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Monday, January 30, 2012

ZOMBIES: Interview - Joy Killar - Pig-tailed Zombie Crusher extrodinaire

by Bowie Ibarra

When you're a part of the zombie apoc subculture that has taken the world by storming zombie mob, its not hard to meet many interesting people.  Our next guest is no exception.  She's the mastermind behind and is ready for the coming Zpoc.  Please welcome Joy Killar.

Full Name: Joy Killer: Pig-tailed Zombie Slayer 
Code Name/Nickname: joy 
Primary Specialty: Zombie Killing, Survival 
Secondary Specialty: Reading and review 
YAY! *dance dance*
Shoot it if it Shuffles! - I’m sure many people associate Joy Killar with gas masks. Tell us a little bit about the fascination with the iconic apoc headgear.

Joy Killar - The gas mask is a very necessary piece of survival gear for the Apocalypse. Ever since the Cold War in the 1950s it has represented our fear of Nuclear War and the need to protect ourselves from radiation and bio/chemical warfare. From that fear has sprung an amazing wealth of beautiful imagery utilizing the gas mask as an accessory. You could almost say that sub-culture is reinventing the original Pin-up girl into the new sexy Gas Mask girl.  

It is no longer just a functional survival item. Gas masks are becoming very vogue and available in fashionable models. Where once an attraction to gas masks might have labeled you a fetishist now it is becoming so common that can hardly be the case. 

For myself, I truly have a love of the covered face. That is my fascination. Whether one is covering their face with their hands or being silly with a scarf, I think the mystery of what is hidden has always been greatly intriguing. My love of the mystique translates into my wearing a gas mask in all of my pictures as it visually instills the message that we should always be prepared for Z-poc. 

ZBF - As a pigtailed zombie crusher, you must have a contingency plan for the upcoming zpoc. What is your strategy when the zpoc hits?

JK - The number one thing to do when you know it has begun: Get out of the city, get out of the city, get out of the city!!! If I could drive only one thing home to anyone, that would be it.

If you think you have to stay, then at least immediately fill your bathtub with water before everything goes off grid.

When I know the SHTF I will be hiking so I do not have to worry about vehicle congestion on the roads. I realize everyone is into their massive off-road trucks, and jeeps but I have thought about this for years. What good is a vehicle if it is stopped in traffic or if there is no fuel?

I am keeping it simple and I do not have a planned destination- because honestly, the chances of anyone making it to their "Safe Place" is unlikely unless it is very close to their original location- and if that was the case- why didn't you just stay where you were? So that is the plan: to bug out and just stay constantly on the move. Maintain my distance from everything that moves, zombie or human. 

I have an amazing Bug Out Bag (BOB) but I am doing my best to be in a place to not need it. Since I am hiking I honestly don’t want to lug a bag forever. And, the truth is, your BOB might be stolen or lost for whatever reason- the need to survive without assistance is of the utmost importance. 

(on a side note) I also have my house very well stocked in the event I cannot make it out of town. I always have over 3 months of non-perishable food and water stocked and rotated. I have taken every precaution to be prepared no matter what happens.

ZBF - Let’s hear it: Weapon(s) of choice?

JK - There are so many!

Ruger Mini-14 (tactical)
Remington 780
Glock 17 9mm
Gerber Gator machete
Cold Steel Gun Stock War Club
Smith and Wesson boot knife

Again- it is like my BOB. I plan to carry, but it is always tempered with the knowledge that any weapons I have may be stolen or lost. Also, always remember: guns run out of ammo and knives get dull. No weapon will ever be sure fire. The greatest we have is our minds.

ZBF - When the zpoc hits, are you of the camp that thinks it will eventually end over a month or two, or will it be perpetual?

KA - I have no firm beliefs. It will depend on the way it happens and the way it is handled. 

ZBF - In your opinion, what are the elements of a good zombie story?

KA - A good Zombie story starts with action right away, grabbing the reader from the start. If you lose the reader to boredom in the first few chapters, they may put the book down and not pick it back up.

There needs to be believable characters. A Zombie story is about the humans and their charisma. If I am not feeling “involved” I lose interest.

I tend to rave on books which have detailed imagery. As I read I am playing that novel like a movie in my head. The more comprehensive the description is the more enjoyable the book is for me.

