exclusive Interview With Reggie Bannister

30 Years of Phantasm: An Exclusive Interview With Reggie Bannister

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Reggie Bannister is best known as the ice cream vendor extraordinaire from one of horror’s best loved franchises, but his story begins way before he captured the hearts and minds of horror fans around the world. This Long Beach, California native got his big break in show business when he met fledgling director Don Coscarelli in the early 1970s. Coscarelli cast Bannister in his directorial debut, ‘Jim, The World’s Greatest’ and again in his next feature ‘Kenny & Company’. The duo became fast friends and would team for a third time for what would become one of the most memorable and beloved horror films of all time, ‘Phantasm’. In the film, Bannister played “Reggie”, a guitar-playing ice cream man who, over the course of four films, would do battle with the forces of the Tall Man, a fleet of deadly of silver spheres, and other assorted demonic forces.

With a career spanning over forty years, Bannister has solidified himself as a legend in the horror industry and even earned the moniker of “The Hardest Working Man in Horror.” Aside from his successful career as a working actor, he runs a successful production company alongside his wife and is also an accomplished musician who has released six albums and fronts ‘The Reggie Bannister Band.’ As you can see, there is no slowing down the “Regman!”

Knowing that 2009 marks the thirtieth anniversary of ‘Phantasm’, Icon Vs. Icon‘s fearless reporter, Steve Johnson, was able to track down this horror icon for an exclusive interview. In the very in-depth interview, the pair discuss all aspects of Bannister’s very unique career in entertainment, his work with young filmmakers, his take on the state of the horror industry, and of course… all things ‘Phantasm!’

Where did you grow up?

Well, I’m not sure I ever grew up exactly. [laughs] I physically became an adult in Long Beach, California.

How did you first get involved in the film industry?

reggiebannister_1The thing is, I always knew who I was from the time I could start putting rational thought together. I always knew I was a singer. I knew music was in my future and I always knew I was an actor. From when I was a little kid in grammar school, I started acting in school plays and stuff like that. I stayed in theater arts throughout school all of the way to junior college, as well as music. I was always in choirs and stuff like that. The film thing came along in the 60’s after I was in a group called The Greenwood County Singers. We were very popular and were playing all kinds of places, and doing a lot of TV and stuff. Hullabaloo and the Hollywood Palace, these were all variety shows back in the day. We were working at Harris Club in Nevada and I was about twenty at the time, it was in the 60’s. My parents came up to see me do our thing, it was the ‘Andy Griffith Show,’ a variety show. Anyway, they brought my draft notice up. [laughs] So within a couple weeks I was gone. A year after that I was in Vietnam. I got out of there and got involved in a couple of other musical groups, and then ended up back at city college on the GI Bill studying theater arts. So I just kind of immersed myself in that because I really wasn’t crazy about the guy who was in charge of the music department, so I didn’t get into music at that point. I did a play. Actually it was a series of vignette, kind of short plays, that we did all as one thing. It was called ‘Circle Games.’ I got a call from a guy one morning who had seen me in that play. It turned out to be a guy named Paul Pepperman, who was a producer for Don Coscarelli. Don was shooting his first movie, it was called ‘Story of a Teenager.’ It starred Greg Harrison, who had just come over from Catalina to start his career. Angus Scrimm was in it, only his name was Rory Guy at the time. They needed some comedy relief at this particular point and they wrote this character, and they thought I would do very well at playing it. It was a character named O.D. Silengsly. Of course I had long hair at the time and I had to play this whacked out hang-glider pilot, who takes Greg and his younger brother on this little trip. Anyway, that was my first picture and it was with Don. My second picture was with Don and that was ‘Kenny & Company.’ My third picture was ‘Phantasm.’ Of course I kept playing music all through this period of time. That was mostly the way I made my money. So that’s the way the film thing started.

You are best known for your work in the ‘Phantasm’ series, how did you initially become involved with the project?

I had done Don’s first two pictures with him and we became real fast friends. He obviously saw that I was a chameleon [laughs] and had this range of characterization. One of the things he liked about me personally was that I am a very loyal person. So he wrote this character to be every guy’s guy, every man’s friend, the guy that would throw himself on the flames to the door of hell to save a friend. So we took that character and I took it and we talked it over. I kind of blew it out a little bit and made him kind of a characterization of me. That’s the way Reggie was born in the “Phantasm” series.

What did you think of the script when you first laid your hands on it?

reggiebannister_2Steve, I never had my hands on it. [laughs] I must tell you that I never really saw a script. It always seemed to me like we were flying by the seat of our pants, which was fun. We shot it over probably two and a half years because Don would rent the equipment on weekends. He’d rent it on a Friday and the deal was the equipment rental places were closed on Sunday, so you would get a free day [laughs] and you’d take it back on Monday. So we shot a lot of weekends and stuff. I would get these odd phone calls. I was actually running a club and playing in this club in Long Beach, and was actually the music director of the club as well. I’d get calls at the club and they’d go “hey, we need to shoot this stuff, we need to come by and get you after the club closes.” I’d go, “that’s two o’clock!” They’d go, “that’s ok, we just got to get you up in the mountains to shoot this scene.” That’s kind of the way the whole shoot went. When I would get to the location where we were shooting, Don would hand me what is called in the industry, sides, which is just the scene itself. I never saw it in the context of a whole story. It was always just sides. We’d talk it over and we’d go, “do you think Reggie would say this here, or how do you feel about this, or how do you feel about that?” We’d just kind of jam ideas. We shot it that way Steve. I honestly never saw a completed script. It was like falling in with your friends and you shoot this movie. That was ‘Phantasm.’

What was the atmosphere on the set like during the filming of ‘Phantasm?’

It was fun. For the most part, working with Don is like working with my brother. It’s pretty cool.

