I did an interview for the Bizarro Fiction fan group on Facebook. Anyone could ask me any question they wanted. This is a LONG interview and you can basically learn anything you wanted to know about me from it. Click READ MORE to check it out.
Wow, the World Horror Convention was absolutely amazing! That was an insane nonstop whirlwind four days of hanging out with some of the most awesome people in the world! Here were just a few of my highlights:
- Hosting the Deadite Press party and sharing my favorite beer, Super Dog IPA, with everyone.
- Moderating the “Hardcore Fucking Horror” panel with Michael T Huyck Jr, Wrath James White, Jack Ketchum, Christine Morgan, and Aaron Sterns. The best part was when the father lead his small child out of the room after forty minutes of talking about incest, cannibalism, and donkey fucking. We had no idea the kid was in the room!
- My hometown buddy and Deadite Press best-selling author, Brian Keene, being honored with the World Horror Grand Master Award.
- Signing of ton of shit at the mass autograph session. I’m always shocked when people have my stuff and actually want it signed.
- Shane McKenzie and I getting kidnapped by clowns and hanging out drinking and talking television with CARNIVALE’s creator, Daniel Knauf. And then Shane and Daniel being shocked when the clowns got naked and I was completely nonplussed. They do that all the time.
- Running tech on the film block and seeing the fantastic SURVIVOR TYPE adaptation by Billy Hanson.
- Sharing Portland’s very own The Bedlam Sisters Side Show with a packed room of horror professionals and watching them cringe at the side show acts.
- Surprising Alan M. Clark and singing him “Happy Birthday” with about twenty other people.
- Hosting another amazing Gross Out Contest with judging by Brian Keene, Rose O’Keefe, John Skipp, Douglas E. Winter, and Daniel Knauf. Congrats to winners Stephen Lybeck (first place), David Agranoff (second place), Querus Abuttu (third place), Gardner Goldsmith (fourth place), and Shane McKenzie (judge’s choice). They received awesome prize bags with comic books and Alex Pardee horror prints. Expect Gardner who got a pudding cup and Shane who took a bite of sausage dipped in mayonnaise – I almost vomited at that.
- When I host the Gross Out, I always like to do a few little skits. This time I explained to everyone what real disgusting ingredients are in candy, shared DINOSAURS ATTACK cards with everyone in the audience, and getting a copy of SHATNERQUEST stapled to my back by Miss Spooky aka Theo Polidori.
- Having only two people show up to my reading and I just told Squishy stories and showed pictures of her.
- Moderating a panel on horror and video games and getting amazing insight into the industry from Nancy Holden, Leslie Klinger, and Joe Borrelli (writer for EA).
- Sharing the Portland institutions Montage and The Lovecraft Bar with so many visiting out of town friends.
- Hanging out on a roof top bar with Cameron Pierce, John Skipp, Christoph Paul, Ryan Harding, and Edmund Colell and discussing upcoming projects, religion, and industry gossip.
I am so exhausted but overjoyed at just how wonderful a time that was. Thanks to everyone that came out and thanks to everyone that made the event happen. Special thanks to Chrissy Horchheimer for manning the book table all weekend, Edward Morris for making sure all the logistic details were handled, Rose O’Keefe for putting us up in an amazing room with an incredible view of Portland, and everyone in The Bedlam Sisters Side Show for proving we have the most creative, talented, and beautiful people here in Portland.
The World Horror Convention will be in Atlanta, GA and it sounds like there will be something special happening at the Gross Out Contest there. I can’t say what but you’re gonna want to be there…
This coming week is the World Horror Convention in Portland, OR!
These are all the events that I am involved in. I hope to see a lot of there you!
Thursday, May 8
Panel: What Editors Want
(Paula Guran, Don D’Auria, Jeff Burk, Nick Mamatas, Ross Lockhart )
Professional editors offer their insights on their side of the publishing market: what sells, what grabs an audience, and what often crashes with the best of intentions.
Friday, May 9
Panel: Hardcore Fucking Horror
(Jeff Burk, Jack Ketchum, Wrath James White, Christine Morgan, Michael Huyck, Aaron Sterns)
Horror has always pushed fiction to the very edge. Follow us over to the most extreme corners of the genre. And is there such a thing as going “too far?”
Mass Autograph Signing
All of your favorite writers are in one spot and are willing to sign books!
Deadite Press Party
Saturday, May 10
Pitch Workshop/Editor Meet & Greet
(Jason Brock, Dave Thomas, R.J. Cavender, Jeff Burk, Cameron Pierce, Nancy Siegel, Sarah Peed, Don D’Auria, Michael Bailey)
Deadite Press presents The Bedlam Sisters Sideshow
Portland’s very own sexy and terrifying freak show with a live performance of acts and skills guaranteed to shock and disgust. WARNING: THIS EVENT CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT
Gross Out Contest
Do you have what it takes to be crowned the grossest storyteller of the World Horror Convention? Hosted by Jeff Burk and judged by Brian Keene, Douglas Winters, Rose O’Keefe, John Skipp, and Daniel Knauf. Ten authors will take the stage but only one will win the bragging rights and amazing prizes! WARNING: THIS EVENT CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT
Sunday, May 11
Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast
(Cody Goodfellow, John Skipp, Cthulhu Cultists)
Come witness an eldritch local tradition as Portland’s Esoteric Order of Dagon presents its severalennial ritual prayer breakfast and recruitment drive. Put your webbed hands together for a sermon, church news and posthuman hymns led by Bishop Ichabod Marsh and Deacon Froggy Mason (Cody Goodfellow & John Skipp) and the EOD’s own all-croaking Noneuclidean Choir.
