Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 End of the Year Wrap-Up

2013 was a hell of a fucking year, marked by highs and lows. Tragic deaths in the family and a horrible car accident for me have taken their toll on me and on the 'ol movie stuff.

However, in looking back, I did get quite a few things accomplished, and that's kind of what this wrap-up thing is for: to help me rise above the grindstone every once in a while and see what's been accomplished and appreciate it a little bit.

I got set up with a new computer, Final Cut Pro and a new HD camera earlier this year - and boy have I used the heck out of them.

Lots of movement on BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN. My buddy John Bowker proposed making this way back in 2009, with us splitting the work (him writing and editing and me directing and co-producing with him). But years later, the movie sat waiting in line behind another project John was editing. Our old pal Mike Hegg offered to help put it together so I spend many weekends at his place last year helping get that movie cut together. The process continued into 2013.

I cut a 4-minute sizzle reel and two trailers together for BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN, plus recorded and made a video for a BCW song on a dare. Made cool masks for the pickup shots and had the BCW trailer shown in front of The Circle, a Portland-shot short film, at the Hollywood Theater. Created character frames for the end credits and looked through all of the footage again and cut together a blooper reel. Designed poster for BCW World Premiere, and held that World Premiere at Crypticon Seattle 2013!

I recently visited Mike again and we got through a lot of the final tiny audio and video tweaks, so now he is just working on some color correction and the plan is to get some DVDs made and hold some more screenings because this will be a fun movie to watch with a crowd!

I did an extensive interview with Scott Phillips for Cheese Magnet that was a lot of fun. Thanks, Scott!

I finished work on re-issuing three of my very early projects, DIMENSION OF BLOOD, MONSTER IN THE GARAGE and CRIMSON HEATER, designed packaging and got DVDs made, and even made two special edition VHS versions for collectors!

My horror short SUPERSTAR was featured at the 2013 Mid-Valley Video Festival in Salem, Oregon and a photo of me with Floyd Sumner, Sophia Maria and Rob Merickel ran in the Statesman Journal newspaper! Snazzy! Not only that but it's in near constant rotation over at online indie channel!

Starting in the spring, I wrote, produced, directed and shot a new horror movie, DRIFTER with some old and new friends. I currently have it all edited with a kick ass sound track by Steve Sessions (who also scored BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN) and only a few things left to finish it up! Also edited together the behind-the-scenes featurette already! More news soon!

Had a great time at the Crypticon Seattle horror convention, including the World Premiere of BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN and posted the usual huge Crypticon trip diary.

I set up a new blog to showcase a bunch of cartoons I did back in college of the college paper: Cheese Sandwich! I scanned 100 of the suckers, but only have a few posted - that's something to get back to in 2014.

I set up a TUMBLR page as a spot to throw snazzy photos:

After many, many hassles and technical issues, I finally got my horror shorts compilation BENEATH A DEAD MOON together. It was great to be able to showcase several old shorts that never really got much distribution as well as a few newer ones. Designed the packaging, got some DVDs made and held an incredibly fun premiere screening of it in early November.

In the late fall, I began work on a new movie project. It's weird. It's super weird. It's hopefully only going to be a few more months before it's all wrapped up and I'll start talking about it...

So what's in store for 2014? I don't know. Movie stuff. Ongoing physical therapy stuff to recover from the car accident. Another Crypticon Seattle. I'll try to update the blog a little more. Hopefully more fun, less death, less stress, less crap.

I am so very lucky to have such great friends and have had such fun people come into my life making these wacky movies.

So lucky to still be here.

Lucky and thankful.

Very lucky.

Very thankful.

Here's to 2014.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Beneath A Dead Moon World Premiere!

Had a fantastic world premiere for BENEATH A DEAD MOON in Salem, Oregon. Tons of people showed up, much beer was drank and everyone seems to have a swell time!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

BENEATH A DEAD MOON Pre-Order Packages!

COOL MONSTERS AND HOT CHICKS! I mean, let’s be honest, that sounds like fun, right?

