was your initial reaction upon reading the
script for PHANTASM?
know, I'm not sure I remember reading a
script for PHANTASM. We were just crazy
people that wanted to do creative things.
I don't think I really place too much of
a, too many of my standards...I was a very
tolerant person, we were very tolerant of
each other. If we had done a creative thing
with someone and someone said, "Hey,
we're gonna do this again," you just
kind of trusted them and went with the flow.
That was the way it was.
I think I'm not really so sure I ever did
read a script. We would go in and there
would be sides every time we'd shoot. And
it would be, "Hey Reg, this is what
we'd like you to do," and we'd discuss
it. I'd say, "Hey Don, what if I say,
'Do you think he's gonna leak all over my
ice cream?'" It was a real communal,
watched all three films in the last day
and a half...
my God, you've been PHANTASM-ed!
it was fun, especially the special laser
disc of the first one where you and Don
talk about the home movies that were shot
on the set. From those I get the feeling
that Reggie the character is a lot like
Reggie, the guy I'm talking to. How much
input did you have in developing the character
from where he was in the first film to where
he is at the end of the third film?
character of Reggie was always intended
to be a small role, a neat guy, a friend.
I don't know that it was ever meant to develop
into the character that it is in PHANTASM
3. Because of the creative atmosphere that
Don allows to take place on the set and
always has, and I'm such a creative myself,
I kept saying, "What if we did this"
or "Wouldn't it be cool if we did that."
One thing led to another, and I guess the
part of Reggie grew in the first film.
what it was originally intended to be?
what it was originally planned to be to
something larger. And like I said, I don't
have a memory of reading the entire script,
I don't even really know, but I dealt with
every scene as it came up. We expanded through
creative conversations with Don and some
of the other people on the set. We expanded
the whole Reggie character in the first
one.And then in the second one, Reggie was
perceived as this really neat, like a hero.
And I was kind of taken back by that like
wow, far out, thanks a lot guys. You think
the Reg Man's a hero, that's great. So we
developed that aspect of him--his heroism--and
his willingness to throw his body on the
fire for his friend.
you do a lot through the three films.
you noticed? Yeah, every other page is,
"Reg hits the floor, it happens to
be a marble floor, and he does a head first
slide into home plate."
you ever feel the need to say, "Don,
I really need a stunt double here."
know, I'm so crazy I love to be a part of
every aspect and I'm a very physical guy,
by the way. I play a lot of basketball,
I weight train, I do sit-ups and push-ups
on a daily basis. So I'm real physical,
I like to get physical. I think it comes
from growing up on a block full of kids
that liked to play "War." You'd
shoot each other and we'd go through these
terrible gyrations as we'd die.
of like your death scene at the end of the
it's fun, and I generally ask to do more
than my stunt coordinator will let me do.
shows, 'cause it looks like you're always
there sacrificing your body for the movie.
I think that's what Reg should do. That's
who he is, and in a sense that's me, that's
Reggie Bannister. Since Don likes to relate
characters to people that he's loved in
his life, the Reg character is very close
to me. But I've played him a little more
overtly. I'm a little hipper than he is.
He finds himself in situations that I just
wouldn't find myself in. Not to say that
I haven't found myself in outrageous situations.
really is a great character, though.
I'm glad you like him. I think everybody
yeah, I remember when we saw PHANTASM 2
on opening night and we were thrilled that
Reg had become a much larger part of the
kind of every man's man. When he walks on
the screen you walk on there with him.
it like a reunion working on P3 and having
Michael Baldwin and Bill Thornbury back?
was terrific. But it was even more terrific
for me than for them. You know, when you
work on a film you don't always work with
everybody at the same time. Yet you say,
"Well I was in this movie with that
person." I really didn't get to work
with Angus [Scrimm] that much in the first
one, and even in the first film that Don
did when Angus plays the father who kills
his son, and I never really got to meet
[him] because I only worked a few days on
to do P3, we were all together at one time.
When we shot that scene where Michael's
up in the crypt and The Tall Man's magically
removed the crypt and it's transparent.
Jody (Bill Thornbury) and I are standing
back there watching, and we were all there
together. We were actually in a mausoleum,
and we were pretty thrilled to be there
together. That was the first night we were
all there together, almost all of us were
going to be in the same scene at the same
time. So yeah, that was really cool.
a scene where I'm standing in front of the
crypt and I'm trying to figure out where
Michael went because it's marble again,
and I go up and I touch the marble wall.
Well, we did that as an MOS shot without
sound. Well, I've gotta tell you that when
I touched that marble wall - and this is
the first night that we're all together
- all hell broke loose outside. We're in
California in a mausoleum at about midnight,
and there was a storm that broke loose and
touched the wall a huge clap of thunder....BRAWW!
And I went, "Holy shit, what's going
on?!" And then lightning through the
windows, and I've got to carry on with the
scene like nothing's happening, but it was
pretty amazing. It hailed, and this is in
Southern California, and rained and stormed
harder than I've ever seen it for like five
hours after that.
try and weasel some details about about
PHANTASM 4 and Reg fills us in on his new
musical cd in Part
3 of our interview...