‘Phantasm’ is celebrating it’s thirtieth anniversary this year, when you started that project did you think that we would be sitting here years later discussing the impact that it had on fans around the world?

reggiebannister_3I probably didn’t flash on the reality of it, but I had a gut feeling about it. On the very last day I shot on ‘Phantasm,’ I had this kind of feeling. What’s funny, at the time acting was just fun and I’d have done it for nothing. I was making money playing music and stuff like that, and we were having a hoot doing this thing. I didn’t really have a deal with anybody in the production company about any money. I hadn’t seen a dime. Nobody had paid me anything. Nobody had told me about any money. A friend of mine who was a music manager at the time said, “Reg, you must be kidding me. You don’t know what you are getting out of this?” He goes, “let me write up something for you and you take it into the guys, they’re your friends right?” I say, “yeah!” He says, “take this in and you guys can sit down, talk about what you’re worth to the production, and stuff like that.” So I took it in and one of the producers had a cow. He just had a cow. He thought I was holding him up. I said, “well you know I’ve got this gut feeling about this picture. What if it goes out and does this money and becomes this big thing and instead of me for Reggie you want to get Jack Nicholson?” I actually said that! [laughs] He goes, “Argggggg!” So finally they came back, we made a deal, and I got my little pittance for doing the part. As far as the whole thing about being known around the world. The internet wasn’t in place at that time, so nobody had any clue how big a genre film could get in the world in term of consciousness, and who’s aware of it, and who is aware of the characters, and who is aware of me. That came as a real surprise. That probably came at a time I was in Baltimore. We were there with Bruce Campbell and a bunch of other great people. It was at Horrorfind. It might have been the second or third year that I was there and I was sitting there with some fans that loved the series and stuff. They were from maybe London, I am not sure, I can’t really recall. We were chatting and having a drink after the show. One of them said, “this is awesome, we’re sitting here, you know you’re an icon right?” I was fairly stunned. I thought about it and I went, “wow, I guess an icon is somebody that is very well known throughout the world for this, or that, or the other thing.” So I went, “wow, I guess that’s true.” [laughs] It really hit me like a ton of bricks to tell you the truth. Honestly, I really do think it’s because of the shared consciousness of the internet that I am in that position and I am totally grateful for everybody who digs anything I do. It’s kind of weird, but I guess that’s it.

It seems that you and the rest of the cast developed a real bond over the course of the films. How often do you all get a chance to see each other and is it as much of a brotherhood between the cast as it appears to us looking in?

I think we see each other more now and are in communication with each other more now than we were shortly after we finished any one given film. For example, this is the thirtieth year and we’ve done several reunion convention appearances. That’s been a lot of fun. We were just in Seattle at Crypticon. It’s a lot of fun when we get together. When we’re putting these things together, we connect with each other quite a bit as well. So yeah, I have seen everybody more in the last year than probably ever before. We do stay in touch.

How much input did you have in developing the character of Reggie?

Don wrote the framework for Reg and pretty much let me go crazy with it. That particular character is close to me. It’s been terrific the last four or five years. I have been able to stretch into characters that are so far away from the Reg character. It’s been gratifying as an actor to be able to play characters with dialects and actual accents and stuff like that. I have been able to do that and that’s really been terrific. Different looks, you know. Cut your hair and bleach your hair out, beards. It’s been a lot of fun as an actor the last few years. The Reg character is pretty close to me and I understand him. He’s like putting on an old comfortable sweater. I just got him. I got him where he’s at now. That’s another nice thing about the Reg character. He grew from the ice cream man until he comes to the point where he says “I got it, we’re gonna stick a stake through his goddamn heart.” At that point there’s a big change in the Reg character and of course in the second picture, he builds the four barrel and all bets are off at that point. He just gets badder and badder as he goes, which is a lot of fun. One of my favorite genres is action and Reg gets a lot of action these days. [laughs] It’s fun.

You did much of your stunt work for the film, what was that like for you? Was that intimidating starting out?

reggiebannister_4

No, actually I am a pretty physical guy and I always have been. I always liked hitting the gym. I did that for years and years. I played basketball. I started playing park ball, which is pretty physical. You never know who you are going to play. They knock you on your ass. There’s no rules or no refs out there. [laughs] So, I played a lot of park basketball for years, and years, and years. In fact, I played a little bit this last year, just fooling around a bit. I live in the mountains now, so I do a lot of hiking around. Everything is either up or down here. [laughs] So I go out on six or seven mile hikes. Go around our lake and come back. I’ll do that three to five times a week. So I am pretty physical, always have been, and always have embraced doing stunts. As a matter of fact, there is one stunt I really wanted to do in ‘Phantasm III.’ It’s when we go into my pad and I’ve got the shotgun. There’s somebody sitting in the chair, it turns around, and its Jody. He says a few things to us and then I see a light in the hallway. I turn around with the gun and for some unknown reason I can’t pull the trigger on the tall man. He’s walking right straight towards me. I’m kind of amazed by him, to actually see him. He lifts an eyebrow or whatever and I go flying up into the wall. When I first read it, I went, “I can do this.” I saw the call sheet and it called for this stunt guy named Gunther to do the stunt. John Stewart was our stunt coordinator on that. I was kind of upset and knew I could do that stunt. I walked up to Don and I said, “Don, we’re not going to need Gunther for this shot, I can do this. I can throw myself really hard into that back wall, just give me some back pads.” Don being the consummate director goes, “Oh, you can do it?” [laughs] It’s always nice to be able to sell the gag with your lead actor with his or her face right in the shot. I said, “no I can do it. If I bend my knees, I can throw it into the wall. I know I can. I can probably about get five feet up the wall and slide down.” He goes, “ok, well if you can convince John Stewart.” I said, “sure, I’ll go talk to John.” So I go talk to John and I go, “John, I can do this stunt man.” He looks at me and goes, “Reg, you’re not doing it.” I went, “John, I can do it. I can throw myself up there. I will sell this gag, I guarantee it.” John says, “you’re not doing it Reg.” Of course I say, “why?” He goes, “well what we’re going do, we’re going to use a shock chord.” A shock chord is when they put a harness on the actor and they cut their wardrobe in the back, and a line comes out from that. The line goes up over a pulley twenty feet high and then you get two big grips on the other end. At the right time they yank you backwards. I have worn the shock chord before in the first picture when I touch the two poles and I get jerked back. I kind of understand how it works. It can be very dangerous. For one thing, if you’re going to land on the floor or you’re on a pad, you can’t throw your arms back or you could break your wrists. The natural thing is to want to throw your arms back when you’re being jerked backwards. It turns out that they wanted me to fly like ten feet up onto the wall or twelve if they could get me that high. I went, “really?” He goes, “yeah!” I say, “well you better get Gunther suited up!” [laughs] Anyway, it was Gunther that did that gag because I wasn’t really ready for that one.