BENEATH A DEAD MOON is a horror anthology chock full of werewolves, psychos, vampires, mutants and even bigfoot, plus lovely ladies and plenty of blood! Six scary shorts plus a little behind-the-scenes & bloopers segment and a Bonus Short: The Eyeball of Fear!!!

From now until October 30, 2013, you can get a pre-order the BENEATH A DEAD MOON dvd in three ways:

1) THE BASIC: nothing fancy, just pre-order the Beneath A Dead Moon DVD for just $12 (shipping in U.S. included)

2) THE BLOODLUST PACKAGE: - Beneath a Dead Moon DVD plus a copy of BLOODLUST 2, the vampire story and art ‘zine that first featured “Tainted Blood” as a short story back in 2000 (NOTE- limited to 6 - only 6 copies of this zine left! Black box on the cover not included - see photo below!) - just $15 (shipping in U.S. included)

3) THE BEETLEMANIAC  PACKAGE - ONLY ONE AVAILABLE! Beneath A Dead Moon DVD plus the actual Beetlemanic monster head mask and hands! This is the one-of-a-kind hand-crafted (and I know ‘cause I made it!) Beetlemaniac monster head worn by actor Luc Bernier in the movie! Plus I’ll throw in a copy of the Bloodlust 2 zine as well. Critical that you email me first to reserve this one-of-a-kind package. $59 (shipping in U.S. included)

To pre-order, email me first (due to the limited # of packages) at, and then pay via paypal to or send check or money order to Joe Sherlock, PO Box 856, Corvallis, OR 97339


Nowhere to Hyde: Hank has a homemade lab in his house and retreats there to escape his boozy, nagging wife. He is recreating a potion he's read about in the diary of his grandfather, Dr. Jeckell. But what he turns into is not at all what he expected. And then there is a strange visitor. Starring Warren E.B.B. and Rob Merickel. Written by Kevin Lindenmuth, directed by Joe Sherlock.

Dark Bite: Robert J. Olin plays a nerdy office worker meets a mysterious woman in red and begins dabbling in black magic with the help of a book of spells. Felicia Pandolfi co-stars. Written by Belinda Alexandra, shot by Joe Sherlock, directed by John Bowker.

Tainted Blood: This short tells the tale of a future war between vampires and humans and the lengths that each side will go to to win. Sexy and bloody, it stars Robert J. Olin and Toni Draggon, and was written by John Bowker. Directed by Joe Sherlock.

Superstar: Sexy Krystal gets a tattoo, but the tattoo artist she owes for the work is getting fed up with her excuses...and things are getting intense! Starring Sophia Maria and Robert Sumner and Sabrina Larivee. Written by Steve Sessions and Joe Sherlock, directed by Joe Sherlock.

BeetleManiac: Helen has a blind date with Andre, who grosses her out with his tales of is work with insects. Then things get really buggy! This is a reworked edit of the version featured on Truly Dreadful Tales, with new footage. Starring Isabelle Stephen, Luc Bernier and Kerri Taylor. Written by Joe Sherlock, directed by Isabelle Stephen and Luc Bernier.

Scent of the Sasquatch: Ranger Cody faces Bigfoot when his girlfriend and pal are put in peril! Starring Bryn Kristi, Dale Wilson and Sabrina Larivee. Written and directed by Joe Sherlock.

BONUS SHORT: The Eyeball of Fear: See stupid teens hacked up in the woods by a crazy mutant eyeball in this poorly-dubbed (on purpose!) chunk of craziness!

All this plus a behind-the-scenes/bloopers featurette

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Bloody Can of Inserts!

I took care of a couple of insert shots for DRIFTER yesterday. One was of a soda can hitting the ground and then getting splattered with blood. I got the lights set up, the microphone on a boom pole and my camera all set. I mixed up a small cup of blood (dark karo syrup, chocolate syrup, red food coloring), did a little logo-cover-up work on the can with a marker and set everything up. Camera rolling, I walked over to the other side of the garage, filled my mouth with fake blood, dropped the can and then spit the blood all over it.

I reviewed the shot on the camera and......I didn't like it. DAMN!

