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An Interview with Phil Herman, Writer and Star of Jacker 3: The Road to Hell

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2024

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Your upcoming movie Jacker 3: Road to Hell - in a few words, what's it about?


Itís been 30 years. The Jacker just stopped killing and disappeared. This will be the trilogy's final chapter, Jacker 3: The Road to Hell. It promises a thrilling conclusion. Debbie D [Debbie D interview - click here] returns as Gloria, surviving the chaos of the first installment. Having Debbie D come back is really a treat. She is not what she appears and ultimately can be a threat to the Jacker. Along with all-new characters and victims, this promises to not let down the fans that have made these movies a cult classic.


What has inspired you to make a third Jacker-movie after all these years, and how closely will Jacker 3: Road to Hell follow the earlier movies story-/continuity-wise?


The Jacker-series has always been a special part of my film career. It put me on the map, and to this day, it's very popular. People always ask me, would you ever do another Jacker movie? Itís a road movie with a lot of exterior shots on the road. Itís a difficult task for such a limited budget. But I talked to my crew, and they said letís do it. The movie explains the end of Part 2 and picks up there, and how the Jacker returns. It will be shot in the same location as Part 2 ended. Past characters will be in the movie, and the story follows the same pattern that made the first 2 so special.


(Other) sources of inspirations when writing Jacker 3: Road to Hell?


Debbie D has always wanted to do a sequel to this and Burglar from Hell. We agreed on this, and if all goes well, Burglar from Hell wonít be too far away. Debbie D's character had a very small part which led to her death. This movie brings her back as the same character, and her involvement with the Jacker will be revealed.


What can you tell us about Jacker 3: Road to Hell's approach to the thriller genre?


This is more of a thrill ride than a horror movie. We have plenty of fun carjacking kills which will lend tension and thrills to the movie. The city will once again be gripped in terror as this madman strikes with no rhyme or reason. We have strong characters bringing the story to life in the leads. Christopher Kahler [Christopher Kahler interview - click here] will play a nosy news reporter digging into Gloriaís past. We also have Kevin Duffy playing Dennis, a friend from Gloriaís past. 


Jacker 3: Road to Hell will be directed by Jack Panetta - so what can you tell us about him, and what makes him perfect for the job?


This will be the 6th movie I have worked on with James Panetta. But what made me think he was great for the job was him directing me in Highway Rivalry. Itís a short for my next anthology Unearthed. His control and direction of the shoot really blew me away. On the spot, I said you will be directing the next installment of Jacker. His eye and perfection to get the right shots are what I wanted. Plus, me and him see eye to eye on everything and have the same passion and drive.


You'll be playing the lead in Jacker 3: Road to Hell - so what will you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how odd or good does it feel to return to the character after all these years?


Oh, I took the original outfit out of storage. Yes, itís the same jacket and hat from the original. I put it on, and I became the Jacker. It was such a fun character because I wrote all the stories but never directed them. This way, I have time to perfect and become the character and put 100% into it. So yeah, it feels good returning as the Jacker. Plus, Iím going to be with tons of friends from the past. My casting director was going for all-genre people and also as much as possible from the past 2 movies. The reason is to capture the feel and look of the first 2. We wanted a sequel that will pay tribute but also continue the story.


Jacker 3: Road to Hell will also star Butch Patrick of The Munsters-fame - so why him, and how did you get him even?


I have known Butch Patrick for a few years. He did a cameo in Horrotales.666 Part 3. I told him about Jacker 3, and he seemed excited. We talked on the phone and plotted out his scene specifically together. It was magical talking to him and going back and forth with different ideas and situations. Add this, take out that, but what about doing this? It was a dream come true. But what it came down to was having a conversation with such a down-to-earth lover of what he does and the kindness he projects when he does something. I am a big fan of his, and when I got the opportunity, I jumped at it. If nothing else comes out of this, his participation will be worth the world to me.


What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people - and do any castmembers of the earlier movies pop up again?