Reading: Jeff Burk
Jeff Burk is the cult favorite author of several books including SHATNERQUAKE and CRIPPLE WOLF. He is also one of the most original, ridiculous, and nerdy voices in the bizarro genre. B-MOVIES AND BEER RUINED MY LIFE! contains six short stories and two non-fiction pieces by Jeff Burk. From the filming of a hentai where a monster can’t get it’s tentacles up to a house made literally of cats, this collection shows why Wil Wheaton described his writing as “Lloyd Kaufman and Sam Raimi’s mutant offspring,”
This ebook also contains two non-fiction essays. One about his worst reading ever where someone called the cops and an essay on loving extreme horror.
This collection contains:
I’VE SEEN ENOUGH HENTAI TO KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING…
THE DOG WHO STARED
HOUSE OF CATS
FROSTY AND THE FULL MONTY
THE MOST ACCOMPLISHED CRACK HEAD IN THE WORLD
PUNK ROCK NURSING HOME
WHEN THE COPS CAME FOR SHATNER OR MY WORST READING EVER
YOU SICK FUCK OR WHY I LOVE EXTREME HORROR
I was interviewed for the 52nd episode of the Surreal Grotesque Podcast. It’s a great interview series with some of the coolest people in bizarro and horror. Here’s host Jeremy Maddux’s description of the interview:
“I interviewed Jeff Burk of Deadite and Eraserhead Press. We talked about the impressive Deadite releases coming up next month, the Shatnerquake series, his cat Squishy and what lessons we can take away from extreme horror.”
Stop by and ask me questions about writing, publishing, horror, nerd shit, or whatever else is on your mind. I will be hanging out until midnight (pacific time). Here’s the link to the thread.
I’m the head-editor for Deadite Press, an imprint of Eraserhead Press that focuses on cult and extreme horror. What I look for in books is the sickest and weirdest shit out there. Snuff film starring an infant? Fuck yeah! Genital grinder? We have a hit! Fucking someone in their skull via a power-drill hole? Can you make it a series?
Many of my friends, and even many others in the horror industry, don’t understand what I get out of these kinds of stories. They don’t understand why anyone would want to read or watch something filled with rape, torture, necrophilia, mutilation, and all other sorts of vile acts.
It’s really quite simple. I find all those things horrifying.
Many seem to forget the point of the horror genre is to horrify the audience. While I adore the fog-drenched sets of the Universal monster films and I’m a sucker for a well done haunted house flick, those things don’t actually scare me. Sorry to break it to everyone but ghosts and werewolves aren’t real. Rapists, serial killers, terrorists, sex slavery, and random acts of cruelty are real. The thought of being stalked by a vampire does not linger in the back of my brain in the same way as what could happen when walking alone in the middle of the night.
I know it’s cliché to say but humans are the real monsters and our supernatural creations are just stand-ins for our own fears. I just prefer the cut-out the symbolic middle-man and get straight to the dirty shit. Watching films like NEKROMANTIK and SALO give a safe glimpse into the depravity of the human condition.
In recent years we’ve had two controversial films released that (somehow) managed to get coverage in world-wide mainstream media – THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE series and A SERBIAN FILM. Apparently the idea of films revolving around forced shit eating or the production of child pornography/snuff were too much for some. Some misguided protectors of morality even managed to talk some countries into placing arrest warrants for the directors for obscenity (don’t worry, the cases got worked out and Tom Six and Srđan Spasojević are fine). All over fictional films featuring no real acts of violence or sex. They just went “too far.”
The idea of someone complaining that a horror film or story has “gone too far” completely mystifies me. The horror genre has always been the genre to “go too far.” It’s part of the point. Horror has always been pushing the boundaries of good taste to scare, upset, and disgust. It’s always been an integral part of the genre and it always will be.
I have to immediately question if these films did indeed go “too far” or were they instead successful horror films? They assaulted the audience with concepts and images that disturbed, sickened, lingered in the mind. Those that complained about these movies in terms of their subject matter just got something that we’re not use too – an affective horror movie. I believe those films should be praised for accomplishing their goals of mentally fucking the audience without mercy.
I’m not one for criticizing someone’s taste in media. If you like something I don’t like, good for you! But I will say if you are approaching the horror genre with a politically correct mindset, you’re going to have a bad time. The world is a violent and sick place and for many people, myself included, movies and stories that wallow in that nastiness help make the cruelty of reality make a little more sense. It’s a safe glimpse into the dark side of humanity. Complaining that a horror film disturbed or bothered you is like complaining that a comedy made you laugh. It’s just fucking stupid.
However, there is no denying how much fun it is to get together with some like-minded friends, crack some beers and spark up, and watch the GUINEA PIG series or BLOOD SUCKING FREAKS.
Maybe I am just a sick fuck? Fuck it, I don’t know but I know what I like. I think I’ll go watch CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST again…
This essay originally appeared in issue #4 of Splatterpunk. It was an awesome issue that also featured John Skipp, J. F. Gonzalez, Robert Essig, Shane McKenzie, and many more. There are still a few copies left, click here and get yourself a copy.