Joseph M. Monks is blind.
While some may prefer the term ‘visually impaired,’ Joe’s position is: “If you’re at the game sitting behind the foul pole, you’re visually impaired. If you can’t see the ballpark? You’re blind.”
Monks, whose horror career began in 1989 when he co-created the rabidly-popular cult comic book series Cry For Dawn, lost his eyesight in 2002 as a result of diabetic retinopathy. When the lights went out for good, the comic book publisher, magazine editor, occasional photographer and writer of numerous horror short stories, threw himself into his fiction full-time. It was all he had left.
In 2003, a story from his anthology Stuff Out’a My Head was optioned for a television pilot for the foreign market. Monks was tapped to write the screenplay, produced by Bunkasha Entertainment and DK Publishing. The series was picked up for syndication by the Global Broadcast Company, but the show’s producers were unable to shoot additional episodes.
Monks, bitten by the filmmaking bug, quickly moved on to a feature
screenplay. When the director he planned to turn the project over to was unavailable, he decided to take the plunge and direct it himself.
The Bunker has garnered critical praise, and Joe’s efforts were recognized at the Gasparilla International Film Festival, where he received the Achievement in Cinema award. In addition, he was featured in The New Horror Handbook, which spotlights indie filmmaking trendsetters Eli Roth (Hostel), Darren Lynn Bousman (SAW), Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and others. The final chapter of the book is devoted to Monks and his groundbreaking feature.
In 2013, Monks completed the pilot episode of REDEMPTION, a supernatural series he’s currently shopping to production companies while shooting additional side projects, like the TV commercial for Backstreets, a local bar, based on a spot which garnered honorable mention at the Shriekfest Film Festival. Monks continues to write screenplays and short stories, and his debut novel, Torn to Pieces, was released in 2012.