Phantom Brother

New Blood
My Slasher
Slasher Contests
Slasher Reviews
Slasher Secrets
Slasher Interviews
Slasher Art
About Me

(Blood Brother)


Directed by:  William Szarka

VHS Information
South Gate
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 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 kin happen to you!
Special Features:
  • Norman's Awesome Experience (Before Film)

Rated:  Not Rated

Run Time:  87 Minutes 

Cast List
Jon Hammer...Walter Evans
Patrick Malloy...Dr. Van Dam
John Gigante...Able Evans
Ben Di Gregorio...David Hickman
Dallas Monroe...Neil Hickman
Peter Is...Nelson Hickman
Cheryl Hendricks...Dawn
Norman Siopis...Richie
Gabriel Bronsztein...Billy/The Fiend
Timothy Moran...Deputy Stewart
Jo Milroy...Fat Lady
Nora Maher...Scout
Paul J. Kelly...Dr. Bates
Rob Koch...Film Director
Hope Minozzi...Amy
Matt Crisfield...Joe Sante
Asaph Livni...Count Cockula
Richard Minozzi Jr...Pucky
Heather Koch...Film Crew
Kristin Koch...Film Crew
Chris Kalenowski...Film Crew
Vanessa Russo...Film Crew
Arnold Gargiulo...Film Crew
Stephen Rathsack...Film Crew
John Keogh...Film Crew
Joyce Gustafson...Nurse Bigones
Vinny Grillo...Junior Hickman
Mary Beth Pelshaw...Jill
(It's hard to find trivia for obscure films, let alone good trivia.  What I am about to post was posted on by CANTDR55.  I have edited it and now post it here for your information.  Here it is, "Almost Everything You'd Want To Know About Phantom Brother.")
  • I was surprised to see that the IMDB actually listed this film…then the fact that people WATCHED IT, and felt the need to comment on it, made me want to write this, because I WAS THERE.  First, it's not my fault.  I was only working on it.  I was listed as the Camera Assistant, but I was also the Key Grip, Gaffer, and ended up playing the part of the Director directing 'Vampires on Valium on Valentines Day' within the film.  This film was made back in April of 1988, the Director, Bill Szarka, was an Editor back then, cutting feature promo's (Long form coming attractions) for a distribution company.  My first job out of film school was working for him as an Assistant Editor.  Bill wanted to direct a feature.

    Back in the 1980's horror films were still a lucrative proving ground for young directors.  You didn't need much to make them; get a hot chick, get her naked, throw some blood around, add a half assed plot, start the screaming, and you had a film…we knew this from the stuff we were cutting.  Bill knew a guy through the video production company, David, and he owned a Betacam.  David, like any cameraman, wanted to shoot, so he was fine with throwing in his equipment and some money.  They got some other guy (He played the part of the Head Doctor) to throw in a little money and went off to shoot this thing.  Now, at the time you had to laugh at the idea of making a FILM on videotape.  It wasn't something that was really done back then.  Most would opt to shoot in 16mm before going to tape.  To hear them talking, they thought they were going to revolutionize the low budget film by shooting on video.  Now, years later it's funny looking at the products out there (Still mostly crap) that are shot on home video and being released in theaters. 
    Bill got his buddy Joe Sante to write a script (There really was one when it started).  However, things change, and most of the “concept” evolved and was thrown out…it was basically because it would have been too costly to shoot it all.  The house in the film was located in Mamaroneck, New York.  It was owned by the guy that directed a film called Deadtime Stories.  The house is also featured in that film too.  Bill had worked on that as an Editor and that's how he got the house.  The house that was the “hillbilly house” was my grandparent's home.  I knew my grandparents would let us do it there because it was one of the locations for many of my own student films.  Then a year later, in the summer of 1989, my grandparent’s house and kitchen also show up in a real film called Frankenhooker.  My grandparents really wondered what I was up to in this business after that one.

    The film took place mostly at night for the simple fact that the first days of shooting went so long we finished at about 2 a.m.  With having to have time to sleep, we ended up starting the following days after 3 p.m. and worked all night.  An old friend of mine from school was the girl playing the killer Girl Scout.  She was also the Costume Designer and the Prop and Set Decorator.  Somebody had to do it.  John, the lead, found the old Tuxedo jacket hanging in the closet of the house and decided to wear it. 
    We were making it up as we went along.  Nobody cared, you could pretty much do what you wanted.  John and I joked all the time that he had NO IDEA what was happening and what he was supposed to be doing.  He was just a struggling actor trying to get a few seconds of footage for a reel.

    The scenes with the film crew showing up is the only part I take credit for.  It was done on the last day of shooting.  What was supposed to happen, in the script (The one tossed out for the most part), is a rock band was supposed to show up and make a video during which they would all get killed in exotic horror film fashion.  Nobody bothered to cast a band.  We had shot pretty much everything else that was to be in the film when we came down to this scene.  We stood around that morning (We actually shot during the day for this part) wondering what to do.  It was my bright idea to have a film crew show up and get slaughtered.  We were all wannabe actors.  We proceeded to make up and improvise every thing that happens in that scene and it shows too.  It was fun to do.  The whole experience was like going to camp for ten days and being paid seventy-five dollars a day to do it.  So what happened after all that?  Did we make money?  Nope.  Just what we got paid at the time.  What about those involved?  Bill directed a short called The Godson (A Godfather spoof) that got him noticed on the festival circuit.  Nothing came of that later, I haven't heard from him in ten years.  John, the star, is still working and just completed his own feature film Cugini.  I still work as a Camera Assistant on films and commercials.  The bright star to come off this film is the Steadicam operator we had, Jimmy Mckonky (They gave him credit in the opening).  Jimmy is now one of the top steadicam operators in the country.  His last big job was Ali.  Just goes to show you that everybody has to start someplace.



Personal History

  • Bought from a Family Video in Alpena, Michigan for $2.95
  • One of the worst films I've ever seen!

Don't Move, Don't Breathe, and Whatever You Do...DON'T LOOK BEHIND YOU!