I moved the camera up and in a bit, got the paper towels and bowl of water and cleaned up all the blood. Back upstairs to the kitchen where I had to get the ingredients out again and make some more blood. Back downstairs to do it all over again. Drop the an. Spit the blood. Check the camera.

I loved it!

Cleaning up the blood all over again. Turning off the lights and putting them away. Turning off the mic. Brining the camera back into the house, hooking it up to the computer, capturing the footage, dropping it into the movie timeline and fine-tuning it.

Man, that is a hell of a lot of work for one shot that lasts a couple of seconds.

And that's why I need to remember to try and minimize these types of insert shots on my next big shoots. It seems like a time-saver - let's take care of the actors and get them done and out of here and we can just take care of this inanimate object shot later.


If you take care of the shot right then. you already have the lights set up, the boom set and the camera there. You also have some crew to help you with the shot and hopefully clean up as you move on to the next scenes with or without actors. Plus mentally, it's easy to procrastinate that simple insert shot just because of all of the set-up/clean-up/break-down involved.

If you are really pressed for time, it makes sense, but if possible it's nice to try and get everything shot on set during the big shoot, just so it is done and you've got help with it.

Meanwhile, in hopes of raising a little bit of money to help pay for the latest DVD duplication, I pulled these VHS gems off of my shelf and am offering them for sale - $6 each including shipping in the U.S. If you are interested in anything, drop me a line at

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Updated DRIFTER Trailer!

Was finally able to coordinate a shoot with an actor for a couple of small but important pick-up shots yesterday. Dropped them in and it all looks good! Just a few more insert shots left, some sound effects and reviewing the music one more time.

Also finished putting together the behind-the-scenes featurette!

Updated the trailer to work in some of the new shots plus use the actual score music instead of temp music. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Slowly but Shirley....and Stop Calling Me Shirley

Well, on a personal note, I had my first Physical Therapy appointment today and hope that over the next 12 weeks I can get rid of this pain and have the energy and drive to wrap up the many projects that are all so close to wrapping up!

Moviewise, I did have a shoot last week to take care of three scenes for DRIFTER. Funny bits here and there, great help in carrying equipment and such and I'm happy with the resulting scenes, which I dropped into the movie the next day.

Up next is two more bits with an actor, then 5 little insert shots, then the opening credit sequence. Really happy with how it has turned out and can't wait to set up some screenings. Have almost all of the behind-the-scenes footage imported in as well and hoping to have time this weekend to work on that for a DVD extra.

BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN is in Mike's hands right now - a few final video tweaks, then audio work, some video image work, updating the end credits and it should be done. I've completed the behind-the-scenes/interviews featurette, but need to travel up to Mike's to look over all the raw footage and pull together a bloopers reel. After that will be scheduling a director's commentary recording and then we should be ready to at least make some cast/crew DVDs and start exploring distribution avenues.

BENEATH A DEAD MOON is still sitting on the sidelines, having been pushed there when I started working on DRIFTER. The good news is that each segment it pretty much done and it's just a matter of me making the time to import them all in, throw them in a timeline, do up the end credits and put together a DVD with the behind-the-scenes featurette on it. My plan right now is to try CreateSpace for this anthology of new and old horror shorts.

More news in the near future about a special event in October and hopefully a few screenings I am working to set up. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Break in Blogging

Have been offline for a bit due to being injured in a car accident. Truly a miracle that my wife and I were not hurt worse. We are OK and will heal. Car did what it was supposed to do to protect us. We are blessed and are moving on.

Meanwhile vicodin and ice packs are my new best friends.

Movie and other stuff is on hold. But fear not, I am itching to get back to it all - so many cool things to finish. Cool things to screen. Cool things to start.

See y'all in a bit.