Familiar faces return and new ones, including Barry Gaines, Marcus N. Jackson, Bill Dougherty, Joe DeBartolo, Michael Holub, Christopher Kahler, Kevin Duffy, Rudy Letterman, Chris James Woods, Madeline Deering, Sean Donohue, Dino Castelli, Bryant Sohl, Kimberly Cole Zemke, Ralph Rey, Austin Sheiblein, Joel D. Wynkoop [Joel D. Wynkoop interview - click here], Cathy Holseybrook Wynkoop, Gina Phillips, and Butch Patrick, who joins as a memorable victim. The list keeps growing. More to come. Also in for the fun are Michael Moutsatsos [Michael Moutsatsos interview - click here] and Thomas Antalek working their magic behind the scenes. And Derek Braasch [Derek Braasch interview - click here] and Marcelo Fabani [Marcelo Fabani interview - click here] as second unit directors. Music by Marvin Maddicks jr and poster work by Avery Crumley.


You're currently running a fundraiser for Jacker 3: Road to Hell - so do talk about your campaign a little!


This fall, we're gearing up to shoot our latest movie, but to make it happen, we need financial support. Our goal is to raise $5,000 to cover expenses such as editing, casting, feeding the crew, and manufacturing DVDs, among others. We're even aiming to secure some big-name stars for this project. With over three decades of experience in the industry, I've helmed classics like the original Jacker and its sequel, Burglar from Hell and Arena of Death, and my latest film Unearthed is currently in post-production. My movies have always provided a platform for talented filmmakers, and this one is no different. We have a fantastic team assembled. Our track record speaks for itselfówe deliver on our promises and use funds efficiently to bring our vision to life.


Once the budget's in, what's the schedule, and any idea when and where Jacker 3: Road to Hell might be released?


Scheduled for shooting in the upcoming fall season, our movie is set to hit theaters by winter 2025. With the summer months, particularly from June to August, presenting logistical challenges, we've strategically planned a few shoots leading up to June. However, the majority of filming will occur during the fall, allowing us ample time to capture our vision before the winter release date.


It's been 30 years since the original Jacker and 28 since Jacker 2: Descent to Hell - so how do you think these movies of old stand up today, and how has the indie world changed in the years since?


Nothing has really changed much in the genre at this level. We are all here to tell a story our way and not be influenced from outside. My Jacker stands up today because the subject is timeless, and these things are still going on today. The Jacker represents the fear of what is in the shadows that we donít understand. He is a man with no reason for what he does but to hurt and destroy lives. This movie opens up with a flashback of when he was young and how he became the person he is today. Hints of supernatural and crazy scenarios were in Part 2 and continue to thrive in this new chapter. Age hasnít softened or slowed him down but has made him more ruthless and evil this time around.


Any future projects beyond Jacker 3: Road to Hell?


Currently, we're deeply engrossed in the production of Unearthed, an anthology featuring stories from Marcelo Fabani [Marcelo Fabani interview - click here], Nina Trader, Derek Braasch [Derek Braasch interview - click here], James Panetta and Will Devokees. This anthology weaves together four captivating tales, each revolving around individuals who unearth hidden, lost, or closely guarded secrets. Chris Kahler [Christopher Kahler interview - click here] is the host and will prepare you for an enthralling journey of discovery and suspense as Unearthed delves beneath the surface to reveal mysteries concealed for far too long. Then after these two, taking a little break to write and get ready for the future.


Your/your movie's website, social media, IndieGoGo, whatever else?


You can find updates, behind-the-scenes content, and ways to support our projects on our official website, as well as our social media channels including Facebook, we're also running a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo, where supporters can contribute and receive exclusive perks in return.


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Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I just want to express my gratitude for everything you always do, as well as to all my supporters over the years. Plus, my cast and crew who stick by me movie after movie.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.


There's No Such Thing as Zombies
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry


directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke


now streaming at


Amazon UK





Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from