Looking back on their experiences with the movie Enter … Zombie King, Toronto-based wrestlers Sinn, Traci Brooks, Angel Williams and Flesh Gordon can be proud both of their contributions, but also that they survived.
Done in a 21-day shoot in December 2002, often outdoors in skimpy clothing and caked in make-up to look like zombies, it wasn’t your every day job.
They shared some of their tales from the set with SLAM! Wrestling:
Sinn (Nick Cyjetkovich), seen recently on the NWA-TNA PPVs, plays the Zombie King in the movie. He was originally supposed to be the stunt double for George Romero, and was off wrestling at the time of the shoot, re-habbing an injured knee. “It turned out that I was a foot taller than him,” he said. “They asked me to do a couple of lines because he wasn’t there. They were going to bring him in to do some lines, some close-up scenes afterwards. He fell ill and they realized when I was barking out these lines that my voice was way more deafening than his, and I was a foot taller, so they were like, ‘Well, he’s sick. Do you want the part?’ ‘Yeah, sure.’ That’s kind of how it went.”
Despite little acting experience, he figured out how to do his lines with ease. “It was just like putting together a match. I didn’t just memorize stuff word for word, I just figured out little parts of lines of what each thing was supposed to be. I just broke it down like a match. That’s how I did it.”
He described the Zombie King as “some sort of evil, maniacal, death-metal voiced teddy bear. I wore this ridiculous, big bear costume with a lucha mask, which was totally hard to move in.” It was also hard to hear in the mask.
“Just hitting moves and taking bumps and only being able to see from your nose up was really, really hard. Especially at that point, I just had a freshly hurt knee,” he said. “Part of the gimmick was these ridiculously small work boots that had no tread or anything like that. Also, they were steel-toed. So I was trying not to hit anyone in the skull or anything. A lot of the stunts were outdoors where it was really slippery, and the work boots have that hard, plastic bottom. So that was quite the trick.”
Unlike some of his zombie hoard, the Zombie King got to dress warmly. “I was even sweating buckets of sweat out in the cold. I was sweating so much in that thing that they would actually bring cups of water to me and I would just pour it down my neck. This was outside in the winter,” he said. “The chicks were in way skimpy little things. I guess I could be grateful that I was in some ridiculous bear costume that kept me warm because I’m a total sissy in the cold.”
Traci Brooks, recently seen seconding ‘The Franchise’ Shane Douglas to the ring on NWA-TNA PPVs, was one of those “chicks” in skimpy clothing. “Our bodies were a little more exposed than the guys. My butt had make-up on it. So I had scars and everything all over my legs and my body, because, all you will see in the movie of me is T-and-A,” she said.
She is both the stunt double for the lead female hero, Mercedes (Angela Clarke) and one of the killer zombies. “It was weird, because first they approached me to be stunt girl, just to be a stunt double for the lead girl. I’m like, ‘that’s great.’ But the more I got to actually be in the movie, they called me Sexy Killer Zombie Traci. It was neat. I didn’t realize that I enjoyed acting until that moment. I enjoy being in front of a camera for wrestling, but I was comfortable wrestling; it was always something I wanted to do. Acting, I’d never thought about it. It was really neat. I had to play a grossed-out, gory zombie chick. I loved it, absolutely loved it.”
The “sticky, gross” make-up took about 45 minutes a day to do. “They caramelized my teeth to look like my teeth were rotten. I’ve seen better days, let’s just say that. The make-up ladies were amazing. The fact that day after day after day they did the exact same make-up was incredible.”
The memory of the cold nights still makes her shiver. “It was cold in the middle of December being in a bikini. They covered me in blood. They took ketchup bottles of blood and doused me in it, and I had to go outside right before Christmas in a furry bikini and a leather skirt, doused in ketchup. It was disgusting and cold. I’ve never been so cold!”
Angel Williams had fun on the set, too, but kept coming back to the cold when recalling her time on the set. “I had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it was very cold because we taped it in December. It was just absolutely freezing outside, but it was totally fun,” she said. “I wore a pair of pants, and I had on a black bra, and a little half-top, fish-net black top. So totally, my upper body was exposed and it was just ridiculously freezing. There’s a couple of scenes in the movie where I’m covered up because I literally thought I was going to die, it was so cold. I had, like, three sweaters on. It just looked so funny because we’re all just bundled up.”
Williams plays a couple of different zombies in the film, and is a referee in a wrestling match as well, with her easily-recognizable long, braided hair hidden. “I had a mask on, I had my hair all tied up, I had the referee shirt on, a little black skirt,” Williams said.
As a zombie, she was heavily made-up. “They put this brown stuff on our teeth that tasted like legitimate paint, like we’re eating paint. And that stuff would not come off. It was the hardest stuff to get off your teeth. It was gross. They put tons of layers of this white, cakey face make-up on us, lots of black rings around our eyes. We’re just looked very sunken in, and, you know, dead. I had my stomach slashed. I had my throat slashed, and I had fake blood going all down my chest. Then I had slashes and fake skin and stuff on my stomach, and I had that on my face too – blood coming out of my ear, my lips were black. I had blood coming out of my nose too. Ugly.”
Toronto-based wrestler Flesh Gordon has been on more than a few commercial sets, and even filmed an episode of Matchmaker. But it was his first feature film, and he played a zombie guard protecting the Zombie King. “I didn’t know what to expect out of the movie, because it was the first time I’d ever done a movie like that. But it was a lot of fun. … the whole plot is me getting balled three times in the movie.”
“It wasn’t that hard to play the zombie but the make-up was kind of a pain in the butt … it took about two hours, and not knowing when your time call was … it was long days, but it was fun,” he said.
Other wrestlers in the movie include Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart as Sheriff Logan, and Ontario regulars Derek Wylde, Tyson Dux, Kris Chambers, The Brown Hornet, Otis Idol, Silk and The Hacker.