Did you hang on to any movie memorabilia from the film?

Don has the guns. He has the stunt and the hero. The stunt gun doesn’t fire. Usually you have two weapons. You have a weapon that your actor carries all the time and then you have one that gets loaded and goes off. You don’t want that being carried all of the time because something could go wrong. He’s got both of those. I kept a couple pieces of wardrobe here and there that I thought were cool and he let me keep them. No I don’t have anything like that from the actual film. So anyway, Don’s got them.

You wife, Gigi, is a special effect artist. How did you two first meet?

reggiebannister_5We met right around ’93 or ’94. We had just done ‘Phantasm III.’ As you know, ‘Phantasm II’ and ‘Phantasm III’ were both Universal pictures. They gave ‘Phantasm II’ a pretty nice release, something like 2,200 to 2,300 theaters and pumped it up the week before it was released. That was good. When ‘Phantasm III’ came out, evidently there was some bad blood between the producers at Universal and Don. I think really what it was, was his independent spirit. He is a very independent guy, obviously. [laughs] Anybody that’s connected with “Bubba Ho-Tep” for example is pretty independent, or even the ‘Phantasm’ series, or any of the other stuff that he’s done. Evidently there was something going on, some politics or whatever. They wouldn’t release ‘Phantasm III’ theatrically, even though MCA Home Video, which was their home video subsidiary, wanted a theatrical release. As a matter of fact, they put up about 25,000 dollars to take the film out on a test run and put it in theaters unannounced, and see how it did, and do questionnaires afterwards. It did very, very, well. I was upset because it wasn’t going to get a theatrical and they were just sticks in the mud about it. I was upset. I thought if it is going to go out just as a video, it’s just going to show up on shelves in video stores around the country and no one is going to know it is there. I thought, well I’ve got to get out and talk about this picture because I think this picture is great. I was talking to a friend of mine one day, Michael Berryman. I was telling Michael about this and how pissed off I was. He goes, “you know what, I have been working with these two gals who have this group of actors that they take out and they do live events and do conventions and stuff, like sci-fi and horror conventions. You could get out and talk about this movie.” I went, “wow, that’s really cool!” He goes, “I tell you what, here’s the number of one of the gals. Her name is Gigi.” He gave me her number. I immediately called her and I said, “You don’t know me, my name is Reggie Bannister and I just did this movie called ‘Phantasm,’ blah, blah, blah.” I want to get out and talk about it. Can I be a part of your group of actors that goes out and talks about it?” She goes, “oh yeah!” I say, “ok, just as a precursor to the whole thing, they are going to show ‘Phantasm’ at the Sci-Fi and Horror Academy this weekend, would you like to meet me there and we can watch it together, and you can see what I am talking about?” So I met her and her partner at the time. Their company was called Production Magic. So we hit it off. I liked what they were doing and I wanted to help them with it because I am kind of an organizer myself. So I got involved in organizing these events with them and showing up and appearing at them. All kinds of actors and stuff would show up. Long story short, we stayed in communication from a business standpoint and then several years later that we hooked up as a couple. The other partner dropped out of the relationship and she and I started, incorporated here in the State of California, Production Magic, Inc. So that’s what we do now. We have certain production services that we can provide. We are a sweat equity production company. I do my acting and my music. We do live events. We just did a live event here in our small mountain community over the 4th of July weekend, a three day event, that brought about 10,000 people up here. My band flew in from Pittsburgh and we played all three days. It was a lot of work for us, but it was a lot of fun. So, we do that as well. We’re just kind of involved in making things happen.

You work with many film students and up-and-coming filmmakers. What is it like for you to work alongside these folks?

It’s been a mixed bag Steve. There’s a lot of young filmmakers or first time filmmakers and stuff. If they’re fortunate enough to come up with the money to make a film and they have a great script, they have a great story, they have three dimensional characters. If they have the money to do it and they send me the script, I look at it and if I see myself in the character that they see me in, we start talking. Then we get our financial thing figured out. A lot of times we figure Gigi into the factor because if they don’t have a lot of money, we can do a little package deal. Here’s Reg and Gigi, he’ll do the acting and I’ve even helped her with special effects. I’ve got a couple of special effects credits actually. I’d finish off my character in five days or whatever and then she’d be there for the rest of the shoot, so I’d help her and actually direct the special effects scenes and make sure that the safety was taken care of. We’re very indie minded people. The mixed bag comes in with the director. The director is god, but there are times when god needs to listen to man. [laughs] Sometimes young directors don’t want to listen to me, who has been doing this for forty years. Sometimes they won’t listen. We’ve had one pretty bad experience with one young director, well actually a couple. One of them had to do with the shoot at the time. They didn’t understand rules of the game. You can’t work an actor for sixteen hours, give them a two hour turn around, and expect them to come back and do their deal. That’s just not right. No matter what I could say to this one young director, he just kept doing stuff like that. I actually walked off the set one time and I was the assistant director as well. These are just mistakes of never having done it before and not having your ego under control to the point where you can listen to somebody that may know what they are talking about.

reggie2Another time, we had a piece that we really loved and became associate producers on it. I also assisted the direction of that. A young, first time filmmaker. These guys are nice guys by the way. There was nothing personal in any this. They just couldn’t get it somehow. Another problem is when you get a cut back of the film and it doesn’t even look like the film you shot because the guy doesn’t know how to edit, the sound sucks, or whatever. There’s been a few of those experiences. On the other hand, there’s been experiences with young first time directors where you could see their heart was in the right place. They listened to us and they really wanted the best project they could create. I have faith in those projects, that they will find something. We did a picture in 2004 or something called ‘Song of the Dead.’ It is just a wacky zombie musical. I thought, god this is great, and oh by the way, I get to play the President of the United States. I get to sing the President of the United States. So we did it and I thought this is a really fun project. They sent me the project and it was cut together well. The acting was pretty much as I expected it to be, which really kind of fit the whole atmosphere of the piece. The cabin in the woods, everybody meets, and now the zombies want to eat you, but they’re singing and they’ve got choreography. At the time I thought this was a great little piece and I sure hope they get something and it gets distributed somewhere. They showed it to Don Coscarelli and he loved it. As you probably know, a company called Monarch Pictures picked that up this year and gave it a limited theatrical release in the mid-west and south. It went to DVD first in Europe and now I think it is on DVD here. That’s a little picture that was a great joy to make with first time filmmakers and it went out and found its little niche. I think everybody should watch it personally. [laughs] It depends on who you are working with and if they can accept criticism and get into creative jams with you without thinking that it is criticism or feeling like you are putting them down or something. If they are open, its a really great experience. I did one with a guy named Duane Stinnett called ‘Gangs of the Dead.’ It was a lot of fun man. Duane was great to work with. This little picture that he spent everything he had, but it really in the end wasn’t much money, has been on cable for like four years. Unbelievable! It was on pay per view for a year and a half and now it has started showing up on regular cable, Sci-Fi or whatever is going on. So there’s and opportunity and that’s what gives you the faith to want to go out and stretch into these young indie, first time filmmakers. Every once in a while man, it just goes bam! You can really feel proud of it and you feel proud for them. We still do it and we aren’t going to stop doing it. I’m going to work on a trailer for a thing that I read three years ago.