The best Zombie novels and movies (to me) are the ones where nobody lives. When I am done with a book like that, I feel satisfied. It makes sense. It feels real. 

ZBF - What are some of the book titles from the zombie genre that you’ve enjoyed?

JK - Hands down my Favorite is your “Down the Road” series! I am not just saying that, it truly is. Fantastic action and I love your poetic voice.

Tony Monchinski’s “Eden” series
Z.A. Recht’s “Morningstar Saga”
A few Wellington and Keene

I am really looking forward to reading Colson Whitehead’s “Zone One”. I have heard amazing reviews. One person said that once you have read it you will never need to read another Zombie novel again.

ZBF - What are some zombie movies you’ve had fun watching?

JK - I love “Pontypool”. Perhaps it is my love of language that always returns me to this movie.
“Eaters” is UNBELIEABLE!! Came out in 2011 and I have been watching that once a month. 
“One Last Sunset” Indie film that I fell in love with.

ZBF - Do you have a bit of a gripe with some of the many stories told about the zombie apocalypse?

JK - No, I can read and watch even the worst. If it is Zombie or Apocalyptic- it is valid in my eyes. If it is really bad then it is worth some good laughs. 

ZBF - This might be a stupid question at this point, but I’m going to ask it because its standard: Zombies, Blood, or Fights?

JK - Don’t they all go together? 

ZBF - As leader of the Free World, what would you do for our country to help defend against the zombie apocalypse?

JK - Really, so much depends on how it all goes down. But here is a vague draft:

-- Close all borders, cancel any and all incoming/outgoing intercontinental transportation.
Heavily equip and launch all Naval subs with orders to circle the N. American waters and shoot on site any oncoming vessels. Also, have these as “safe”, floating military units.
-- Destroy all unknown aircraft.
-- Instantly move all Military bases into Code Red lock downs (we will need the military uninfected, up and running, as soon as the initial intense wave finalizes).
-- Retain the top biological scientists to the safest places in the country with full equipment at their disposal. 
-- Do the utmost to network the nation’s largest hospitals, sending full National Guard support to immediately control the situations surrounding those areas (orders to shoot and kill on sight).
-- Have CDC and FEMA take over all broadcasting with survival info messages.
-- Grab my “special” laptop with its top-secret codes and go into hiding.

To visit with Joy and join her wild army of zombie crushers, head on over to for zpoc talk, weapons discussions, fun pics and videos.


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Bowie Ibarra is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuster.  His latest zombie story, 'The Fall of Austin', centers around the adventures of local police, military, and release prisoners from county who are thrust into the zombie apocalypse in the Texas capital.  You can read an excerpt and order the book here.

Network with Bowie and discover more of his books at his official website,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

FIGHTS: Royal Rumble '12 Recap - Whiskey for the Leperechauns on Wrestlemania Road

by Bowie Ibarra

Photo Credit: WWE.COM

Like pilgrims to the holy land, pro-rasslin' superfans began their individual walks on the 'Road to Wrestlemania'.  The walk begins in earnest at Royal Rumble.  30 WWE stars were set to throw down for the chance to main event at the Granddaddy of all pro-wrestling events.  And took in the show and had some fun with his brethren at Fatso's in San Antonio, Texas.


Jack Briscoe.  Dory Funk.  Ric Flair.  Harley Race.  Bryan Danielson.

Danielson has been a little overenthusiastic over the past few weeks, and has not been making many friends.  Two people who have big beefs with Danielson were Henry and Show, who were going to settle it all in the cage.  I thought it was a good match, but as usual, I thought it needed blood.

Yeah, its an old complaint.  But it rings true every time.
Let's face it.  Cage matches need blood.  And thought this match was enjoyable, that was the only thing it needed.

Danielson retains the title.


The girls threw down in an amusing diva's match.  I thought one of the best parts was a moment when Phoenix went for a tag, then on the way out, slapped the crap out of Eve(?).  She also swatted Bella I on the shoulder to tag herself in to smash Kelly Kelly with the GlamSlam.

Phoenix and her team of Divas takes it.


Funkasaurus was pimped out in a green track suit and fedora, looking like the missing technicolor member of Run DMC.  The Funkasaurus Dancers were looking great as well.  And it didn't take long for Clay to crush McEntyre with his devestating flying cross body block.

