Nov 25, 2013 by Jenna Zine

[Trailer NSFW. Also, the trailer doesn't even do this film justice - it's so much funnier (and less gory) than this implies. Why am I posting it then? Good question. One for the ages really.]

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, dear readers! I hope the impending holiday fills you with much warmth, joy, turkey (faux or otherwise), and imbibing. Thanksgiving marks a time for many fabulous things, including the annual viewing of my favorite B horror flick, ThanksKilling. Horror and giving thanks might seem like an odd combo - but this ridiculous film will unite any family/friend combo in laughter! I ran across this movie years ago (via streaming Netflix) with my dear friend, Christie. Soon "The Sheriff" was following both of us on Twitter and we formed a bond only the Internet can forge. Please enjoy our interview from back in the day with the fabulous Chuck Lamb. Oooh, purple! 

Chuck Lamb is an inspiration. He's got a vision and he's making it happen. What started out as a simple goal - to play dead - has spawned a successful career in acting. What are the odds? Pretty damn high, when you give over one-hundred percent! I first came across Chuck when my friend Christie and I stumbled uponThanksKilling on Netflix. I was captured by the horror and humor of this B film. I found myself Tweeting about it the next day, Chuck dropped me a line soon after and the rest is history. He was game to answer the following 10 questions, compiled by myself and Christie of Judgemental 'Zine. Chuck's answers are hilarious and charming. It's absolutely worth the time to read how one person's dream is now reality. Enjoy!

1.) Have you met your goal in playing the "Dead Guy" in a CSI or Law & Order episode? If so, what episodes? If not, how can we help?

Well, I haven't actually hit that goal of being on Law and Order; but I have really exceeded every expectation a person could ever dream of. I keep hoping Law and Order will come calling. However, my goal was just one role, in one TV show or movie, and now I have been in over a dozen projects. I am a six-foot, chubby, bald Cinderella. LOL

Hey! Here is the email for the casting director of Law & Order Criminal Intent criminalintent8@gmail.com. Let's ALL send her an email asking to have Dead Body Guy Chuck Lamb as a guest corpse.

2.) How does your wife feel about this endeavor and will she ever be a "Dead Body Woman?"

She's the reason all of this started!! I told her about my dream of being in the credits [of a film or television program] and she asked how I was going to get it done. I told her I didn't know, but that very night I had a dream that I was HOMER SIMPSON laying dead and Lenny from Law & Order was saying a wise-crack above me. I woke her up from a dead sleep, put my hands on my hips like a Super Hero and told her I could be "DEAD BODY GUY!" We then started taking pictures of me playing dead, and I built the website.

Less than six weeks later we were on the cover of the New York Times and appearing on every news and talk show you can think of. It just started snowballing. We could never have imagined we would get over 50 Million hits from 155 different countries, from people supporting us and helping me live out my dream.

3.) We saw the trailer for Horrorween and it boasts that it will be the next Zombie cult film. Is that a fair statement? It's been filming for six years - have you been involved since the beginning?

Yes. The producer of Horrorween, Ed Meyer, saw me on The TODAY Show during my first appearance [and cast me thereafter]. I have been to Toronto and Hollywood, participating in casting calls for the movie and getting to meet many of the cameo stars. The movie has had highs and lows - it's been both exciting and struggling at times. Things are much better now that Joe Estevez [Martin Sheen's brother] has come on board as director. I think Horrorween will be talked about for months after its release. As far as the next BIG CULT MOVIE... you never know what's going to be the 'next big thing.' Look at me. We had no idea this would explode like it has until the phone starting ringing off of the hook from radio stations, magazines, newspapers and talk shows.

4.) What was it like meeting Adrienne Barbeau; one of the original Scream Queens from the '80s?

She's a DOLL BABY! Time has served Adrienne well. We got to chat for a bit when I was asked to do TheFangoria convention in Burbank, CA. She's a true "fan's actress" as she will take time to speak with anyone, pose for photos or talk about her book. I noticed that most actors and people that do the horror conventions are great people to get to know. They go out of their way to make the fan's experience a memorable one. I personally wore out a pair of jeans falling down on the carpet taking 'Dead Photos' with fans and friends. I also got to sit down and talk to the original dead guy, Terry Kiser from Weekend at Bernie's, at an autograph show we were both asked to do. I was asked to be guest host on STARZ Comedy Channel on April Fool's Day to introduce the Weekend at Bernie's marathon. We did about 10 vignettes of me dying and they were shown all day. You can see the footage on my website.

5.) If you could play the "Dead Guy" in any film, upcoming or already made, who would it be?

