by Bone Jawnson
As 2023 comes to a close, I've taken some time to break down how far Zombie Fuel has come since launching this past March. Initially, the blog portion of Zombie Fuel started as a constructive hobby where I could plan out, watch, and review various horror movies. I have always been fascinated with practical special FX and the horror genre has always been full of different, intricately planned violence. I started the Zombie Fuel journey by watching "Basket Case" purely by chance I pulled up the Tubi TV app, went to the horror section, and saw it advertised immediately, for whatever reason. So, that Saturday, I sat down for a gawds-honest horror movie viewing. After I viewed it, I hopped on IMDB to see what information I could find about the budget, filming locations, director, etc. What I discovered was an indie movie world that I fell in love with. The extremely low-budget, hustling that the director Frank Henenlotter had to do, and the passion that went into completing this film completely hooked me into investing my time in the indie-horror genre
As I started to watch and review more low/no-budget films, the more I started to feel like "Hey, I could do this." Many of the films I watched were made with no money, no filming permits, and pure balls. After having a film epiphany, I grabbed my phone, which has a video camera built-in, and got to work. Since I have been a lifelong fan of improvisational comedy, I attacked my mini-short films, from that angle. I came up with a skeleton idea (no pun intended) and then just started filming. My first mini-short, "Is It Dead?" was shot in and around my apartment in Hatfield, Pennsylvania and, truthfully, I had no idea what the ending would be until it was time to film it. I knew I wanted it to be in black and white with blood and guts noises and that was pretty much it. I found some props around my kitchen to use and then just started filming while I was out doing errands around town. I improvised all the dialogue in one take. I edited it together in a free graphic design program, created a "Zombie Fuel" YouTube channel, uploaded it, and shared it around with some friends and family.
After receiving some really good feedback, I decided to go roll with it and keep creating improvised mini-shorts of the horror-comedy genre. I started to interject my own sense of humor coupled with funny horror situations. Mid-year, I cracked an idea to make a short film about a local, Hatfield-based cryptid creature called Crick Foot. I aptly named the project "The Legend of Crick Foot" complete with a back story. I knew that I wanted to incorporate indie music into the project, so I put the online all-call out to the world. The response and support I received floored me, and continues to do so. Amidst all the great feedback, Matt Burns (Small Town Horror Productions) connected with me about helping out on the Crick Foot project. Needless to say, he became the project producer pretty fast. Matt has helped push me past boundaries and to points that I thought previously unattainable. So far, he has helped affirm my brand identity and artistic path by providing experienced guidance and honest, constructive feedback.
I have also crossed paths with some really cool directors, such as Rick Sloane (Blood Theatre), Mitch Hyman (Bubba the Redneck Werewolf), and Joe Sherlock (Bloodsucking Redneck Vampires) that have been so open and receptive to a newbie in the field. In my interactions with them, Their guidance and inspiration have been priceless and so appreciated. I highly suggest just reaching out to a writer or director of an indie project and having a simple conversation with them. Hell, reach out and talk to me if you want. I'll pass on all my insight. I've also connected with some wonderful actors and project leaders within the indie field such as Shannon Atkins, Mel Heflin, Chanda Rawlings, Abbe Schneider, Cami White, Melissa Sapienza-Garrett, Brandi Lyn Dalton, Jon Bolling, Thomas Touhey, Rick Jermain, Jason A Cook, and many many more.
I've also been able to start a local, horror-based, community Facebook group called "Hatfield Horror Headz" which has started to host monthly Bargain Bin Cinema movie viewings through its Discord Server with "Cyclotrode X" (aka The Crimson Ghost) being the next one on January 7, 2024 at 7:00 pm
On top of all the wonderful connections, I've also been able to release twenty-six movie reviews as listed below. All of these reviews are available on the Zombie Fuel website.
Basket Case 2
Basket Case 3
The Toxic Avenger
Class of Nuke ‘Em High
Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD
Blood Sucking Freaks
Bubba the Redneck Werewolf
Bloodsucking Redneck Vampires
Terror at Blood Fart Lake
Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies
As 2023 comes to a close, I feel that I have found a wonderful, accepting, and funny chosen family in the indie-horror community. I have found more confidence in my artistic voice and my actual voice, as I've also released two songs on my YouTube channel. The first is a cover of the Daniel Johnston song, "True Long Will Find You In The End," and an original song, written while in high school, called "Never." Stay tuned in 2024 for some live Bone Jawnson musical performances. 2024 will bring some more movie reviews, more projects, and lots of horror fun, so stay tuned!