Category Archives: Joe’s Journal

Sooner Or Later, Everybody Wants A Shot

Haven’t talked a lot about film stuff lately because for one thing, it’s a little rough coming up with a reliable, committed core group intent on getting something accomplished here in the ‘Cape (as opposed to Miami), and also, there’s been other projects taking up my time. Freelance writing gigs, mostly, some side work for the Van Halen News Desk, stories for various anthologies (like the tale “ASHES” for Simple Things) and another project I’ll probably be talking about during the summer, but no promises. That one’s kicking my ass.

Even though I haven’t put an emphasis on anything film-related in a while, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still irons in the fire. Screenplay writing continues. I’m wrapping up a brand new horror script I’ll start pitching to producers once it’s finished, a webisode property that’s a night or two from completion, and one I’ve been polishing up when I can scrape together a coupla minutes here and there. There’s also a video project I’d like to try to shoot later this year. And, I’ve decided that, after some minimal changes to the music, we’re going to start shopping Redemption. For those who didn’t catch it when it was available on the Commodity Films streaming service, Redemption is a TV pilot I shot based on my short story, “Chance Meeting,” which was originally optioned and produced by Bunkasha, in tandem with DK Publishing. (Unfortunately, I never got paid for either the option or the teleplay, but that wasn’t the fault of either of those

Since the story and teleplay are both mine, though, and no one else owns the rights to either, I decided to shoot the pilot myself, using the Redemption  character I first introduced in the mid-’90s. Some of you may have the original black & white & red promotional poster we used to hype the character, illustrated by Louis Small, Jr.

Redemption, as portrayed by the sexy Rhonda LaRue
Redemption, as portrayed by the sexy Rhonda LaRue. © Sight Unseen Pictures

I’m pretty happy with the end-product (especially since I was so disappointed with the original). Plus, I think what we did with less than one tenth the budget and a production staff of four is pretty impressive. The sets that were built, the lighting rig we came up with, the score and F/X, all on less than two grand? We did a freaking lot with smoke and mirrors, that’s for damn sure.

So, how are we gonna do this? Glad you asked. This summer (we haven’t set the date yet), we’re going to be doing a YouTube-live sorta thing, where I’ll introduce the pilot, say a coupla things, and then we’ll screen it, for free. We’re also toying with the possibility of doing something akin to the Sharknado real-time Twitter thing, but again, we’re in the early planning stages, so could go either way. That premiere event will be our special kickoff. We’ll be doing invites, some PRs, etc., but we’ll also be making announcements here, the site, and of course, Twitter and Facebook. Still, if you miss that, we’ll also be putting up the pilot only at a later date, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities to catch it.

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More soon.


‘The Hidden’

While cinematic endeavors continue, including wrapping up a new horror screenplay to pitch to studios who don’t just want remakes, here’s the recently-promised short story for your reading pleasure. Hope you enjoy it. As always, comments welcome, reviews on Amazon greatly appreciated. #ShriekOn –JM

Cover to The Hidden by Joseph M. MonksAbout “The Hidden”:

When a procurer of rare occult paraphernalia is found with his eyes gouged out and his fingers amputated, NYPD detective Danni Locke finds herself investigating a murder that puts her in the crosshairs of a fanatical voodoo sect and their wealthy financier. Who are The Hidden, and what is the religious artifact they seek? How many corpses will they ring up in order to fulfill their goals? With the help of Luke Greene (Torn to Pieces) and a Lieutenant willing to throw the book out the window in order to bring the killers to justice, “The Hidden” introduces all-new characters to Joseph M. Monks’ NYPD universe: The kind of cops you want on the case when the crimes are truly unspeakable.

Available for the Kindle or Kindle app for just 99-cents. Get your copy now.

Sold Out!

NThe Bunker DVDo, not me personally, although to be honest, if someone tapped me to write a Lifetime MotW about a drunk who turns his life around because he’s pestered by cherubs? Yeah, I’d write it. But no, this isn’t about anything like that. As of today, August 1st, The Bunker ltd ed of 500 is officially Sold Out on Amazon.

