This past Friday, I had the opportunity to interview Joe Ziemba, the creator of the blog Bleeding Skull! Ziemba, 39, from Chicago Heights, IL originally started Bleeding Skull, writing reviews for obscure VHS horror films. The blog launched on January 4th, 2004.
“I have had a passion for b-horror movies & VHS tapes my entire life” said Ziemba. “It really just started as a hobby, something I just really enjoyed doing, and soon after I met Dan Budnik”.
Budnik soon became the head writer of Bleeding Skull.
“It was just Dan & I for a while” Ziemba said. “It was really just a passion project of ours, we had a little bit of a following for a few years, but it wasn’t nearly where we are now”.
In 2013, Ziemba & Budnik authored the book Bleeding Skull! A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey.
“Dan & I were super-excited to finally get our reviews published. The paperback is actually quite a collections item now since we never re-printed it.” Ziemba said.
“Unfortunately a year after that, as our fan base was growing due to our book, Dan had to leave Bleeding Skull for personal reasons, which was hard.” Ziemba continued.
“I’m also the art director for the local Alamo Drafthouse and the host of Terror Tuesday, so it was quite a stressful time.”
Soon after however, Ziemba met current Bleeding Skull writers Annie Choi & Zack Carlson.
“When Annie, Zack, & I started to collaborate, that’s when things really took off” Ziemba said.
“We started Bleeding Skull! Video, where we post newly printed VHS tapes, DVD’s, & downloads for sale of many schlocky horror films that have never seen the light of day since the 80’s, with the help from folks at Alamo Drafthouse” Ziemba continued.
As of right now, because of Bleeding Skull! Video, the blog has developed a cult following.
“We’re super busy here at Bleeding Skull, but I’m overjoyed of how many people are appreciating our content” Ziemba said.
In conclusion, Ziemba stated “I really think that blogging is the future of Journalism. Just writing what you are passionate about can be very rewarding.”
Photo Courtesy of: Joseph Ziemba