Friday, July 05, 2013


Back in college (and for a while afterwards) I was the editorial cartoonist for the Oregon State University student newspaper The Daily Barometer. I also did some one-panel humor cartoons for "Montage," which was the weekly entertainment insert that ran every Friday. They were called CHEESE SANDWICH. I also ran a bunch of them in my self-published zines. Now I am sharing them on a new blog:

I have 100 of them scanned already (scanned them years ago with the intention of doing something like this and am just getting around to it now) and am setting them up to post one a day.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Salvage Video

Several weeks back I stumbled upon a guy who was taking his massive VHS and DVD collection and opening a video rental shop in a Texas town. I'd always thought it would be swell to own a video rental shop. He seemed to love cult movies so I thought I'd help him out with a bunch of my wacky horror titles to add to his store shelves.

He got the package and made this swell video! What a nice guy!

Salvage Video is located at 310 S. Washington in Livingston, Texas. You can check them out at or on Facebook at

Dr. Squid on Tumblr

Set up a Tumblr page last night at:

Threw a bunch of fun photos in there. Plan to use it mainly for photos and maybe some trailers and such. I like the clean format if I still to that content.

Still plan to keep up this blog as a place to put progress updates and the like.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Well I can't believe that 2013 is almost half over! I have so much to do! Here is what's happening…

Been watching BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN and making fine-tuning notes. My buddy Mike Hegg is working on sound and color correction. I just realized that while I had started putting together a featurette based on the behind-the-scenes camera we had on set, I should really go through all of the main camera footage to pull out any good bloopers. I am sure there were many. So, will be slogging through that soon. Just a lot of footage to go through.

I am working on scheduling that last bits of DRIFTER to shoot - a couple of conversation scenes, some insert shots and a phone call scene. In the meantime, I started working on editing together everything I'd shot for the movie so far and….well, I got on a roll. So now everything that has been shot so far for DRIFTER is roughly edited together. And it's pretty damn sweet, if I do say so myself, which I just did. Really anxious to shoot what's left, cut it in and then dig into sound effects and music!

Hoping to get back to finishing up BENEATH A DEAD MOON later this summer. The parts are all done, it's just a matter to putting them together, authoring a DVD, getting some copies and setting up a screening!

Got my PayPal account set back up so added bunch of buttons to the Dr. Squid store - check it out!

Going to see RUSH at the end of July with my son!

I'll try to post more frequently here, but then again, that means I gotta get more of this stuff done!!!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

BCW Premiere, DRIFTER progress

Been pretty lame on blog posts, but that's just 'cause I've been crazy busy with stuff.

I finished shooting the inserts for BLOOD CREEK WOODSMAN, drove them up to Mike's place and we imported and dropped 'em in. Another trip to get the music all finished up. It was a late night, but I am really happy with the music - an original score by Steve Sessions. Also watched the movie with about 5/6 of the sound effects done, made notes for a few more tweaks. Got a whole bunch of photos cropped and 'shopped for the beginning of the end credits sequence.

Need to get the above poster set up as a PDF so I can get some copies made to put up at the con as well as some fliers to hand out.

Meanwhile, I have finished all of the DRIFTER shooting, save for 2 conversation scenes, one half of a phone call scene, a shot of a car driving down the road at night, and a couple of blood splatters. So pretty darned close. I have 7/8 of the footage already imported into the computer and just finished a DRIFTER trailer that I am pretty darned happy with. Will get that posted online sometime next week. Really hoping to get DRIFTER all wrapped up and out on DVD by the end of the summer. More news as it comes together.

BENEATH A DEAD MOON has been pushed to the side for the moment, but I hope to get that out on DVD sometime later this summer.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Actress Sonya Davis snapped some swell shots during this weekend's DRIFTER shoot. But we warned, there are serious spoilers here so don't scroll down if you don't want to know too much about the movie.







Friday, April 12, 2013

Phantasm 5

Phantasm is my favorite horror movie.

Creator Don Coscarelli has said in recent interviews that based on the continued interest from Phantasm fans in a Phantasm 5 movie that he would consider it.

He has said everything from, "nothing more than incentive on my part," to "I wouldn't be averse to a fifth film," to "If the stars aligned, I'd think about it," to "We’ve been cooking up a couple ideas, and I like to think that as soon as ['John Dies at the End' is] wrapped up we’ll try to get something going," to "I used to just dismiss the idea of ‘Phantasm 5′, but now I have to take it a little more seriously. There is a rabid fan base that will not be denied! So once I get done with this publicity thing I have to find a way to satisfy that demand!" to "I’m going to seriously consider because if so many people want it how can you say no?"

