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By William J. Wright | March 4, 2003

In a genre where charismatic villains rule the day, heroes are hard to come by. And, by “hero,” I don’t mean the obligatory “final girl” who survives the onslaught of kitchen implements and garden tools to limp, caked in kayro syrup and red dye, into the inevitable sunrise and end credits. I’m talking about those rare, certified badasses with the tools and the talent to stare down unfathomable evil from beyond the grave without flinching – guys ready, willing and able to go toe-to-toe with the underworld’s worst – worthy foes to silver screen nasties the likes of Freddy, Pinhead and the Tall Man . . .

For 25 years, Reggie Bannister has portrayed one of horror’s most interesting and truly human heroes as “Reggie, the ice cream man” in Don Coscarelli’s brilliant and hallucinogenic “Phantasm” films. The epitome of laid-back, California cool, Bannister approaches life with an infectious blend of zen and zeal. Actor, musician, screenwriter, director, environmental activist, entrepreneur and asskickin’ nemesis of the Tall Man – Reggie wears all of these hats in his own inimitable style. And, in an honor usually reserved only for rockstars, he has his own signature model guitar (the RB-1000 from October Guitars).

On the heels of the success of the limited theatrical release of Don Coscarelli’s latest film, the elderly Elvis vs. undead epic, Bubba Ho-Tep in which the “Phantasm” star has a featured role, Reggie Bannister took time out to chat with me about his upcoming projects, the prospects of a fifth “Phantasm” film and the real life terrors of the wildfires that narrowly missed his hometown of Crestline, California.

Get the interview in part two of REGGIE BANISTER: HOT AS LOVE>>>

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