The best part of the night was listening to my fellow fans and realizing how old I was.  Clay is clearly using to great effect the same image that 'Flash Funk' (2Cold Scorpio) had in the early 90s, complete with pimp garb and dancers.  But my friends said, "Oh, he's like The Godfather.  Well, kind of.

Clay takes it.


Kane and Cena can't seem to sort it out, and mixed it up in the ring.

But the fight spilled to the outside, ending the match in a DQ countout.

Then, as the fight moved to the back, Kane stunned Cena and found Ryder's dressing room.  Ryder had showed up to the arena in a back brace from his choke slam through the ramp at Raw.  Well, it was a bad idea for him to show up, because Kane the Supernatural douchebag smothered Ryder into unconsciousness and took him to the ring.

Ryder's special lady friend, Eve, tried to plead for Kane to stop.  She eventually chose to just cower in the corner as her severely injured man was put down with the Kane family favorite, a classic tombstone piledriver.

Cena tried to come out for the save, but ended up feeling Kane's wrath as well.  Interestingly enough, Kane spared Eve.

Eve is the worst girlfriend ever.  She's trained to fight, and in the very least, should have tried to kick Kane in the nuts.  C'mon, Eve.  That's your injured man over there.  You've taken a Super Glam Slam from the top rope.  You do a booty shake standing backflip splash.  You got to have the skills to attack an ungodly beast's supernatural genitals.  If you can't light up Kane's testes with a kick and make them great balls of fire to spare you're man, you're a bad girlfriend.  That's all I'm saying.

Double DQ

CM PUNK (C) vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER w/Vikki Guerrero

Laurinitis is concerned about keeping his job and impressing a returning (goddammit, HHH, you sonovabitch) Hunter Hearst Helmsley.  So he removes Vikki from ringside and does his best to call it right down the middle.

It's a great match with some good action and energy.  But when the official ref gets knocked out, Punk was victorious at least two times.  But the ref wasn't there and the pins were ignored by the outside official, Laurinitis.  But eventually, Punk gets the win and retains the title.


This Rumble match was alright.  I had a good time watching it, and so did the people I sat with at Fatsos.  The end of the match wasn't too much fun until the very end, though.  But here were some highlights.

-  The return of Kharma, who eliminated two dudes
- Mick Foley vs. Santino in a 'Socko vs. Cobra' fight
- Jinder Mahal - I like anything international in US pro-wrestling.  And I like Mahal.
- Ricardo Rodriguez showing up in a beat-down Mazda acting like Del Rio.  For a second there, I thought it was Del Rio.  But it was Rodriguez.  And it was hilarious as he hit the ring in his whitey-tighteys.
-The entire announce team mixed it up, including Cole.  Thankfully, that turd was one of the dudes eliminated by Kharma.
- Kofi Kingston did a handstand walk to the stairs to prevent being eliminated.  Hey, his feet didn't touch the ground.
- Hacksaw Jim Duggan - Admittedly long in the tooth, the first Rumble winner in history came into the event to get a little taste of the glory, to see what it tastes like.
-  Road Dog showed up out of the clear blue.  You could see him getting really tired around the first :35-40 seconds of his time in the ring.  But it was fun to see him.
- NO KEVIN NASH - Watching that turd enter last year was an omen of horrible things to come for last year.  He was pretty much one of the main reasons WWE sucked last year, and I was glad his broke down stupid ass didn't show up this year.
- Jericho finally arrives! - He finally got in the ring and mixed it up, in it to win it.
- It came down to Jericho, Sheamus, Big Show, and Randy Orton.  After Show and Orton were eliminated, Jericho and Sheamus faced off.  In a pretty intense matchup, you could tell the way both men were fighting, they wanted the win.  In the end, Sheamus wins by Broughe Kicking Jericho out of the ring.

My only complaint was that as the Rumble was counting down to the last guys, it just didn't feel like any superstars were in the ring.  I guess just because I don't follow some of the new stars, it was anticlimactic for me.  But it finished strong with Jericho and Sheamus.

As the so-called IWC continues to perpetually poop themselves after every show, even PPV's, one of the common themes of the fallout seems to be Jericho 'should' have won?  What?  He had his chance, and was doing pretty good against a tired Sheamus.  But Sheamus proved he wanted it just a little bit more and took the victory.

In fact, I'm glad Jericho didn't win.  He didn't come across looking like those entitled returning SuperStars that think they should always win.  In fact, it looks like by Jericho losing, he's given fans yet another reason to be upset with him.  In the end, he 'won' after all, continuing to get under the skin of the official IWC.

