Back of Box:
PHANTOM BROTHER __ 1988 __ Directed by William Szarka (SOUTH BRONX HEROS).
Five years ago a fiery car wreck wipes out the Evans family __ leaving a sole survivor, young Abel. Now, Abel's dead
brother has returned and he's cutting into Abel's high school fun...by killing his friends, among other things. Will
Abel turn his brother over to the police? Will Abel's brother get the girl? This horror spoof is a must see for
anyone who likes to be scared silly! If you have relatives...it kin happen to you!
Plot: Let's face it,
by 1988 the slasher genre was ready to crawl back into its cave and lay dormant for a few years. This film is horrible.
The non-existent script and bare-bones acting throws this off a lot. Of course, the fact that it tries to be funny (And
fails) contributes to that. Maybe it was the fact that this film tried to be a comedy/spoof, slasher, supernatural,
soft core porn that made it bad. Who can really tell though? By the way, the back of the box has nothing to do
with the film (Except the car wreak).
Acting: As I said
before there was no script to this film (Literally). I'm sure that gives you a clue as to how this section
is. Community theater style acting at best. I've got to give a little shout out to Jill (Mary Beth Pelshaw)
for being the only one to adjust to the improvisation and Junior Hickman (Vinny Grillo) for making me laugh out loud
with his outrageous character. Favorite line: The girl scout (One of the "killers") stares
into the camera as she is about to kill the director of the film within the film. Plainly, she says, "I hate student
film makers!" Then she stabs him.
Gore: Body Count (22) For
a body count so high you'd expect a little bit, right? Wrong! All you get here are basic Halloween tricks. Stabbings,
throat slits, severed limbs (One severed leg brought to us by portable buzz saw). None of it looked very
good. A definite dud in this section.
Suspense: (I'm just
skipping this section)
Directing: This film was
made by a first time film-maker with a home video camera. I've probably shot better home videos. Yeah.
Tech: The soundtrack was
off the wall. It did nothing but make me laugh. The sound was somewhat choppy but, whatever. One thing I
did like about this film was the lighting. It worked the color angle with soft use of orange, blue, and pink.
Other: Call me nuts,
but I like the lead "killer's" costume. Very Greek tragedy. When the end comes you'll love it (Because
that's when it ends). It tries to wrap things up with a whirlwind of twists that leave one feeling drained
and emotionally confused. That's not really a plus, just thought I'd warn you.
Final Word: True, this film has many short-comings
(Many, many, many). However, I can say that it's at least good for a laugh. If you can find it,
watch it once, don't expect much, and enjoy. Okay, you might not enjoy it, but try.