Don has always stated that the biggest challenge independent film is money.

If I were independently wealthy, I would just contact Don and tell him I wanted to executive produce Phantasm 5 and to get going with it.

But I am not, so I can't.

But it has me thinking about what it would take. Don seems to be up for it and he has stated over and over again that the original cast members are still all around and up for it. It also sounds like he has at least a few different scripts or at least takes on what Phantasm 5 would be story-wise.

I found these numbers regarding the previous films' budgets.

Phantasm I Budget in 1978: $400,000.00
Phantasm I Budget with inflation: $1,353,989.50

Phantasm II Budget in 1988: $3,000,000.00
Phantasm II Budget with inflation: $5,407,989.37

Phantasm III Budget in 1993: $2,500,000.00
Phantasm III Budget with inflation: $3,651,716.19

Phantasm IV Budget in 1998: $600,000.00
Phantasm IV Budget with inflation: $772,398.87

Now, I know at least one of the Phantasm 5 concepts I read about was pretty post-apocalyptic and a broader scope like that may be a bit more expensive to do than the past movies. On the other hand, with technology today sometimes you can pull things off cheaper than in the past.

Phantasm II, a "studio movie," has an adjusted-with-inflation budget of over $5 million.

Phantasm is not Veronica Mars. But, Veronica Mars just raised over $5 million on kickstarter.

Would Phantasm 5 be able to raise $5 million on kickstarter?

It's apples to oranges, but there are similarities. Part of the reason a Veronica Mars movie was even an idea was because of the fan base. There were enough fans who were rabid enough to continue asking for a return of the TV show or a movie that the creator got the blessing of the studio who owned it to try this kickstarter thing out.

Phantasm has a fan base for sure. Are enough of them rabid enough to make this happen? Maybe.

Veronica Mars has Kristen Bell as it's star and she has certainly become what you would call a 'big name' in Hollywood. I think that fact is what really resulted in some of the initial coverage by the mainstream media.

Phantasm doesn't have that advantage of someone involved that the mainstream media would cover in that way. E! Entertainment News, for example.

The other unique thing that got an avalanche of media coverage, which I think got a lot of people contributing who may not have been rabid fans, but were either fans of Kristen Bell or just thought it was cool, was when the kickstarter campaign very quickly zoomed up to $2 million. That was impressive and combined with the novelty of the process and the attachment of a Hollywood star, made it perfect for mentions on all sorts of entertainment and mainstream news outlets.

If Phantasm 5 went onto kickstarter or indiegogo and raised a million dollars in a day, sadly, E! Entertainment News could care less.

So that's the apples to oranges thing about comparing these two properties.

With that all out of the way, how feasible would it be to raise a budget for Phantasm 5 using kickstarter or indiegogo?

Briefly looking through kickstarter there are a lot of horror movies that met their goal of $3000 or $5000, with a few raising $10,000 or more. We're still a long way from $5 million, though.

Here is something interesting, Daniel Roebuck, who was featured in Don Coscareli's latest movie John Dies at the End, and Chuck Williams (bit parts in John Dies at the End and Bubba Ho-Tep) just raised about $13,000 for a project on kickstarter.

Ralph Bakshi, a talented independent creator who has some notoriety from mainstream genre success, recently raised about $174,000 for a new 7-minute or so short that will eventually be part of a larger feature.

A talented independent creator who has some notoriety from mainstream genre success would certainly be a good description of Don Coscarelli.

Paul Giamatti not only acted in John Dies at the End, but he also kicked in some money by being a producer. He said part of the reason he got involved was that he had been a fan of Coscarelli's and of Phantasm for years. Could it be that Paul would once again executive produce with Don for Phantasm 5? Probably. How much? I have no idea? $500,000? Maybe.