Easy one for me - TOMBSTONE! My favorite movie of all time. Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott and Bill Paxton. Bill plays Morgan Earp and he dies on the pool table; that's the best dead I've ever seen! Kurt Russell grabs his face, yells at him and wiggles his cheeks - and Bill never flinches. 5 STARS Bill, for being the ultimate Dead Guy.

6.) Any scoops you'd like to share with us about celebrities you've worked with? Who do you desire/aspire to work with?

Hmmm, lemme see. First thought when I read this question was these:

Amanda Bynes = cutie pie and great, funny person. Jennie Garth = Same thing. She was so nice to me when I did What I Like About You, even though the producer cut me out entirely - except for my bald head. Thanks Drew Brown!

The producer, Ed Meyer, is the cheapest man I have ever met in my entire life. He drives a special imported Smart Car that gets almost 70 miles per gallon and he never puts more than $10 worth of gas in it at a time.

I heard Mickey Rooney say the "F" word at an autograph signing.

All in all, in the short amount of time I've been in Hollywood, it's been nothing short of wonderful. I still get butterflies anytime I get around any of my idols. It has been a true dream come true to meet some and talk with some of them.

7.) What's it like being on the set of a movie? Who's at the top of your wish list for directors?

I have learned many things since being on a set the first time. Things like extras are not supposed to speak with the A list actors, unless spoken to first. Never ask for autographs or photos. The main stars eat first when it's time to eat. It's a totally different world than I ever imagined. I found myself hanging out with the extras more than the stars because they still have the dream and desire I have. Even when I had my own trailer I never was in it. I'm still enamored by Hollywood and they magic of it. Most actors that have been in the business for a while get complacent, I think. As for directors, I'd have to go with Ron Howard. I hear he is wonderful to work with and doesn't mind teaching as well as directing; which is great for a sort-of newbie like me. I WANT TO DO A WESTERN!

8.) Were you prepared for the attention when the "Dead Actor" idea first broke? Do you desire fame? What is the ultimate goal?

I never thought "DeadBodyGuy" would spread like it did. We were totally caught off guard. We actually hadThe Today show, Good Morning America and the Early Show on the telephone all at once. I was getting so frustrated with all of their fast talk; I threatened to throw my cell phone out the window!! We finally settled onThe TODAY Show and have been on it 3 times total now.

I have to tell you, I absolutely LOVE all of the attention!! Fame? I don't want to sound like a prima donna, but fame doesn't suck! It's fun to be noticed and meet new people. I was featured in the National Examinertabloid. Two full pages. My wife called to let me know about it while I was flying home from doing the movieStiffs with Danny Aiello and Lesley Ann Warren. I went straight to the newsstand at the Baltimore airport to see the paper. She called me back 20 minutes later and by then I had a line waiting for me to sign copies. She asked me how they all knew I was in it and I said laughingly. "I TOLD THEM!"  LOL

The ultimate goal was to see my name on the Big Screen and we knocked it out of the park by the support of millions of new friends. Now, I just hope to be an inspiration to anyone out there that has a dream. Think outside of the box. Never Give Up. Never Quit Living Your Dream!! It CAN be DONE!!

I have started a new web adventure called Talent Overload. You can find it at www.TalentOverload.com. It's a place where anyone, with any type of talent, can show off their talents to the world. It's my way of saying "thank you" to the millions of people who supported me in my quest of being "Dead Body Guy." Please check it out! Maybe I can help someone else live out a dream.

9.) Do you wish to transition into more speaking parts, like ThanksKilling, or do you want to stick with "Dead Body Guy?"

I would love to have more speaking roles. My wife thinks I would be magnificent in speaking roles; she always tells me I never shut up. I'd be perfect. As a matter of fact, I was just cast in Ed Meyer's and Ojani Noa's new movie about Ojani's life and his time being married to Jennifer Lopez. [See link on PLP, directly below this post, for more info.] I'll be playing the head of Sony records.

The guy from the New York Times said I was the chattiest dead man he ever met.

thankskilling_movie_poster.jpg

ThanksKilling was too much fun. It's a movie that I honestly believe will be talked about for years to come, and I hope it will be an annual event for people to watch during Thanksgiving. [Editor's Note: You've got my vote! It's on my list of "Annual Movies To Watch."]

10.) Is it challenging to look like you're not breathing while playing dead? Any tricks of the trade?

I think it's best just to relax; close your eyes about halfway shut and think of calming thoughts. Funny, a reporter asked me once what I was thinking of doing next. I told him I was thinking about writing a book. He said, "Oh really, are you an author?" I grinned back and said "Heck no! But I'm not an actor either and look at me now!"

