Jimmyo Burrill [Interview]
October 30, 2014 Leave a comment
Welcome Everybody to Day 4 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Week of Horror! The week of scares is almost wrapped up, so we are bringing out the big guns to put it lightly. Today we have an awesome interview with one of the modern time’s finest creators of spine tingling and gut wrenching horror films you could possibly enjoy today. He is a man who has impressed the likes of Herschel Gordon Lewis, Lloyd Kaufman, and more importantly, a shit ton of viewers who have made his work a wonderful cult following for the delightful psychopaths and fuck ups all across the globe.
Jimmyo Burrill, along with his lovely wife April Monique Burril, are responsible for the delightfully disgusting Chainsaw Sally franchise that has swept the nation, as well as the world. On the surface, Sally is simply a sick twisted tale of masochistic proportions. But, in reality, it is a brutal display of the power that women can have, and how it gender holds no restraint when it comes to kicking ass and taking names. And beyond all that, it is just a brilliant piece of cinema that will hopefully always be remembered, even if it is only in the last week of October when we all feel it is okay to have the shit scared out of us, and it might just be okay to become a bit squeamish when he normally wouldn’t do so in, let’s say, the previous May.
Beyond his work with Chainsaw Sally, Jimmyo Burrill is a man who has influenced so many others, and has worked in basically every realm of entertainment you could imagine. He is a versatile actor, musician, filmmaker, visual gigolo, etc. He brings to the screen something wonderful each time he places his big scary hands anywhere in the vicinity of art. He is a visual mastermind who deserves to be recognized even far beyond the TWS world. But, we are oh so thankful that he has agreed to share a few words with the likes of us savages and hellhounds. So Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to introduce the man who needs no introduction…. Mr. Jimmyo Burrill!
I have been a horror fan since first grade. My parents made the haunted house at my elementary school, so I was into it. Then in 6th grade I stayed up late and saw Alice Cooper on the Midnight Special. This started the ball rolling to where we are today. I played in a band, Next Window, as a teen… and loved being onstage. Later, I got into musical theater, and regular plays on a local level. To me it took the place of being onstage with a band… As I got into it I realized I loved acting… and then directing. But I studied every part of theater… tech, lighting, sound, stage design. I wanted something more my flavor so I wrote a few musicals with my then writing partner, James Taylor. We did very well locally. The big one was Silver Scream, a sort of Haunted House musical…. Very much like Alice Cooper’s Welcome to my Nightmare. I had not idea about getting into film because of my passion for stage, but then, for the hell of it, decided to shoot an on location film of Silver Scream.. .. and I fell in love. That’s the path… and it’s been weird and spontaneous.
What is it to you personally that makes the horror genre so wonderful? Especially the world of indie horror that has such a cult following?
Freedom, and unpredictability. This is straight from the mind that thought it up to the final product. If you were an oil painter, for instance, you would not come up with an idea, then try to get funding, and do business meetings trying to get someone to see your vision, believe in it, and back you up. You would not need a team. You would not need actors, or editors. It’s straight from the artist to the canvas. Indie film is as close as we get to that with movies.
It all cycles. A few years ago vampires ruled… now zombies. The next wave will it and zombies will wash into the background again. Eb and flow…. The natural movement of things. If it’s bad now… which I don’t think it is… it will be good again soon. Ever go to a diner and they have one of those dessert displays that rotates around so you can see all the lovely sweets? Same deal with entertainment…. Just have to wait for your flavor to come around.
Were you initially surprised by the success of your cult favorite film, Chainsaw Sally? Or did you just KNOW that the premise was going to be a hit?
I had never made a film… a real film before. And if you were to ask pros in Hollywood, I’ve still not made a real film. We had a tiny budget, and a load of inexperience. I am grateful to anyone and everyone who takes the time to watch our flicks. If you don’t like it, wish you did. If you do, COOL! I hope to bring you more ASAP! Since I had done nothing in the film world before, I had no expectations. No clue what was going to happen. I think the biggest surprise was seeing all of the Sally tattoos popping up. THAT blew us away.
If you had to rank the Top 3 Deaths from any of the projects you have been, or will be, involved with, what would they be?
I love the Bugs Bunny machine we made in Season 1 of the show where Sally and Ruby are tormenting a cheerleader who is just mean. She is strapped to a guillotine with her neck under the blade. She has a catheter (a tube for urine) and is being force-fed water. The bottle for her urine is on a see saw… on the other end is a burning candle. Above the candle is the rope holding the blade. All she has to do to live is not pee. THAT was fun. I like Sally digging Angel Eyes heart out with a spoon… and I love the other heart removal in the bathtub scene of the Good Sisters. However, the ones I have for the new projects top all of those.
Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming project, The Darling Clementines?
By far the most fucked up thing I’ve ever written. I can not say much but there will be parts that are uncomfortable to watch. Once again a female driven horror story… as that seems to be my thing. It will be our first real, big budget film. And I DO plan to shoot it on film. HD is pretty… I don’t want pretty.. or filters…or CGI… I want to make a gritty, brutal film.
The big news for us is the Chainsaw Sally animated series. I love writing and designing this! It was my childhood dream to be a cartoonist. I have made my living as an artist for over 30 years, so this is a perfect project to come around. Picture what you know of Sally, with no restraints of budget, physics, gravity, and reality. This will also open her up to a much larger audience. I can’t wait!!!!
What are your plans for this upcoming Halloween?
Celebrating my 16th wedding anniversary with April. We were married on Halloween 1998, in costume.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
I actually smile a lot… not that you can tell from my pics. The last thing that made me smile was the sunrise today though the trees.
Note from the Editor: A happiest Annivesary to Mr. & Mrs. Burrill! May your partnership continue to be fruitful both on and off the screen!