There is an accepted process in fund-raising, in particular non-profit stuff where you are appealing to the public for funds, where you try and get several key donations before your "public campaign" begins. That way, to use a United Way reference, your thermometer fills up pretty quickly and that appearance of momentum encourages others to contribute. That, plus it is easier to get people to chip in to reach your goal when you are very close to it (help us close the gap!) rather than when you still have a long way to go.

So one scenario could be that Don works with Paul to raise as much budget commitment as possible before starting the crowd-sourcing campaign. That way they are closer to the goal and the whole "help us reach it" angle might work.

While Veronica Mars got all kinds of mainstream media coverage, it is not horror and the one advantage horror has is a often ravenous fan base and a lot of communication outlets. From blogs to podcasts to news websites, there is a TON of horror stuff out there on the 'net. All of which would be very helpful in a crowd sourcing campaign for Phantasm 5.

Don already attends several horror conventions a year - that is the perfect audience right there. Actors from the Phantasm series also appear at cons and that's just more opportunity to spread the word about a campaign.

You know that once something like this was announced, all the horror news sites would be all over it and news would spread like wildfire through the horror community. Horror bloggers would blog about it and horror podcasters would podcast about it. Additionally multi-genre sites like Aintitcoolnews and Blastr would mention it as well.

But the bottom line is: are the fans who want the fifth movie rabid enough to contribute enough? That's the big question mark. How can the producers hedge their bet?

Phantasm II was just released on Blu-Ray from Scream Factory. I wonder what the sales figures were like for it? That might be a bit telling in terms of the series' popularity, but you would have to take into account that it's not a NEW Phantasm movie.

Assuming that Don and his Silver Sphere Corporation owns the rights to Phantasm, would a company like Magnolia/Magnet (who released John Dies at the End) kick in money to produce a Phantasm 5 if they were guaranteed the distribution rights? Perhaps a few other companies might be interested in pre-buying the foreign and domestic rights, VOD, DVD and otherwise?

Having said all of this - what would be a budget Don would feel he could pull off the movie with? For example, $5 might be an ideal budget, but what if he got $3 million? Is that a deal-breaker? What it was $1 million? Can it be done to the standards he would want? Because he is a nice guy, Don has been able to call in favors from industry friends in FX, music and other areas from his low-budget independent productions. Wouldn't a lot of these friends be up for helping out on the final Phantasm movie?

The downside of all of this: what if a campaign is launched and it raises a bit of money, but not enough? Does that damage the reputation of Don or the series? In some peoples' eyes, yes. Does it make it harder to try again later? Perhaps, especially if it's done in a similar fashion.

What if there are "Hollywood stars" out there, like Paul Giamatti, who are fans of Don and Phantasm, and who would be willing to pony up some funding to get a fifth movie made? How many of those stars would it take to throw together $5 million? I guess it depends on how big they are!

And let's do the old breakdown:

If $5 million is the required budget and $1 million is raised before the campaign begins, the goal is $4 million.

Veronica Mars had one person kick in $10,000, three that kicked in $8,000 three more that kicked in $6,500 and 4 that kicked in $5000. They had over 22,000 people kicking in at the $35 level and as many at the $25 level.

How many hardcore Phantasm fans are out there around the planet that would kick in money to help get Phantasm 5 made? How many casual Phantasm fans out there? How many just plain horror fans who might kick in $1?

And again, $5 million may be an ideal number - it's possible Don is willing to try and pull it off with less. Maybe much less, based on some of his other budgets.

You never know until you try.

Obviously, all of this is speculation. I don't know Don personally. I am not privy to any information behind the scenes about what it would take to pull this off.

I just know that I would love to see the old gang back for Phantasm 5 and it sounds like the old gang would love it, too.

Update: I posted this blog a few days ago and now, I just read a Fangoria interview with Don and he was asked about Phantasm V if he had thought about using something like Kickstarter. Here is what he said, "Yeah, I have. A lot. It seems there might be passion for that kind of thing. When you’ve got something that has a committed fanbase and you can get pretty creative with the perks…for a fifty thousand dollar donation the Tall Man will strangle you on film!"

SWEET!!!! I hope Don makes a go at it!

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