In spite of what some internet fans are saying, I had a good time watching it.  It was actually a pretty good pay-per-view, with Punk/Ziggler being the best-in-show.

Congrats, Sheamus.  Whiskey for the Leprechauns!  Whiskey for the Leprechauns!

We'll see what happens now at the Chamber in another month as we walk our own roads to 'mania.


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Bowie Ibarra is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series.  His upcoming book, "Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire", is a combat sports themed book.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ZOMBIES/BLOOD/FIGHTS - INTERVIEW: Ohio Artist Anthony "Tank" Mansfield talks with ZBF

by Bowie Ibarra is proud to welcome the following guest to the blog.  Anthony "Tank" Mansfield is not only an outstanding artist, but for many years has been one of the most talented voices of flat-track roller derby in Ohio.  Without further ado, the Blog is proud to welcome 'Tank'.

Full Name: Anthony Mansfield
Code Name: Tank
Primary Specialty: Visual Artist
Secondary Specialty: Announcing - Tank, I heard it finally happened!  The World Cup of Flat Track Roller Derby!  What was the buzz surrounding the event?

Tank - People were definitely talking about it, both pro and con. Some loved the idea and others thought it was way ahead of its time. It was awesome watching the tryout process this past June in Philadelphia for Team USA. They in turn crushed everyone that they faced. Which makes me feel compelled to say “USA! USA!” but it wasn’t a lot of fun to watch what was essentially predetermined maulings.

ZBF - What were the nations that had representatives and who ended up winning?

T - The rankings of the participants at the end of the weekend was 13. Argentina, 12. Brazil, 11. Scotland, 10. Ireland, 9. Germany 8. New Zealand 7. France 6. Sweden 5. Finland 4. Australia 3. England 2. Canada 1. USA.

ZBF - How has your life in derby been recently?

T - I have decided to hang up my announcer’s microphone at the end of the Cincinnati Rollergirls’ home season in June of 2012. After doing this for so long at such a high level, the challenge to perform has waned for me. Plus, I am tired of the endless cycle of hotel, game, after party, sleep, wake up, and drive home/fly. I could stay, but I feel like I would just keep doing the same things over and over again.

One of my inspirations for walking away from the sport was actually you, Bowie. I watched you leave and go on to write books and live your dream of being an author and I said to myself, “If he can do it, why can’t I?” For some people roller derby is their life, but for me, my life is about creating things.

ZBF - Any predictions for nationals next season, or is it too early?

T - Too early. The landscape of the sport tends to shift every season. I think Gotham will continue to be a part of the upper tier for years to come due to their brains, talent, and athletic ability. They keep the penalties low and that is important in roller derby. Oly could win it all again, if they could just figure out that they can’t have people living in the box. If that team could cut their penalties in half, they would be unstoppable.

ZBF - When you’re not announcing or teaching, you are taking time to hone your art.  Tell us a little bit about your artistic works.

T - I have been creating art all my life. At age 4 my dad drew me an Ed Roth Rat Fink monster on the back of a place mat. It is the only thing I have ever seen him draw. He gave me his military sketchbook and I studied it and drew all over it. I wish I still had it. It got me addicted to art. From then on, I drew. I was an only child I spent a lot of time alone and I would just draw page after page of used copy paper from my grandfather’s business. I did art in school, high school, college, and beyond. I have never stopped making art.

"I Heard that Sound"
I have been showing art for the past decade, but I have gotten really serious about it in the past two years. I figured that if I put the same amount of work and time into art that I did into announcing, I could be extremely successful. Currently I am working on new drawings, paintings, prints, and design work for T-shirts and stickers. I also started an art collective called Ghost Empire (, which includes myself and some other high-caliber artists. We are all very competitive and that helps to drive each of us in our art making.

ZBF - Will your works be on display again as they were on several occasions in 2011?

T - Yes, so far I have three group shows lined up for 2012, two of which are Ghost Empire shows. The first, Die Cupid Die, is taking place at one of the coolest bars in Cincinnati, The Famous Neon’s Unplugged. Neon’s has free pool, bocce ball, and gigantic Jenga. It’s a really great place and we are going to be doing live art during the opening. Then in April we are doing a show at MOTR, another excellent bar in Cincinnati that is known for its live music. We are doing a show there called “The Art of War” where we are doing live art battles akin to freestyle battles in hip-hop. Other then that I will keep putting on shows and am focusing on doing some group shows outside of Ohio.