We can all achieve whatever we want with the right mindset, innovative thoughts and a good attitude.

This concludes our time with Chuck Lamb... for now! Please check out his links above for more inspiration and information. I never thought simply watching a movie on Netflix would end up influencing my life an such an amazing fashion. The power of Twitter - use it today! 

[Photo Credit Top: Chuck Lamb, playing dead.] 

[Photo Credit BottomThanksKilling poster. The movie that started this crazy journey, resulting in an Internet friendship with DeadBodyGuy!]

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Nov 19, 2013 by Jenna Zine

There are those bands you dig - and then there are those bands that become the soundtrack of your life. Quasi is the soundtrack of my life. It was love at first sight; from the moment I first saw them perform at Satyricon in the late 90's. The powerful image of Sam Coomes basically, well, humping that Rock-Si-Chord, along with Janet Weiss (a girl - on drums!) athletically pummeling her kit was life-changing. They were (and are) equally powerful onstage as off.

My twenties were shaped by a shy, nerdy Quasi fandom. I had crushes on both of them - Sam in the unattainable "I know it would never work, but I love to love guys I can never have" kind of way that drove me in my youth. And Janet in the "I wish I had a sister, oh my god will you be my sister, or at least maybe my friend?" kind of way that left me wishing I could be even half as cool as her. I'm not admitting anything here, but I might have stalked Sam at his job - and I might have picked out a few clothes based on things I thought Janet would wear. (Okay, I totally did both of those things.)

Yep, Sam used to work at Clinton Street Video when it first opened and I took full advantage of the fact that he was trapped behind the counter. I would saunter in, pick out the most mainstream movies I could find just to grab his attention*, and then stand there batting my eyelashes as he painfully located my selections. Sixteen Candles and Raiders of the Lost Arc? Yes, please! No, seriously. (*In reality, I love mainstream films. You probably could've guessed that. Sam is really smart and has much more sophisticated tastes than I.)

The highlight of my life was when the tapes "became" overdue and he was forced to call me. I would come home from work and find the answering machine blinking at me. I'd press play with trembling hands and often be rewarded with Sam's deep sigh. "This is Sam. From the video store. I am calling about the videos and only the videos. They are late. Bring them back." I'd save the messages for weeks at a time and play them for my friends. "Sam Coomes called me!" I'd say. "Oh, Jenna," they'd reply - often accompanied with a pat on the back. "I know - but he did call me." No one can take that away from me. No one! Not even bitches with reality checks.

quasi-1.jpg

And the clothes! Those were heady days in Portland when you could do crazy things like go to a thrift store, score some vintage finds, and pay actual thrift store prices. I'm not saying I Single White Femaled Janet - I had/have my own style. But an item, or two, definitely paid homage. That red top with black leather stripes? Yeah, the dynamic Ms. Weiss inspired that. I might've been wearing it the day someone slipped me an advanced copy of Featuring "Birds," making me feel like the hippest insider in the world. It didn't matter that practically half the town already had this so-called "secret" cassette. Little old me had one, and it was thrilling.

Quasi continued to be there: for every horrible breakup, for every rainy day that made me feel dreary, for every wild night that was bookended with PBRs and weed, for every car ride with my friend Kim while we sang along to every word. It didn't matter what the occasion was - Quasi fit it.

Quasi followed me into my thirties when I abruptly moved to Tucson. Even as I immersed myself in cacti and country, Quasi was always in the background - a tug at my roots and a dear reminder of home. I even hopped in my car one evening when I saw they were playing a club a mere two hours away, driving to Phoenix to see them (meeting Kimmy there - who trekked all the way from LA!). We were there right when the doors opened. Of course I made a beeline for Sam. "How are you? What have you been up to?" He looked at me like I was insane before replying, "I'm fine. I've been playing music." Janet strolled by and offered a casual, "Hey." Only Neil Gust was openly baffled, "What are you doing here?" To which I tried to play it cool by replying, "Oh, I was in the neighborhood." I don't think I fooled him!

Then I fell in love with a fabulous man - one who, as luck would have it, has been my friend since my early twenties and who happened to be my partner-in-crime for the majority of those incredible Satyricon and EJ's shows. Guess whom we asked to play our wedding reception? Sure, they might've said "yes" based on a long friendship with my fiancé, but of course I was the bride so I allowed myself one more delusion that it was all about me! (Sadly Sam wasn't able to make it, but Janet showed up with some other kickass musicians who I idolize and adore.)

