During the last weekend of September, I had the honor of leading a Circus of the Dead Reunion panel at the Cult Classic Convention in Bastrop, Texas. While it was wonderful to catch up with key cast members, there was a noticeable absence: Writer/director “Bloody” Billy Pon was unable to attend; we were told that he was sick that weekend.
It turns out, Pon was more than merely under the weather; the lauded member of the indie horror community is battling an aggressive form of cancer. He recently took to Facebook in order to update his fans and friends on his condition:
“Hair today, gone tomorrow!!!! Hi boys and girls! Long time no talk to… I’ll chat more when I have more time but I wanted to stop in today and give an update. A month ago I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Large B Cell Lymphoma. Today is my second chemo treatment. Losing my hair pretty quickly now! I’m just hopeful it grows back as an Afro! I’m waaaaaaay behind on phone calls, texts, emails, and FB messages so please be patient. This stuff don’t play around, I haven’t been beaten down this ever. Gives me a new found respect for anyone on chemo or fighting cancer! Much love to all my friends, fans and family out there that have been so worried about me. This has/is a very eye-opening experience for me and I’m learning so much about myself and my life in the process. Don’t take time for granted and enjoy the ride!”
A GoFundMe page has been launched by his friend Serg Gracida in order to help Pon defray his considerable medical costs; it reads, in part:
“We write this with a heavy heart, but also an optimistic objective. Our friend and family member, Billy Pon, or as some of you know him as Director, Writer, and owner of DefCon 1 and Circus of the Dead Haunts, “Bloody Bill” is in the midst of a battle between life and death. He has been diagnosed with an aggressive stage 4 cancer that is rapidly endangering his very existence and severely limiting his quality of life. As most of you know, a while back Billy took a leap of faith to pursue his dream of being a filmmaker, leaving him without insurance coverage. We have opened this GoFundMe account in order to accept donations towards the care and cure of this beloved man. Billy has never turned his back on a friend nor stranger who was in need of his compassionate nature. He has been on the boards of nonprofits, and not only contributed in a professional capacity, but a personal one as well. As many of you know well, Billy has given his time, money, and wisdom to anyone in need, no matter how big or small. We’ve seen him give comfort and aid to strangers in car wrecks and give his last twenty to a homeless person just needing something to eat. His compassion for others and those in need knows no bounds. And now it is our time to return that generosity to him. Many love Billy as a husband, brother, son, uncle, and best friend. It is difficult to appropriately express our desire for his speedy recovery as well as remission of this horrible, undiscriminating disease. We are all looking forward to many more years of seeing Billy kicking ass and taking names. Please help or at the very least send your most positive prayers or thoughts to a very valuable human being and asset to us all. We deeply appreciate your love and support. Thank you.”
All of us here at Dread Central send our best wishes and healing thoughts to Pon during this difficult period; if you are able to contribute to his medical fund, visit the GoFundMe page, HERE.
If you’ve never seen Circus of the Dead, check out the synopsis and trailer below.
A man becomes entangled in a deadly morality game when the circus comes to town and a sadistic clown forces him to examine the things in life he takes for granted in the most horrific ways.