ZBF - A robot seems to be a constant theme in some of your works.  Tell us about that.

I am a really big Derek Hess fan ( and wanted to do something along the same lines of creating a figure that was recognizable but was androgynous changed to some extent piece to piece. I started to create these robots because they didn’t have a sex or race, but was still very human in some way.

"A Light in the Storm"
The robots are like people in the fact that you see hundreds, sometimes thousands of people in a day and yet you notice how many of them, one? Two? Five? They blur together and you forget them, very few stand out. And even though those people are not important to us, they are important to someone, they have a story, they have a soul. And that is what I try to do with the robots; I try to give each one of them that, a soul.

ZBF - Many artists have inspirations or influences.  What are some of yours that influence your work?

T - Hess, as I already mentioned. Business wise, Andy Warhol. I also get inspiration from Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Todd Schorr, Grime, Geof Darrow, Jason Goad, Jaimie Filer, and others. I like to look at a lot of different people and different mediums and styles.

ZBF - Here’s the standard question:  Zombies, Blood, or Fights?

T - Zombies: They are around us everyday.

Blood: I like it when it’s fake but not in real life. My mom is a nurse, so my natural reaction to seeing blood is offering to clean it and patch it.

Fights: I really like what the UFC is doing right now with their FOX deal. They are truly building a new sport that has great international reach and growth in the foreseeable future.

"Never Alone"
ZBF - What would be your weapon(s) of choice for the upcoming zombie apocalypse?

T - A carbine rifle with an extended clip and scope, Glock 22 with hollow point rounds, an axe handle for smashing heads, buck knife, steel toe boots, and a Mag Light for lighting dark corridors and more head smashing.

ZBF - As we begin walking the road to Wrestlemania, who takes it?  Rock or Cena?

T - Kevin Steen. Just kidding. I don’t watch nearly as much professional wrestling as I used too. WWE just does not interest me anymore: So many horrible segments, overexposure of the product, cookie cutter rookies coming out of developmental that all have the same trunks and bad tribal tattoos, hotshot booking with feuds that make no sense, and Michael Cole. Cole has truly helped to ruin wrestling for me with his constant berating of the product and how bad it is. I mean, announcer rule 101 is get the talent over, and instead he just craps all over it and buries everything.

I like what Ring of Honor is trying to do, same for PWG, but wrestling is dying in this country because of all the stupid decisions WWE makes and the direction things are going. The UFC is so much better on almost every level, and they have really started to build fights with preview shows on free TV built around hyping their main event, pay per view fights, and keeping the storylines very simple: “MMA Fighter A wants to beat up MMA Fighter B so that he can get a title fight with MMA Fighter C.” Brilliant, simple, and timeless.

I will watch Wrestlemania out of habit and I expect to be disappointed like last year. I have to figure that Rock does the JOB (for a ton of money) and Cena wins. Rock left the WWE, has been a major success, and you know that Vince hates that. Cena is never leaving because he doesn’t have any where near the acting talent/charisma of the Rock. Cena wins, Vince is “right”, Rock gets a ton of money and goes back to filming big box office movies, and nothing really changes.

ZBF - Where can people follow your artistic works?

ZBF - Thanks, Tank.  This interview meant a lot to me.

"Once upon a time..."

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Check out the interview I did with Jim "Kool-Aid" Jones a while back here.


Bowie Ibarra is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuester.  His latest book, "Big Cat", is a story of the power of friendship in the pursuit of a savage beast wrecking havoc across the south Texas countryside.  You can purchase the paperback or Kindle edition for as low as $3.99 here.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Six Demon Bag: AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Bowie V. Ibarra

Six Demon Bag: AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Bowie V. Ibarra: Bowie V. Ibarra has terrified readers with the Down the Road series, thrilled them with his Pit Fighter Books, and kept us on the edge o...

ZOMBIES/FIGHTS/BLOOD - INTERVIEW: Joseph Scott Anthony talks "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption" with ZBF

by Bowie Ibarra

Photo Credits:  Dan Irving -

One of the stars of the zombie horror movie, 'Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption', sat down with to talk about the movie, the people he worked with, and the fun he had on set. is pleased to bring you Mr. Joseph Scott Anthony. - It’s great to have you here on the blog, Mr. Anthony.  Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Joseph Scott Anthony - Thanks Bowie love the opportunity, much appreciated.