Pretty happy? That’s an understatement. After all, for a while there, when I was scrambling to raise the funds necessary to finish the film, there was one liar going around to my friends and bragging online that it would never happen. Well, we all see how that turned out, eh? And, while the standard edition of The Bunker (unsigned, without the first issue of the Sick ‘N Twisted comic book) is still available, we’re gonna make some changes. Starting next week, I’m going to be including Howling Wolf Records’ score CD with the DVD & “Making Of” documentary for free. Yup, we’ve reached an agreement with the estate of composer Robert Feigenblatt, and will be packaging the DVD and film score together for the first time.

As for the ltd ed DVDs. I’m a comic book guy. I know what it is to be an indie creator, going to conventions and selling cool stuff. So, the last 25 DVDs I’ve got with the comic? They’re gonna be available until they’re sold out, too, by clicking HERE.

Oh, and since I wouldn’t put you, the fans, into a tough spot by making you choose? Yeah, I’m also going to throw in the Bunker score CD for nothing.  If you want one, just click, when these’re done, that’s all, folks.

Thanks to everyone who bought a copy of The Bunker, any edition. Or came out to see it at one of the many festivals I was fortunate enough to screen it at. Or who RT’d a link, or contributed to the Kickstarter campaign, or who wrote about the film on their site. You guys all helped make this happen, and I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.
Currently listening to: “Revenge” by MINISTRY

Just so happens.

Caitlyn JennerI teased this blog the other day on Twitter, saying that we’d had a pretty good meeting with CAA, one of the alpha-dogs in all of talent management. I mentioned that we’d been talking to the agent for one of the top 5 celebrities on the planet, and I wasn’t joking. IMO, she’s currently the top, but in some circles, they count people like President Obama as ‘celebrities’ and while I don’t (it isn’t like he’s gonna take Amazing Grace onto American Idol this season), I get it.

So, here’s the deal. A buddy and I are working together on a film project. One of the studios we want to pitch seems pretty open to just about anything horror-related, and when talking with him about this, a second property I have started to look like something we might be able to get an LOI for, if the talent I was thinking about was interested. Yes, that talent. Long shot? Hell no. More like a moon-shot.

But, what the hell, right? You don’t shoot for the moon, you’ll never even make it to the corner. So, my attorney contacted CAA and the agent in question, and got a return call.

A fast return call. Surprised? I’ll say. I didn’t even expect to hear back, but sure enough, they were willing to meet that day if it was possible. For us, it wasn’t, but still.

So, Friday, the proposal was made. And, while we got a pass on it, we didn’t get the door slammed in our faces. In fact, everything went pretty damned good, as far as I was concerned. I understand the celeb in question not necessarily wanting to be in a slasher film. Because that’s really what it is, even though I think we have a pretty good storyline. And, I’d never intended to approach this celeb about being in the film. It never occurred to me until last week, when I saw a producer’s listing, looking for LGBTU screenplays (dramas only, though, sadly.) But when the world was turned upside-down by the media’s fascination with transgender issues? And suddenly people were looking for scripts featuring a transgender character? Well, just so happens.

Yeah, we pitched Caitlyn Jenner. No BS. We knew that this probably wasn’t a property she’d be interested in. Even if we sold it to a studio, it wasn’t like it was a role she needed. Not at the moment, anyhow. But for us? Damn, we got a meeting with Caitlyn Jenner’s people, a day after making contact, and they were willing to listen, even knowing the project was a horror film. I know she’s everywhere right now, but that’s just it – being everywhere, and yet, us getting the meeting at all??? Not too shabby. And, Ms. Jenner’s people were great. As mentioned, the door wasn’t slammed in our faces. So sure, they passed on taking a role in a slasher film. To be expected, I’d say. But the fact that they were willing to consider it, and listen to the pitch?

Big step forward. At the very least, a step in the right direction is how it feels to me.

Here’s hoping we take some more in the coming weeks. I mean, you didn’t think I was sitting around with only one bullet in the gun, did you? Caitlyn Jenner or bust? Nope, not even close.

I’m not sure where the next contact will take us. But I don’t really care. So long as we’re still taking our shots when the opportunities present themselves? Then we’re still in the game. Sometimes, that’s all that matters.