The Orphan (1977)

USA, 1976
mono, English

An American horror film directed by John Ballard. According to Variety 1Daily Variety 1 July 1976 p.5, the film was in post-production as early as late June 1976 under its working title Fragments.

Plot Summary

In 1920s America, a young boy, David, is left in the care of his Aunt Martha when his parents die in grisly circumstances. As his relationship with his overbearing aunt deteriorates, David creates a shrine in an old chicken coop based on the African mysticism his father was studying, a shrine that becomes central to his plot to kill Martha.


Directed by: John Ballard
© 1977, The Fragments Co.
A Cinema Investments Co and Gilman-Westergaard production in association with Trimedia Southwest Associates
Producers: John Ballard, Sidney Ann Mackenzie, Sondra Gilman, Peter Muller, Louise Westergaard
Associate Producers: Rita Fredricks, Lance Bird, Anne Murphy
Written by: John Ballard
Suggested by the Short Story by: Saki (H.H. Munro)
Director of Photography: Beda F. Batka
Edited by: John Ballard, Sidney Ann Mackenzie, Susan E. Morse
Musical Score Composed and Conducted by: Teo Macero
Mixer: Richard Wendle
Art Director: Sidney Ann Mackenzie
Locations: Waterloo Village, New Jersey, USA

Peggy Feury (Aunt Martha)
Mark Owens (David)
Joanna Miles (David's mother)
Donn Whyte (David's father)
Stanley Church (Doctor Thompson)
Eleanor Stewart (Mary)
Afolabi Ajayi (Akin)
Jane House (Jean Ford)
Ed Foreman (Percy Ford)
Jim Broder
Dennis Watlington
Gregory Juviler
Lynn Kirchoff
Jeanne Graham
Romero Rochan
Malachy McCourt
Marion Clark
Cathrina Andrea
John Grossman
Elizabeth Astrid

Alternative Titles

Betrayal – working title
Foreldrelos – Dutch title
Fragments – working title
Friday the 13th: The Orphan
Killer Orphan
Killers of the Dream – working title
Perjantai 13.p ‘Orpo' – Finnish title


Daily Variety 1 July 1976 p.5 – note (Ballard prepping indie ‘Champions')

Horror and Science Fiction Films II by C. Willis p.293
Nightmare USA
by Stephen Thrower pp.299-208 – illustrated chapter (Growing pains)
Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990
by Brian Albright p.239