My Fed Ex guy, [laughs] who delivers to my place here in the mountains said “hey, me and some friends wrote this script.” I read it and it is really good. It’s called ‘Floaters.’ It’s about out of body experience and stuff like that. They wanted to come and meet with me to get my take on it. I gave them my take on it, my positive criticism, and what it would take to get it off the ground. Don’t you know that just today, Danny came to my door and he didn’t have any Fed Ex with him. He wanted to talk to me because they got up some money and they want to shoot a two to three minute trailer. They want me involved in it. It’s exciting to think that after all of these years they’re still on it. These are like hounds from hell. Independent filmmakers, the hounds of hell. They do not give up and this is a perfect example. So we are probably going to shoot that in August and I am looking forward to it. I am talking to some other guys right now that are young, good, independent filmmakers. We’re going to be shooting probably between September and maybe August. In the spring and summer of next year we’re going to be shooting probably three films. Two with this one group of young filmmakers and one with another group. It’s a joy. In the end, it’s a joy. It’s a mixed bag sometimes, but out of all of the experiences I have had with first time filmmakers, there’s only been a couple that I was kind of disappointed in the end result.

You mentioned special effects. Which do you prefer, old school make-up and blood or CG?

phantasm_2_poster_01It all depends really. I prefer in camera stuff. If you go back to “Phantasm,” how do you make this ball fly through the air without going CGI. If you recall in the first picture, there’s this one shot of the ball flying down a mausoleum hallway. You see the ball and then you see the hallway. You can see pretty much that the ball is standing still and the hallway is moving. [laughs] The first CGI was really pretty much superimposition, where they would superimpose an image on another image, or stop motion animation like ‘King Kong,’ ‘Mighty Joe Young,’ or ‘Godzilla.’ Name a monster movie. That was a stop shot thing that they did with these actual little model creatures. For the most part, the ‘Phantasm’ stuff has been in camera. The spheres and anything that goes on. In part IV I am in the motel room and the sphere comes and nails my hand to the wall. I grab the tuning fork and I hit it and I bring it up to the sphere and it explodes in my hand. They actually put a charge in my hand and it was a little too heavy. I actually burned my hand on that one, but it looked dynamite in camera. [laughs] Having said that, in “Phantasm IV” as well, there’s a scene up front in the montage where you see spheres coming around a corner of the mausoleum. That was CGI. I found that when I was working on a music video for my album “Love That’s Gone.” We were up in a studio in Orange County, California and it was a studio that had a lot of different things going on it it. I was in a music section of the studio where I could do film and music editing. So, we were working on the ‘Love That’s Gone’ video and somebody came up and said there’s a guy downstairs that’s a big fan of ‘Phantasm’ and would really love to meet you and would really love to show you something. So I went downstairs and it was this guy who worked in the CGI shop downstairs. So I met him and he showed me this rough draft of these spheres coming around the corner of the mausoleum walls and coming right into the camera. I went, “wow! that’s really cool!” He goes, “oh really, you like it?” I go, “yeah, that’s really bitchin’!” Fast forward a little bit. I went to work on some ADR with Don or just to go see some of the editing stuff he put together and that was in Santa Monica, just outside of the airport. I was watching some stuff and I said, “by the way Don, we found a guy that does really great CGI. He’s a fan and he did the sphere and stuff. He showed us this little clip and it’s really bitchin’.” He goes, “really?” I go, “yeah, do you want to talk to him?” He goes, “awwww man, we’re a little over budget and I don’t have any money.” Gigi goes, “Don, do you want the spheres or not?” Oh, I know what he did! The guy burned me a tape. We showed it to Don and Don went, “wow! that’s really cool!” Gigi goes, “Don, do you want it or not?” He goes, “well yeah!” She immediately called the shop and they said, “we can make some sort of a deal, what can you guys come up with?” It wasn’t much, but we got it. So that CGI worked really well. CGI has come a long, long way and there’s certain times when CGI can really work well. For the most part, I love to see it happen in camera. I hate to keep bending your ear like this, but it’s an exciting aspect of film making. In camera gags, CGI gags, or whatever. In ‘Phantasm’ for example, Kerry Prior did the spheres. He took care of the spheres in ‘Phantasm III’ and ‘Phantasm IV’. He’s very, very creative. He also did the scarabs in “Bubba Ho-Tep.” He’s a very terrific guy to work with and a very nice guy. Like I was mentioning the superimposition of a sphere on a wall that’s going past in the background, the sphere just kind of hanging there and you can see that. Instead of doing something like that when you want to see the sphere flying down the hallway and you see the mausoleum wall with the crypts in the background and it’s moving forward, towards somebody. In ‘Phantasm IV’, he built this clear plastic frame that attached to the camera lens. There was a half a sphere that fit into that frame, right in front of the camera lens. So you turn the camera towards the wall of the mausoleum and then you get about three big grips pushing this dolly while you’re burning film. You see the sphere physically, in the camera, moving down the hallway. Then he had a little radio controlled motor on it and at a certain point Don would go “ok, blades!” This thing is flying down the hallway, seemingly on its own because it is in clear plexiglas and all of a sudden you see the blades go boom! You see that! In camera! Go back to ‘Phantasm IV’ and you’ll see it. It was either III or IV, I can’t remember. In camera stuff is always preferable if you can do it and if you can’t do it, CGI has gotten to the point where it is acceptable in my estimation.