Now I'm all grown up. I'm finally the person I always hoped I'd be. I no longer need to stalk or gawk. I'm just happy to be me. And, as I enter this phase, I have a new Quasi album (Mole City) to celebrate with and a Quasi anniversary show on my calendar. My god, I was a dork - but I've had an amazing soundtrack for my awkwardness and I don't regret a thing. Cheers to Quasi - and here's to another twenty years of bringing joy to people's lives!

[Photo Credit]

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Oct 30, 2013 by Jenna Zine
rental car penis-1.JPGWhile I'm all for freedom of expression, I'm not really down with tagging. Banksy? Yes. Random graffiti that destroys other people's property? Not so much. But there was this one time...

As many of you know, Larry and I spent several years traveling back and forth between Arizona and Oregon. (We're back to being full-time PDXers again, so you can stop asking if we prefer Tecate to microbrews. It's like naming your favorite kid - I refuse to choose!) More often than not we made the laborious 3-day drive in our workhorse (aka the indefatigable Toyota Camry wagon); but sometimes there were shorter trips, which to great relief required flying. And flying required renting a car. 

Such was the moment that found us tooling around town in a sporty little two-door something or other. Our home base? The (formerly) quiet street of Division. You see, back in the day before the hip eateries, gourmet latte dispensaries, and wine collectives there were a few shoddy dive bars, a ramshackle coffeehouse and a theater for "mature adults." (Somehow, while the rest of the adorable resident grime has been shaken loose, the porn theater remains. But that's another story.) During Division's mellower days, the movie selection naturally begat covert hookups on dark side streets. Running across used condoms and other paraphernalia was a common occurrence. I didn't mind - indeed, we were all mature adults. No one was hurting anyone and the risqué debris made me feel like I was living in New York before the Disney-fication wrought by former mayor Rudy Giuliani. So hip!

That is until one day the hookup antics hit a little too close to home. Larry and I were hopping in our rental when a new insignia on our gas cap caught my eye. At first it looked like an infinity sign with an extra arm, or perhaps a clumsily drawn fleur de lis. But upon closer inspection we found that it was a penis. Larry went to lick his hand and rub off (no pun intended) our new friend, but I implored him to wait. After all, there was no set precedent when it came to hand spit versus gas cap penis-removal ratio. It seemed that other cleaning fluids might have to enter the picture. 

We made our way to a gas station where a helpful attendant offered to fill 'er up. Refueling negotiations quickly became awkward when he went to insert the nozzle and came face to face with the cartoonish drawing. We explained the situation and, after a good laugh, he set about helping us try to scrub the penis off our car. Well, it turns out the salty artist used quite the permanent marker - that thing was going nowhere, come hell or high water. And so, for the rest of our PDX visit, we got to drive around town with what was essentially a dick tattoo on our car. 

It didn't take long for me to embrace this turn of events. The double takes at stoplights were priceless and it was a natural conversation starter when returning to the vehicle at parking lots. I became almost proud. "Why, yes - it is a penis. No, I'm not sure who the artist is. It just showed up one day; a little gift from the neighborhood." 

The fun continued right up until we had to return our Dodge to the airport. A Hertz employee bounded out of his station, eager to help us check in. His face drained of all color when he rounded towards the driver's side and saw our little friend.

"Is that...?" he gestured helplessly towards the gas cap.

rental car penis-2.JPG
"Yes, it is. We tried to remove it, but we think it's permanent marker. Um, someone else drew it, by the way." Larry and I tried to remain upbeat, as if this was the most natural thing in the world. After all, it wasn't something we'd planned on and it wasn't our fault. But then a coldness clutched my gut. Would we be charged for this? Like, were we on the hook for a new paint job for this shitty Dodge just because someone wanted random sex with a fellow porn patron? That would suck. (Still no pun intended.) 

"I'm going to have to get my manager." The Hertz guy turned and walked at a fast clip towards the main office.

Larry and I looked at each other. We were obviously thinking the same thing, because all we said was, "Oh, shit." 

The manager strolled out and shook our hands. He took one look at the gas cap and burst into laughter. "That is awesome. We'll take care of it."

Myself, Larry, and the young man who greeted us, simultaneously blurted out, "Really?"

The manager shrugged and said, "Of course. I mean, it's not like you drew it on there yourselves." 

"Sir, that is absolutely correct. Thank you," replied my husband.

"We live across the street from a porn theater," I said, as if that explained everything. Which, in my mind, it did. I grabbed my bag and started rolling away, not wanting to give the manager an opportunity to change his mind. 

We flew back to Arizona and reunited with our Camry, but every once in awhile I missed that penis gas cap and all the fun the random tagging brought us. I'm not sure if the artist nabbed the hookup he or she was hoping for, but pleasure was still obtained. 
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