ZBF - I’m most curious first of all about your acting work.  When did you get bit by the acting bug?  Was it something you’ve done since your youth?  Or is it something more recent?

Young.  I was a paid magician at 12, part of a mime troupe at 15, then from that point on theatre was all I did.  Until I unwisely took a turn into the real world.  Went into business to become a millionaire, then go back to acting.  Bad plan, didn’t become a millionaire and took 27 years to get back to acting.  The Great Recession killed my business, but at the same time the film industry came to Michigan.  I’ve done over 40 films since 2008.  Lose everything and you’re forced to re-access who you are, what life means to you.  I came back to what I love and was meant to do.  I’ve always been the kid who organized the backyard carnival, the haunted house in the garage, the magic show, the plays, etc.  Performing, putting together projects, it’s in you, you can’t escape it, can’t live without it.  I tried.  It almost killed me.  I’m an actor & a producer at heart.

ZBF - I thought your performance in the movie was one of the strongest.  Where did you get your acting training?

Bringing the madness of the ZPoc!
JSA - HA! Well I haven’t had a lot.  On stage my strongest lessons came from a great group of directors in high school.  Linda Dieritich, Kay Snuffer,  Marty Jennings, Robin Rausch.  For film I lucked out.  The fourth film I ever did was with Z. Eric Yang.  Eric has won a Student Academy Award (yeah, THAT Oscar), and a Sundance Institute Annenberg Grant (yeah, THAT Sundance), for his projects.  The level of meticulousness, nuance and subtly Eric wanted was amazing.  He’s been in my head ever since.  More recently I’m training with Ralph Lister, a lifelong British SAG actor with decades of experience.

ZBF - Have you done any stage work?  If so, what were some of your favorite shows to be in?

Having a smoke with Knox, played by Johnny Gel
JSA - Love the stage, easily my first love, first passion.  I’ve done drama to comedy, farce to Shakespeare.  Played Max Smart in “Get Smart”, a blast!  Colonel Brandon in Jane Austin’s “Sense & Sensibility”, the part Alan Rickman played recently.  The stage is what hooked me.  I still remember the moment I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.  I was 17 Years old, “Ordinary People” a drama, several hundred people in the audience, one of those moments you viscerally, electrically connect with the audience.  No one breathes, moves, the audience cried.  There is no feeling like that in the world.

ZBF - How did you get on the lineup for ‘Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption’

JSA - Auditioned for Ryan Thompson and Johnny Gel (the lead, Knox).  I’d met Ryan the year before at a Halloween party thrown by another filmmaker I’d worked with, Rick Reed.  Rick and Paul Bozen of Collective Studios was my first paid film project, “Dolmen”.  Had a great time with Ryan, Rick & Paul that night.  The next summer I heard about Ryan’s new zombie project and auditioned.

ZBF - Tell us a little about your character, Robert.

JSA - Robert is your typical second banana.  Hot headed, but good guy.  Protective, follower, do or die type of guy.  His backstory, the family man who watched his wife and children die one by one during the apocalypse.  Visibly hanging on a string around Robert’s neck is his wedding ring and other jewelry, all that’s left of his family & former life.  This sets up, possibly, the most horrific moment of the film.  

(spoiler alert)  

Knox our hard edge military mercenary and Robert the family man, weapons at the ready, stalk through a dark abandoned warehouse and hear an entirely out of place wrong sound.  An infant crying.  To their horror they find the dead pregnant mother, and the zombie who killed her, with the exhumed baby … eating it alive.  Knox shoots the zombie.  Robert our family man, to Knox’s shock, shoots the infected child.

Pre-Fight floor
ZBF - That scene was very difficult to watch, and a great moment in the flick.  That's the kind of true horror inherent in the zombie apocalypse. 
What was it like working with such a great and diverse cast?

JSA - Wow.  Awesome.  Fred “The Hammer” Williamson?  Come on!  There’s a scene, I say to The Hammer “You can’t be serious!” and he’s supposed to just silently glower at me.  The Hammer?  I say my line, and out of NOWHERE he gets in my face and says “Do I LOOK Fucking Serious?”  Yowza.  Could have knocked me over with a feather.  Didn’t have to do much acting for my reaction.  