What is your feeling on this latest trend in Hollywood of remaking movies and how do you feel about the modern day horror film?

Lets go to the beginning. One of the first films that was ever shot was ‘Nosferatu,’ which was 1909 or 1912, somewhere in there. It’s a vampire film. Horror was really a foundational genre and concept in film making, period. In the 30’s and 40’s, Universal Studios was going down the tubes. What saved their ass? Horror. ‘Dracula’ and ‘Frankenstein,’ they captured the imagination of the world, that these creatures could actually exist and you could see them on the screen. Wow! How cool is that! Saved Universal’s ass! Having said that, the big studios have always treated horror like a stepchild. Like it wasn’t really a legitimate genre or like it wasn’t really legitimate pictures. They can’t deny how much money a particular franchise has made. ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ ‘The Hills Have Eyes,’ whatever. Name something that has been remade. They can’t deny that and at the same time they understand a particular truth. With every decade you have new, young consciousness that has never seen the original of almost anything. So their idea is that if the original stone in the quiet pool created this kind of a ripple effect and made this kind of money, let’s take that original stone and put some kids in it and capture this new audience and then we’ll start off with more sequels from there.

phantasm3posterFrom a business standpoint it’s pretty clever. From an artistic standpoint, it stinks. From a creative standpoint, it stinks. Steve, I am reading scripts. As I mentioned, there’s three films that I am looking at that are going to shoot between September and next spring. I tell you man, these scripts are really good. One of them is almost sci-fi, but it has its little horrific spin on it and it’s so twisted. In terms of the characters, they’re three dimensional, it causes the person that’s seeing this go down to have a reaction if a character gets killed. Either you go, “yeah!” or you go, “awww man, they killed that character!” You care about the characters and you wonder where they’re going and how this story is spinning out. This one is called ‘Give War A Chance.’ [laughs] I looked at the title and went, “ok” and then I read it and went, “this is a great fucking script!” Another one from the same guys is called “After Dark.” It’s also a great, dark, twisted script with three dimensional characters. I am really looking forward to working on these projects because they are so good. The studios will spend millions and millions of dollars on remakes, rehashes of old stories and ignore great scripts like I am reading and projects that I am involved in. There’s one that I think is going to be out this year called ‘Walking Distance.’ We shot it last year. Mel House was the writer/director. He’s a terrific creative mind and a really terrific director. It’s just a whacked out script. It gets you involved. The characters are so diverse and it leads you into a story where you are sitting there at the end going, “I don’t know man, what did I just go through?” and wondering if it could actually happen or if it isn’t happening somewhere in the world. I think it is going to be a great film. I have seen three trailers for it and it just kicks ass. There’s all this great stuff out there, why aren’t the studios spending millions of dollars on that? Again, it goes back to the history of the genre. They treat it like it’s not legitimate, it’s not mainstream. I think it is mainstream because everybody gets scared right? Everybody likes a good scream on a roller coaster. Everybody has fun doing it, they pay money to do it. In terms of remakes, that’s my impression and that’s my opinion of what’s going on.

‘Phantasm V’ is obviously on the minds of all the fans of the series. What can you tell us about that?

Thirty years into the franchise, we feel positive about some stuff that has been thrown around today. There has been talk of possibly doing something this year with the series. That would be really great. At this point, I really have nothing to report. We would love to give it a send up and I think we need to do it sooner than later, for some obvious reasons. I can’t really report on anything today.

What can fans your fans catch you in next?

phantasmIVI don’t have a release date for the things that are coming up this year. There are several things coming up. ‘Walking Distance’ is going to get a release sometime either this year or early next year. There’s another picture called ‘Satan Hates You.’ Angus is in that as well. Larry Fessenden is in it. Michael Berryman is in it. A lot of good people are in it. I understand that it is going to be released sometime in the first quarter of next year. There’s another “mainstream” picture that we shot up here where I live, up in the mountains, called ‘Small Town Saturday Night.’ I am in that, but we also provided a lot of production services for that project. We found all of the locations. There were over thirty locations, which for a low budget picture is a lot of moving around. Obviously, we found them at a real decent price or they wouldn’t be able to afford thirty plus locations. We contributed a lot to the production. Like I said, I am in it. Gigi has a little cameo in it as a matter of fact. The project features a lot of good actors. John Hawkes, Chris Pine, Robert Pine, Lin Shaye are in it. Of course Chris is now Captain Kirk. We just had a cast and crew screening on that picture about two months ago. I was talking to Chris and I went, “dude, are you having people jumping out of bushes with cameras?” and he goes, “yeah.” I go, “well, I really kind of like my level of celebrity dude. I said, “I live in a small mountain community and everybody kind of knows me, but nobody is all over me and I don’t have to live in a compound or put walls up all around me, but you may want to buy an island somewhere in the Bermudas. He goes, “I know man.” Chris is a very fine actor and I hope now that he is Captain Kirk, people go back and look at some of the other stuff he has done. He was in “Smokin’ Aces.” He was great in ‘Smokin’ Aces.’ He was in ‘Just My Luck,’ the Lindsay Lohan movie. He was great in that. For a young guy, he embraces character parts. I think it is because of the way he was brought up with his dad and his dad has always been a character actor. He’s a terrific actor and he has his head really screwed on tight, which made me feel good because he was all of a sudden catapulted into this part and into this kind of situation that he is now dealing with. I was a little concerned about it, but after talking to him at this cast and crew screening, he’s good for it. He’ll do great at whatever he does. I would think that that would find distribution sometime probably sooner than later, just due to the cast. There’s another one called ‘Text’ that I think would find distribution fairly soon.

