Serial killer John Wayne Gacy painted the promo poster for Phillips' 1993 documentary Hated: G.G. Allin & the Murder Junkies, about the 1990s punk rocker and his band.
Directed the 1998 documentary Frat House, about college-fraternity hazing practices, which was a Grand Jury Prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival. The film has never been widely released amid accusations that portions of the documentary were staged.
Directed comedian Tom Green in a number of Pepsi One commercials in 1999, and was at the helm for a 2012 Honda ad that featured Matthew Broderick in a Ferris Bueller knockoff that aired during the Super Bowl.
Appeared as one of the cab drivers in the first seasons of the late 1990s cable reality series Taxicab Confessions.
Was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for his contributions to the script of Borat. Phillips was director of the film in its early stages, a position he left due to creative differences.
Took little upfront salary for directing 2009's The Hangover in exchange for receiving a share of the film's profits, which reportedly total more than $75 million.
For a scene in The Hangover that involved a stun gun, he wanted his actors to be shot with a live Taser claiming, "It doesn't hurt that much," but studio lawyers nixed the idea.