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Phantom Brother (1988)

 -  Comedy | Horror
2.8
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Ratings: 2.8/10 from 43 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

A teen-ager is left orphaned by a car crash that wipes out his entire family; he is subsequently haunted by his dead brother.

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Title: Phantom Brother (1988)

Phantom Brother (1988) on IMDb 2.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Gigante ...
Able Evans
Jon Hammer ...
Walter Evans
Patrick Molloy ...
Dr. Van Dam
Mary Beth Pelshaw ...
Jill
...
David Hickman (as Ben Di Gregorio)
Dallas Monroe ...
Neil Hickman
...
Nelson Hickman
Vinny Grillo ...
Junior Hickman
Cheryl Hendricks ...
Dawn
...
Richie
Gabriel Bronsztein ...
Billy / The Fiend
...
Deputy Stewart (as Timothy Moran)
Jo Milroy ...
Fat Lady
Nora Maher ...
Scout
Paul J. Kelly ...
Dr. Bates
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Storyline

A teen-ager is left orphaned by a car crash that wipes out his entire family; he is subsequently haunted by his dead brother.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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It kin happen to anyone...

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Able kneels down to talk to his brother who is sitting on the bed a sponge on the dresser appears and disappears between shots. See more »

Connections

References Sybil (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

If I Could
Music and Lyrics by Eric
Performed by Eric
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User Reviews

ALMOST EVERYTHING YOU'D WANT TO KNOW ABOUT PHANTOM BROTHER
27 July 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews



I was surprised to see that the IMDB actually listed this movie. Then the fact that people WATCHED IT and then felt the need to comment on it made me want to write this since I WAS THERE. So here's a little taste of almost everything you'd ever want to know about Phantom Brother. First, it's not my fault. I was only working on it. I was listed as the camera assistant, I was also the key grip, Gaffer, and ended up playing the part of the Director directing 'Vampires on Valium on Valentines Day.' Now this 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 movies where 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 with a half assed plot and start the screaming and you had a movie. We knew this from the stuff we were cutting. Bill knew a guy with video production company and he owned a Betacam, David the DP. 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 a part of a head doctor) to throw in a little money and went off to shoot this thing. Bill got his buddy Joe Sante to write a script (there really was one when it started). Now at the time you had to laugh at the idea of making a MOVIE 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 worked by shooting on video. Now 15 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. The movie went through a few title changes along the way one of which was called BLOOD BROTHER. As I said the movie actually started out with a script.

Well things change and most of the 'concept' evolved and was thrown out 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 movie called DEADTIME STORIES. The house is also featured in the movie too. Bill had worked on that as an editor and that's how he got the house.

We were making it up as we went along. The movie took place mostly at night for the only reason as the first days of shooting went so long we finished about 2am. With having to have time to sleep we ended up starting the following days after 3pm and working all night.

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 movies. Then a year later in the summer of 1989 this house & kitchen also shows up a in a 'real movie' called FRANKENHOOKER. My grandparents really wondered what I was up to in this business after that one. 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. 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) a rock band was supposed to show up and make a video during which they all get killed in exotic horror movie fashion.

Nobody bothered to cast a band. We had shot pretty much everything else that was to be in the movie 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 at 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. But it was fun to do. The whole experience was like going to camp for 10 days and being paid 75 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 (Godfather spoof) that got him noticed in the festival circuit. Nothing came of that later. I haven't heard from him in 10 years. John, the star, is still working and just completed his own feature film CUGINI. I still work as a Camera Assistant on movies and commercials. The bright star to come off this movie is the Steadicam operator we had, Jimmy Mckonky. (They gave him credit at the opening titles.) 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.


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