I did a really wacky picture with Joe Estevez. Joe and I are good friends and when we get together on camera, it’s a pretty special time. It was called ‘Doctor Spine.’ It’s just a wacky story about a guy who fixes backs and how he ends up being a serial killer. Joe and I exist in his mind. I exist as a character that he read about when he was a boy in an adventure series. I wear an eye patch and I have an English accent. I am this adventurous guy. Joe plays his deceased father who is also a serial killer. I don’t want to tell you too much about it because hopefully it will get out and everybody will have fun with it and not know too much about it before they go into the theater. It’s funny stuff. So yeah, I’ve got some stuff that’s kind of in the tube. This year or early next year should be happening. There’s another thing I did this year for Mary Lambert from ‘Pet Sematary’ and Elizabeth Stanley, who is the producer. She’s got this thing called ‘The Dark Path Chronicles’ already on the internet. They are really smart, young vampire story kind of things put to music. I don’t think there is any one that is more than about five or six minutes. They’re really kind of like vampire music video things. Very smart story. She wanted to expand it into more like thirty minute segments and/or possible shoot a feature on it. So I did about a fifteen or twenty minute segment with her. My character organizes the vampires in L.A. I am kind of like the godfather of the vampires, which was a fun part because I’ve never got to play a vampire. She really let me have my way with him. So that was a lot of fun. You can look for that. You can go see what she’s already got up over on fearnet.com.

We’ve seen you at a lot of conventions. Do you enjoy getting out and meeting your fans?

Yeah! Like I said, that all really started in ’93 or ’94 when I met Gigi. What I said about ‘Phantasm III’ started to become the rule of law with horror films. Unless the studios were behind them and spent millions and millions of dollars on them, they just kind of showed up. You didn’t hear about them, unless it is like ‘The Orphan.’ They’re really promoting that now and I am sure there was a lot of money spent on that, and there was a big studio behind that. That’s why it’s out there. I’ll go and see it and we can talk about it later. [laughs] There’s a lot more stuff that goes direct to video and a lot of stuff I have done over the years has been in that bag. ‘Song of the Dead’ got a limited theatrical release. ‘Gangs of the Dead’ has been all over cable. ‘Fallen Angel’ got a limited theatrical release and has been on cable. Most of everything just ends up on video store shelves or on Amazon. Mostly on the internet is where people get their stuff now. You have to get out there and talk about it or people are not going to know about it. They’re just not. So, I am dedicated to that. I am an unabashed p.r. guy for my own stuff because I think it is good stuff and if I didn’t think it was good stuff, I wouldn’t talk about it. The conventions are not only opportunities for me to talk about the stuff that’s out there that I am involved in, it’s also an opportunity for me to meet the fans. Like I said before about the icon trip. If somebody loves my stuff so much that they’ll pay to come and see me at a convention, then I want to sit and talk to them. I treat everybody like family and they dig that. So they’re going to go out when I tell them I’ve got this going on and I’ve got this going on, they’re going to check it out. So I am just kind of like a one man p.r. machine.

How did music first come into your life?

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Like I said before, I always knew I was going to be a musician and an actor. I just always knew. Having said that, I have the same emotions as every normal human being. I wanted to have a family. I wanted to have love in my life. I just wanted all of that. I grew up with “Leave it to Beaver” and stuff like that. [laughs] I always knew that that was going to happen too. If you look at where I started year-wise in film and how much film I did at certain times, you’ll see that there are periods of time where I couldn’t do a lot of films. I couldn’t get myself out there to audition or do a lot of stuff like that because I had to take care of my family. I had to raise my children and stuff like that. So, I had to do a lot of day jobs. I did everything from drive a taxi in Long Beach to being a mason’s tender in Orange County area of California. Mason’s tender by the way is a brutal job. I was in sales and marketing for night reuters newspapers for several years. I was a shipping manager in charge of a shipping department for a high end furniture store for a lot of years. Having said that, music has been a constant thread through my life. For one thing, it was the thing that made me a lot of money early on in my life. All of the way through college I was in musical groups. I was in choirs. We did everything from classic Bach and Beethoven, to gospel, to Americana. At about fifteen years old I picked up a guitar and learned how to play guitar to accompany myself. I was a singer, but I always figured if I wanted to sing something that somebody didn’t know, that would be a drag. I wouldn’t be able to do it, so I knew I had to defend my voice. So, I picked up guitar. It was totally out of self defense.

I auditioned for a group called The Young Americans shortly after I picked up guitar and knew about three chords. I was a founding member of The Young Americans. We went out and I did that for probably a year. We went out and did TV stuff and live appearances. We did a Bing Crosby special back in ’62, I guess. I started playing folk clubs around Long Beach and started making a few bucks doing that because The Young Americans didn’t really pay anything. It was kind of a volunteer thing, you just showed up and did your deal. Then a friend of mine that I was playing music with, Tom Robbins, who’s nephew is Tim Robbins, knew some guys that I had always admired and I had seen in the coffee house circuit. A couple of guys named Carson and Van Dyke Parks. They were called the Steeltown Two. I always loved them and never really knew them that well, but Tom knew them pretty well. They were starting a group for a record company. They already had the guarantee that if they put this large folk group together because the Christy Minstrels had just come out and had a very popular start to their career. Cap Records in New York wanted to put a big folk group together and they trusted this guy named Terry Gilkyson. He used to write music for Disney. He was a folk writer. They trusted him and he trusted Carson and Van Dyke to put a group together from L.A. They put out a very specific call through certain people that they knew. One of them was Tom. They wanted to get people in to look at this music and sing it down and see how they felt about this guy, that guy, or that guy. I had been in choir so I could read music pretty well. They liked me. They liked my voice. I loved them. They liked Tom. So Tom and I became founding members of The Greenwood County Singers. We did an album within a couple of weeks of deciding who was going to be in the group. There were six of us. There were a couple of chicks and four guys. We did a piece of music called “The New Frankie and Johnny,” which was a ragtime piece that a guy who used to illustrate for Playboy magazine wrote with another guy named Bob Gibson. We put that song on the album and released it as a single and it was a big hit. It went to like number four on the Billboard Top 10.

