Phillips’ next work was another documentary, “Frat House,” which he co-created with his friend Andrew Gurland in 1998. He examined the extremes of secret hazing rituals in college, with the two book-like filmmakers. . immerse in fraternity life for a year. Meanwhile, Phillips and Gurland experienced all that “Hell Week” and beyond had to offer. At first, they followed New York’s Beta Chi fraternity, led by a lunatic nicknamed “Blossom,” who was the self-proclaimed “king of the school” and the walking definition of toxic masculinity.
Aspiring members tolerated all manner of physical, mental and emotional abuse from Blossom. Ultimately, this fraternity cut ties with Phillips and Gurland before they could complete the film, claiming the camera made the promises uncomfortable. This forced the couple to look for another group of willing participants, which turned out to be much easier said than done. Finally, they won the trust of Alpha Tau Omega at Muhlenberg College, Pennsylvania, on condition that the school and fellowship remain anonymous.
There was also another stipulation – Phillips and Gurland had to agree to join the promises in their trials. Things got so extreme that Phillips found himself locked in a dog crate, covered in saliva, ash and various fluids, and Gurland had to be hospitalized with stomach pain.