Interview by Nic Brown
Pictures isn’t your typical film company, but then JimmyO Burril
isn’t your typical filmmaker either. Tired of the endless, CGI
filled remakes of classic horror films, JimmyO’s goal is to make
movies that are fun to watch and have well developed characters
for them to enjoy.
didn’t start out making films though; he started with children’s
musical theater. Then he had the idea to combine his love of
horror with his desire to create something for adults to enjoy
too. Thus was born SILVER SCREAM his musical homage to classic
To help promote SILVER SCREAM, JimmyO and his wife April created
a “hostess” to appear at conventions and on the internet to help
gather interest in the film. Little did they know at the time
that CHAINSAW SALLY would become an internet favorite and
eventually spark her own film!
Now Forbidden Pictures is in the middle of production on not
only a new film, but also a new web based horror/sitcom that
will feature more of the loveable, if rather dangerous, CHAINSAW
SALLY. All this is making JimmyO Burril a very busy man, but not
too busy to take some time out to talk about his new projects
with B-Movie Man Nic Brown.
Nic - JimmyO, you and
your wife April Burril created the Chainsaw Sally character.
What gave you guys the idea for her?
JimmyO - April and I were working on a live show I had written
called Silver Scream. But since the show was a musical, it was
very hard to get the right audience into the seats. We thought
it would be helpful to have a Hot Horror Hostess, kinda like our
own Elvira. So we mixed a little Elvira, Tank Girl, Hannibal
Lecter, and just a tad of Freddy humor, and wrapped it up in one
5'3" package of power tool wielding fury, and thus, Sally was
born. What we didn't expect was for Sally to so greatly surpass
the shows she was promoting.
CHAINSAW SALLY is an impressive character. Will we see her again
Well we have the Chainsaw Sally Show coming up in the Fall,
which will be a 12 episode web cast show. It's written like a
sitcom. So think of something like the Partridge Family, except
at the end when they would normally do a song, someone will die
a gruesome death.
You mentioned a lot of the elements that went into creating
Sally. One thing that begs to be asked though is when you guys
created Chainsaw Sally, was it always your plan to have April
play the part, or did she just fit the character you guys
It was always April. Sally was built to fit April like a glove.
As a matter of fact, Sally is very much a part of her, just with
the volume turned way up.
So Chainsaw Sally's next incarnation will be on
the web. Where will fans be able to see the series?
Oh yes. The fans can see it for free at
The site goes live in Oct 08 and the show will start running Oct
31-08. Until then, they can follow what's going on at
What was the biggest challenge you faced in bringing CHAINSAW
SALLY the film to life?
JimmyO - Same as everyone - finding the funding, and then
finding distribution. Making movies can be hard work, but it's
fun hard work. It's the business end of show business that
Nic - Legendary master
of horror and gore Herschell Gordon Lewis appears in the film.
What was it like to work with him?
JimmyO - Herschell is a good friend and a charming gentleman,
and wonderful mentor. I expect you would be hard pressed to find
ANYONE who could say anything negative about HGL. How many
people do you know of, especially in this business, who you can
say that about?
Nic - I understand that
you and your wife are currently working on a new film project.
Can you tell us what that project is and a little about it?
JimmyO - We are in post production for a new film starring April
& Debbie Rochon called the Good Sisters. It's a very different
style of movie than Sally. More of a thriller than a campy
slasher flick. There is blood, but it's more of a mental movie
than a visceral one. Debbie is very excited about it, and
hopefully really got to stretch her acting legs during our
shoot. This was not the standard cameo, but a leading role with
April. They were fantastic together. They fed off of each other;
they learned from each other. There were times when they were
acting that I got the chills from the huge explosion of emotion
coming from the set. A dynamic duo, those two.
THE GOOD SISTERS sounds exciting. Can you tell us a little about
the plot? I'm guessing that, despite the name, April and Debbie
aren't "good girls" in this film.
No, they are not very good... but they are good at it. Kindra
and Breanne Good (April & Debbie) are descendants of Sara Good
who was killed as a witch in Salem. They believe she was a witch, a great witch. They are simply carrying
on family tradition.
Any idea when THE GOOD SISTERS will be out of post and ready for
I hope to have the Sisters ready to roll in the fall. We will
hit some cons and festivals... and hope to get distribution
Nic - As both a writer
and director what do you think is the most challenging: creating
the feature in the screenplay or bringing that screenplay to
life in front of the camera?
JimmyO - My favorite part of movie making is the writing of the
story and the creation of the characters. My second favorite
part is the development of the characters with the actors. I
HATE the financial and
technical end of the film. I simply try to surround myself with
specialists, so they can really do their thing and take those
parts off of me. Of course, the final decisions still fall to
you, but at least you have good choices being presented. All
that aside, business is the worst part of show business. I truly
HATE that part.
When you get a chance to sit down and just watch a film
yourself, what are some of the movies you like to watch?
My favorite films... and I have to rate that by number of times
they spin in the DVD player would be: Herschell Gordon Lewis
flicks, BLAZING SADDLES, John Waters films, SNATCH, the
Universal Monster movies.... I guess most of the films we love
have some humor to them somewhere. We also really like Dexter
and FireFly... and we never miss the Venture Brothers.
Nic - JimmyO, you've
made good use of the web to promote your work and now your next
big venture is an online webisode series. How do you think the
internet has changed the entertainment industry and where do you
think it's going?
JimmyO - The web has taken Hollywood and brought it to the public. In other words, it's not as exclusive
a fraternity as it once was. We can create, promote, distribute
and sell all by ourselves, without someone in a tie changing our
ideas, putting in his two cents and then taking most of the
Nic - There have been a
lot of interesting trends in horror over the last few years
including the influx of Asian horror as well as the idea of
torture as horror with films like HOSTEL. What are your thoughts
on these trends and where do you think the genre is heading?
JimmyO - The only trend I’m not fond of is the tit-milking
remakes. As for all the other stuff like torture, etc... if
there's an audience, which there seems to be, then someone is
going to make it. It’s supply and demand. People stop watching,
the trend will end. Same deal with remakes. They will not stop
as long as we keep paying them to make em!
Nic - If you had the
opportunity to make your "dream project" what would that be?
JimmyO - Simply the Chainsaw Sally franchise. That's my thing.
Tuff girls with weapons. Been that way since I saw FASTER
PUSSYCAT when I was WAAAAY too young. Hahahahahaha! Nothing
hotter than a big breasted beautiful bombshell, taking names and
kicking ass. God Bless Russ Meyers!