reggiebannister_7One album followed another and we ended up doing four albums between ’63 and ’66. We did a lot of TV. We did the Hollywood Palace with George Burns and Wayne Newton and a bunch of other people. We did a lot of local TV. We worked with Stevie Wonder. We did some Lake Tahoe stuff at the casinos. We went on tour with Robert Goulet. We did a Red Skeleton show. We did a Hullabaloo with Sonny and Cher and The Rolling Stones and a bunch of other people there. It was a very successful group. I made a lot of money with those guys, just in appearance money. Steve Martin used to open for us. He played banjo and stuff. Jen Denver used to open for us. I made a lot of money on music. I got through the draft situation, came back, and I was in a group called Stone Country. Steve Young was in that group. He wrote some stuff for The Eagles. Before I got drafted, I met Steve Stills through Van Dyke Parks and we were thinking about putting a group together. Van Dyke Parks wrote a bunch of stuff for the Beach Boys and was involved in Brian Wilson’s last album. For a little color, when I was in The Greenwoods we used to party with The Righteous Brothers, Jackie DeShannon, The Byrds, and stuff like that. It was a lot of fun. Anyway, back to Stone Country. I was them for about a year or so. We worked with Carol Channing in Vegas and we did some more TV. There were a lot of variety shows in those years. A friend of mine named Jim Gallagher, who I had been in the army with, was a great guitar player. We had a little group in the army. We had been playing together with some others guys and we sounded really good. I was writing all of the music for them. Jim said he knew a guy up in Utah, up in Salt Lake City. He called and said he was a “wealthy hippie.” [laughs] This guy had told James that if you run into a bunch of guys in L.A. and you feel good about the group, come up here and I’ll outfit you, meaning that he would pay for all of the amps and all of the gear and equipment. So we moved up to Salt Lake City and started a group called Jamie Rush. We played at a place called The Old Mill just outside of Salt Lake City. It was a really neat, big, giant place. It had been an old logging mill. So we became the band for the old mill. We worked there for about a year. We opened for The Animals there. I left there, that’s when I came back to Long Beach. The group fell apart. I was very disappointed. I fell into the theater thing, but I was still playing. I played in a group called The Good Band. We called it The Good Band because it was so damn good we didn’t know what else to call it. I wrote pretty much most of the music for that as well. Then I fell into a thing with a guy named Dennis DeCastro, who is one of the most powerful singer/songwriters I have ever known. We became DeCastro and Bannister. We were working steady in the Long Beach area. We were working like four to five nights a week and then we would do concerts sometimes on the side. Get a drummer and bass player and do concerts. As a duo, we were really powerful. We did a concert at the Shrine Auditorium with Steppenwolf and Iron Butterfly. Real rich musical history. It’s funny because everyone knows me from the film thing, but I’ve worked with icons in music. Nobody really is kind of hip to that.

How did you first assemble The Reggie Bannister Band?

That was kind of a trip. All of my bands have been a trip. It was like, talk to a friend and they would go, “hey man, I know this guy that’s really, really good and I think you guys would sound good together.” All of a sudden then I had The Good Band. With Dennis DeCastro, I was running this music club in Long Beach down in Belmont Shore. It was called the West Coast Bodega. This was in the 70’s. I had guys like Vince Gill coming in on the open mic nights, then I’d hire him to come in during the rest of the week. I’d be playing there as well. Vince was living in Huntington Beach or Hermosa Beach or something. He was just kind of starting to find himself and figure out who he was. Gene Taylor from Canned Heat would come in and bang on the keyboards. Steve Gillette would come in. That’s the kind of atmosphere it was. There was another little bar just a few doors down. I think it was called the Bayshore Saloon. Somebody said, “hey man, you gotta go see this guy Dennis DeCastro. He’s fucking great!” I went, “ok.” So I would take a break and I would run down to the Bayshore Saloon. I’d sit there and listen to Dennis and kind of sing with him from my stool at the bar, and realized that we would sound great together. I approached him and we started DeCastro and Bannister, which lasted for like four years. This is all by way of saying, I’m sitting on my deck one day in 2004, 2005, 2006. Somewhere in there. [laughs] I come out here in the summer to study scripts. I was looking at a script. I was looking at a character and I was working it, and stuff like that. I had the door open to the house. Our office is upstairs and Gigi comes down the stairs and says, “hey Reg!” I go, “yeah, yeah.” She goes, “I just had this weird phone call. It’s this guy in Pittsburgh and his name is Scarfo.” I go, ok.” She goes, “he’d like you to come out to Pittsburgh. He has a music bar called The Smiling Moose in Pittsburgh. He’d like you to come out this October. He’s a drummer and he’s got a bunch of musician friends. He’d like you to come out and play and get to know ya. He’ll pay for you to come out and if you want to make a few bucks on the side, you can sell some merch and stuff like that.” I went, “what did you say his name was?” She goes, “Scarfo.” I said, “what did you say the name of the club was.” She goes, “The Smiling Moose.” I said, “call him and work it out!” [laughs] I couldn’t resist. I think I first asked her if we had anything going on during that weekend or whatever. So I went out there and I met Mike Scarfo. He’s a great guy and a great drummer. He comes out of metal and scatter-punk and stuff like that. Then I met one of his friends who plays bass and came out of the same bag, Paul Miser. We got together and played. I ran down some of the stuff that I like to play and they dug it. So it just kind of happened like that Steve. It was just kind of a weird experience, like all of my putting band together experiences are. We just decided to call it the Reggie Bannister Band. It seemed simple and to the point. Of course they were into scatter-punk and metal, so I decided to do an acoustic album with them. [laughs] It turned out great. So the “Naked Truth” was born. I just went crazy with the album. I did an eight panel digipak. I decided to do a DVD as well since I had the eight panel digipak. The DVD has “Love That’s Gone,” the video I was telling you about. The buffalo video. It is very tough to watch by the way, but everybody needs to see it because it’s a slaughter going on in Montana of the buffalo or the American bison. So that’s on the DVD. Some behind the scenes stuff is on the DVD. It’s really good stuff. If anybody wants to check it out, they can check it out on cdbaby.com. Both of my albums are on cdbaby.

For those who might not have had the chance to check out your music, how would you best describe it?

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In one word. It’s eclectic. I have been doing this, it’s been my life for a long time. I have been influenced by everything that’s happened since we did Bach. That guy died 360 years ago or something like that, but I was influenced by that. The folk thing influenced me incredibly. That was my first really professional experience in music. That turned into more like a folk rock, which kind of went into country rock. You get into The Eagles, then you get into other facets of that and various artists. There’s various things that I have really enjoyed throughout. I had a lot of fun with funk at one point. On my first album, I’ve got a song called “She Does It Real Good,” that’s just funky as hell. Some of this stuff is making it’s way into the movies that I have been doing. There’s a movie called ‘The Quiet Ones'” that they’re still in post on. There’s a couple of my tunes that they wanted in that. I mentioned ‘Text.’ There’s a couple of my tunes that they wanted in that. So I’d say it’s eclectic. The “Naked Truth” is really all acoustic, but it get very rocky and folky. Most of the songs on both of my albums is stuff that I wrote. I’ve got a song on my first album and a song on my second album that Dennis DeCastro wrote. I just love his stuff. There’s a song on my second album called ‘Love at the Five and Dime.’ It’s a Nanci Griffith song. This artist named Kathy Mattea had a hit on it in ’93. It’s just a great story. It’s kind of a folk, country thing. If you go to cdbaby.com, you can listen to snippets of stuff. You can buy downloads of stuff or you can by albums themselves. You can see where my head is at musically. It’s a rich musical history that I have drawn from and that’s what I write. I think people will dig it.