Alicia Clark, the best actress I’ve worked with so far, she and I have done over a dozen films together.  Except, in most of those, I got the girl! (laughing).  

Johnny Gel and I had a blast, just some fun, fun scenes together.  Tommy Bearmore a true talent and joy to work with had us laughing on set.  He and Johnny came up with this improv stuff that just killed.  

So, so many others, Didrik, Victor, Jerry, Brad, Dan, Angelique, our stunt guys Li, Vong, all great!  I’m going to get killed for not naming everyone (laughing), it was just a great cast.  We had over 200 people that came together for a month to put their heart and soul into producing this film.  An amazing experience.  Few films of this size with this budget have the luxury of that many dedicated people and that much talent.

ZBF - The script was pretty intense.  What was it like to work in that imaginary circumstance of the zombie apocalypse?

JSA - A total BLAST!  I love this type of over the top, out there, extreme stuff.  I’m a passionate, explosive performer.  Let me at it!  The “Big Fight In The Kitchen”, wow most fun I’ve ever had on a film set!  Tommy and I both have stage fighting experience, and we had Vong, Li, and Rich Raphael, with tons of choreographed fight experience.  With this scene, we choreographed the first few moves to get to the point of me throwing Tommy on the table, but then it was free for all, up to Tommy and I to go for it.  WOW.  Three takes and we destroyed the place.  Look at the tile on the floor of this abandoned building in these before and after photos.  We did that with our bodies.  One of the first takes, I throw Tommy on the table, leap on him, pound him, he kicks me off, I come up AND TOMMY’S COMING AT ME FULL SWING WITH A TABLE LEG! Totally unplanned!  I Loved It!  We beat the HELL out of each other!  As actor’s we talk about being fully committed to a scene or character.  Tommy and I are that to the point of injury.  On the other end of the spectrum, coming into the decimated, burning survivor camp, everyone dead or captured, the loss of hope, my character screaming and crying.  Or (spoiler alert) when the zombies finally get me (they always get the second banana, you don’t get the girl, but you get a good death scene!), the range of emotions you’re allowed to experience and perform.  This is the juice of acting, the fun stuff you relish and do it for.

ZBF - Did you have a lot of rehearsal time with other cast members?

Post-Fight Floor
JSA - No.  Not at all with a project like this.  We had one full read through prior to shooting that rocked, then it’s all about coming to set prepared.  Cast members came from Chicago, Ohio, and across Michigan.  These guys & gals were professional, knew their lines, we’d block it, shoot it, and move on.

ZBF - I imagine the director had blocking needs for the camera.  But were you allowed to make a lot of choices yourself, or did the director take a hands on approach to your motivations and blocking?

JSA - It was a very collaborative set.  Ryan definitely knew what he wanted from his action scenes, sequences, and blocking.  There was also much to figure out on the spot once we were in the physical circumstance, and as on any good film set, a lot problem solving.  The arc of the film, the ‘80’s sort of style, Ryan knew exactly what he was after.  As to motivations, this was a very experienced crew of actors that knew what to bring.

ZBF - Zombies are big these days.  What is your take on why zombies have become so popular lately?

JSA - Great question!  I had a great conversation with a commercial banker who has turned filmmaker, Chris Reibold.  He wrote and financed my first paid role in “Dolmen”.  As a banker Chris deals with foreclosures of business property, and is a very well read guy.  He had the best answer I’ve heard.  It’s the economy, the lack of opportunity, the feeling of being out of control, the deep desire to have the opportunity to prove yourself, and in this economy few getting any true opportunity to do that.  Unchallenging jobs beneath people’s education or abilities, if they have a job at all.  People of privilege getting opportunity they may not deserve or have proven themselves worthy of.  A zombie apocalypse?  ALL that is gone, stripped away.  Right now, right THIS moment, anyone left is equal, you have the opportunity to show your worth, demonstrate you can succeed, be the hero, survive.  All while taking out a lot of frustration blowing the heads off people who clearly deserve it, your boss … uh, I mean zombies.

ZBF - Pick one:  Zombies, Blood, or Fights?

JSA - Fights.  It’s all boring without conflict and a good fight.  You gotta believe the invincibility of the hero, and then believe he IS GOING TO LOSE.  My favorite is Clint Eastwood “Fistful of Dollars”.  I buy in every time.  He can’t lose!  OMG he’s screwed!  How’d he pull that out!?!  NOW add Blood!  ADD Zombies or the monster of your choice!  And you’ve GOT SOMETHING!  Without The Fight you’ve got special effects & blood without heart.

ZBF - The movie you were in becomes a reality.  What would be your first plan of action?

JSA - Wish I’d been a gun collector!  Seriously, supplies, gather people and organize.  Human beings are screwed when they are disorganized, scattered and on their own.  That’s the point of these apocalyptic films, all the structure is gone, on your own death is only a matter of time.  It’s all about starting over from scratch.  Social groups are all about fighting off the wild beasts more efficiently, living longer, and enjoying the comradery along the way.  So it’s more “Mad Max”, are you going to join the good guys or bad guys?  … that is, if you get past first few days.  Hmm … I’m going to step out and visit a gun store now.

I’d like to add, we were on set filming for 22 of 26 LONG days straight.  It was awesome, possibly my best learning experience so far.  Trials, tribulations, but an absolutely amazing group of dedicated people who gave it their all, some had a great deal of experience, some had none.  I’ll never forget Steve Norton with a boom mic in hands, the first time ever for him.  I’ve never seen someone so geeked, so focused, so happy, so committed.  It was beautiful.  And there were just so many stories like this.  That is the beauty of low budget zombie films.  A place to get your start, cut your teeth, and zombie audiences completely appreciate the heart put into films at this level.  The bubblegum ride of blowing away some zombies and bad guys all in good fun on a ridiculously LOW budget.  Just so cool to be a part of!

ZBF - Thanks for participating.  Best wishes for continued success.

JSA - Thanks Bowie!  Really enjoyed the questions!  Much success to you too!  My guess in your line of work, you already have visited your local gun shop and have a stock pile of weapons, or I’d ask you to come along, since that’s where I need to head now.  

My website is if anyone wants to check out my other stuff, or keep up with the future adventures!  Thanks again!

ZBF - Thank you, Mr. Anthony.

Check out the review for the movie here!

Retro cover of Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption

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Bowie Ibarra is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuester.  New York Times best selling author Jonathan Mayberry commented on Ibarra's latest entry, 'The Fall of Austin', by saying, "Ibarra kicks things off right away and doesn't take his foot off the accelerator until the last gasp.'  You can pick up 'The Fall of Austin' here.

You can network with Bowie and discover all his writings at his personal website, 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

FIGHTS/BLOOD - MOVIE REVIEW 'Underworld: Awakening' delivers on action

by Bowie Ibarra

Well, considering 'Haywire' fell short in regards to a strong action finish, I had to take in yet another movie to wash the bad taste in my mouth from that horrible end to what was an alright action movie.

Underworld: Awakening delivered in spades.

The story revolves around Death Dealer Selene on the run yet again from the lycans.  She gets captured and experimented on over the course of several years before another mysterious captured vampire helps her make a break from the deep freeze she's been in.  The mysterious helper turns out to be someone very close to Selene, who she had no idea existed.  But the time spent in deep freeze has given associates of the lycans a biological advantage.

And then, the fight begins.

I watched it in IMAX 3D and was blown away by the cinematic convention.  The CGI was great and appropriate, and the action scenes were outstanding.  There was even a fight where Selene hits a move similar to Mistico/Sin Cara's 'La Mistica' on a lycan.  That was bad ass!

And the movie delivered on what I expect from a strong finish to an action movie:  A Boss Fight to the death.

The movie leaves a big loose end, but that's only to leave the door open to continue the story for what will be the inevitable sequel.

Here's my deal.  The story was great, it was simple to follow, and was action packed.  Did it need all the special effects?  Sure, if its available.  But Ray Harryhousen could have busted out the Claymation set and it still would have been outstanding.  The point is you have as a foundation a great story, and that's what counts.

So in short, if you're trying to pick between 'Haywire' and 'Underworld' this week, the answer is 'Underworld' for your movie dollar.


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Bowie Ibarra is the author of the "Down the Road" zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuester.  His action/adventure story, 'Codename: La Lechusa' follows the story of a single mother who is also a hitwoman for a secret government organization.  It is available in paperback and Kindle here.  It's also available on other e-reader devices.

Network with Bowie at his personal website