What is the typical songwriting process like for you?

I don’t really have a typical songwriting process, unless I am constrained to compose something for a film. If that’s the case, I sit down and I submerge myself in the story. If I am going to portray a particular character, like a lead character in a film, I will tune into their personality or their character quality. I just let it happen. I start playing and I just let it happen. I get a concept and then I just start playing. The music usually makes the words happen. Once I am into it, it happens really fast.

You are a busy man, how often do you get to perform live?

That’s a trip. With my band, it hard because we are almost bi-coastal. They came out for my 4th of July thing. We try and offer up the band when we are dealing with a convention or a film festival. For example, I had the band in Seattle for Crypticon. That was great. We played at Fango last year in L.A. That was great. So anytime I have a live appearance, we offer up the band. The next time we play is not going to be until The Eerie Horror Film Festival in Pennsylvania.

What is the best piece of advice you could give to those who are just starting out and considering making a career in the music industry?

reggieb1The industry has changed a great deal. I mean, a great deal. The big distributors are not all that they used to be because of the internet. You can go on and get downloads for very little money. You can sell the album online. You can give it away. Some of the larger groups now are just giving it away. They go on tour and make their money on tour. If you are a musician, you are going to be a musician from the time you are born, to the time you die. It’s on you, it’s like a disease. [laughs] You’re not going to escape it. You just gotta be ready for the long haul. So what you need to really do is just keep your head down and create your music and play it. Every opportunity you get to play it in front of somebody, do it! Do it! At some point you’ll look up and you’ll have a body of work and your life will have been what it’s been. [laughs] Either you’ll be playing to thousands of people in a giant arena or you’ll be playing in small clubs and bars. It really almost doesn’t matter because it’s a god given talent and you don’t have a choice in the thing. That’s where I am at musically and acting wise. If you go out and get a MBA because you just totally fucking love business, I would give you the same advice. Keep your head down, get your experience, keep doing it. Hopefully you’ll wake up and you’ll look up and you’ll be in a spot that really turns you on and really is a payback for all you’ve done for whatever it is that you’re into.

Is there anything else you want to add or say to your fans?

Just hang in there and keep your fingers crossed for another ‘Phantasm’ episode, if we can call them episodes. They are kind of like earthquakes, they show up when you least expect them. [laughs] Keep your eye out for that. Keep an eye out for my stuff. If you need to know what I am doing, imdb.com is a pretty good source. There’s some stuff on there that’s bullshit. There’s stuff on my page that Gigi and I both have tried to get rid of to no avail. For the most part, ninety eight percent is real stuff and keep an eye out for that stuff. Keep looking for me. I am out there working, doing it. Don’t be afraid to search out my stuff on the internet. That’s the best way to find me. Look for these releases. Look for ‘Small Town Saturday Night.’ Look for ‘Walking Distance,’ ‘Satan Hates You.’ These things are going to be coming at you and I want you to see them if you dig what I do.

Thanks for your time, Reggie! All the best to you!

My pleasure!

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For all the latest information on all things Reggie Bannister, visit his official website at www.reggiebannister.com.

Don’t forget to swing by the official site of the Phantasm franchise at www.phantasm.com.

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‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ Official Poster Claws It’s Way Online!

‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ Official Poster Claws It’s Way Online!

Over the past twenty four hours, fans have been treated to both the new logo treatment and their first glimpse of Jackie Earle Haley as horror icon ‘Freddy Krueger’. The first poster for the remake of ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ is officially been unleashed and it doesn’t disappoint. Check it out below and weigh in with your thoughts…

The film is currently slated to arrive in theaters April 16, 2010.

Directed by Samuel Bayer, the film stars Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Rooney Mara, Kellan Lutz, Katie Cassidy, Clancy Brown and Connie Britton.

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Source: IGN

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‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ – The First Glimpse of Freddy Krueger!

‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ – The First Glimpse of Freddy Krueger!

Fans of ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ now have something to get excited about! You can now catch the first glimpse of Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger in Warner Bros. and New Line CInema’s A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The film is currently slated to arrive in theaters April 16, 2010.

Directed by Samuel Bayer, the film stars Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Rooney Mara, Kellan Lutz, Katie Cassidy, Clancy Brown and Connie Britton.

Weigh in with your thoughts…



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‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ – Logo For The Remake Revealed!

‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ – Logo For The Remake Revealed!

The logo treatment for the remake of ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ has be released and it looks bloody good! Check out the image below and be on the lookout for the first image of Freddy Krueger which is set to be released later today!

The films stars Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) as Freddy Krueger, Rooney Mara as Nancy, Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Clancy Brown, Katie Cassidy, Kyle Gallner, Connie Britton and Kellan Lutz.

‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ slashes its way into theaters nationwide on April 16th, 2010.

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Final Poster For Richard Kelly’s ‘The Box’ Revealed!

Final Poster For Richard Kelly’s ‘The Box’ Revealed!

Director Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales) has unveiled the final poster for his upcoming film ‘The Box’ via his Twitter account which is located @JRichardKelly.

Here is what he had to say:

“I wanted to share with you the First Look at the FINAL POSTER poster for THE BOX. It’s great to have Cameron, James and Frank all on this poster. Check it out!”

Official Synopsis of ‘The Box’
“Norma and Arthur Lewis are a suburban couple with a young child who receive an anonymous gift bearing fatal and irrevocable consequences. A simple wooden box, it promises to deliver its owner $1 million with the press of a button. However, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world…someone they don’t know.”

‘The Box’ stars Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella and is set to hit theaters nationwide  on October 30th, 2009.

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