How I Became A Movie Zombie…


Acting is so often a very random experience. While there are companies and people who you definitely think you will work with again, some opportunities appear to pop up out of nowhere. Such was the case with my 2013 foray into grownup pretending.

This is an update of an article I wrote on the subject shortly after I shot my scenes for Ari Kirchenbaum’s fun horror movie Live-Evil. If you read this article the first time around you can find passages in bold along the way for new developments and new video and a link at the bottom.

Eight months after I was no longer neighbors with Tryst and Ari, I got a call and an email from them offering me a small part in the new film Ari had written and was going to direct. We hadn’t been in contact in the intervening months, so just receiving those communications was a pleasant surprise.

The name of the horror film is “Live Evil,” as can be seen on the script which was quickly sent my way.

They asked me to play the part of “Gary,” a veteran campus policeman who has a heart attack and then…well, the top photo of this article might be seen as a bit of a spoiler where it comes to Gary’s fate (as will the trailer I’m including below). But it’s not a huge part, so I hope you don’t mind.

My first night of filming was in a medical facility that the producers had rented out. The place was completely devoid of any medical personnel or patients, which was a little weird. We shot a quick scene in which I flatlined as zombies trudged by. I say quick because that’s how it’ll read once it hits the screen. We spent about 2 hours getting what will probably turn out to be less than 10 seconds of film in the final cut.
From what I understand, the zombies who walked by were naked, but I wouldn’t know–I was dead at that point. You’ll have to watch the movie itself if you want a gander.

I also recorded a voice performance for a quick phone call between Gary and the town’s actual cops that night.

A quick caveat: If you google “Live Evil Movie” you will be presented with information about a horror movie that was released in 2009 with the below poster art. This is perhaps why, when the film was released back in 2015, I completely missed it. Search Grave Walkers and you will find it titled that way too. The movie was also apparently distributed to video a little more widely in the UK than here in the United States.

This is NOT the movie which I am appearing in!

This is NOT the movie which I am appearing in!

As it turns out, the movie I will be in is by writer/director/editor Ari Kirschenbaum, who performed all of those jobs on a couple of previous horror movies:

2002's Fabled

2002’s Fabled


2011's Bat $#*! Crazy

2011’s Bat $#*! Crazy

It is also a movie which features Tony Todd in a supporting role.

You know...The Candyman.

You know…The Candyman.

The female lead of Live Evil is Charlene Amoia, who is probably best known as Wendy the Waitress on “How I Met Your Mother.”

You might’ve also seen her in American Reunion (2012), Seven Pounds (2008), and in a myriad of television show guest shots like “Nip/Tuck,” “Dexter,” “House M.D.,” “Glee,” “iCarly,” and “The Mentalist.”

Playing a veteran town cop is a toweringly tall actor named Vladimir Kulich.
He has just recently started appearing in the History Channel’s new drama “Vikings” as Eric. You may have also caught Vlad in Smokin’ Aces as “The Swede,”
or in several appearances as “The Beast” in season 4 of “Angel.”

A Charlotte native named Tim Ross has shown up in feature films like 40 Fears (2011) and Barry Levinson’s The Bay (2012). Tim’s first credit, though, was a small role in one episode of “Saved by the Bell” back in 1991.
He had the most lines in the scene I showed up in.
Charlene, Vlad, and Tim were the focus of that scene and were all friendly, gracious, and easy to work with.
The makeup gunshot wounds which were applied to my chest…
…were still rather moist when I was called to our filming location outside at about 9PM on Friday night. It was very cold out that evening and unfortunately, my costume consisted only of khakis and a short-sleeved polo shirt. Everybody tried to give me a coat to stay warm, but I was concerned that the fake blood on my chest would get on the inside of any jacket I wore, smearing the makeup job and staining the coat. My role was physical and intense enough that I stayed pretty warm through most of the filming, but once I’d been shot a couple of times and was lying still on the ground, it was all I could do to suppress my shivering. As it turned out, most of the footage they got of me was from behind, so any smearing of the wonderful makeup job might not have shown up anyway. Oh well.

My cast-mates were complimentary and asked if I was with a local talent agency. I laughed and told them no, that I was mainly interested in doing theatre and had refocused my professional goals on speech pathology.

But they did get me thinking…

If you want to give Live-Evil (2015) a look-see, you can find it for rent now at Amazon for four dollars. I found this out earlier this week when the producers of the film sent me an email with the link

Keep your expectations in check for two reasons: 1) Live-Evil is a decidedly low budget production and it shows and 2) you don’t really get a look at my face.

But I will say that my most significant scene, which shows up at about the 1:04:20 mark of the film, is pretty entertaining and may bring pleasure to  my friends and foes alike. Also, if you’re a fan of the horror genre and love it when a movie’s plot or tone swing unexpectedly there will be pleasures to be had here.

I repeat my warning that the trailer I’m including here may be a bit of a spoiler when it comes to my part in the movie. If that’s what you want instead of the whole movie, it’s right here, but if you’d rather be surprised watch the movie instead. It is nice to see that my scene was basically used as the “tag” for the movie’s marketing.


Posted on March 25, 2013, in Movies, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Let me know when this hits video. I’m going to need a copy. When you hit the big time, don’t forget about us little people. I’d hate to have to write “What the Hell Happened to Daffy Stardust?”. 😉


    • Hey, if something “happens” to a performer, that means they did something of note to begin with, right?
      I’d take that!


  2. You’ve got an A-list work ethic for sure, Daffystardust! Here’s to the big times! (raises coffee cup)


  3. I must add something here. WAY back in the day, I took a couple of theatre/film classes, in high school/undergrad days. I freely confess that the goal was “an easy A.” Well, as it turned out, the classes weren’t easy. It was a lot of work! And it left me with a healthy respect for those who pursue theatre or films as a career.


  4. Hi! Looking forward to seeing Live Evil. I am among Vladimir Kulich’s many fans. He said he really enjoyed shooting this film in North Carolina. Are there any nice stories you can share about working with Vlad on this movie?!


    • daffystardust

      Vlad was one of the folks who very graciously offered a coat to me.

      He was very enthusiastic about the scene we were shooting (there are some fun comedic touches to the film) and gave us a little pep talk before we headed outside.

      I am patiently waiting to find out when the post-production and editing are done. These can be the most involved steps to some flicks.


      • I also worked on this film. Got to shoot scenes in durham, a church in Raleigh and tatton hall. I am looking forward to seeing final product.


  5. I just noticed that Live-Evil has an entry on IMDb, which lists its release for sometime this year. I’ll be looking out for it and will let the readers here know when it becomes available. BTW, my first IMDb credit shows up in the cast list!


  6. Why does Daffy get all the good stuff? I am so jealous. He gets the pretty girls….Vlad from the 13th Warrior…OMG….Zombies….Naked Zombies….bullet holes…and gore….

    And I got nothin…but I did read World War Z.

    Good For You!

    And you gotta let us know where and when it comes out.

    That is so great



  7. After practically forgetting that I’d shot the thing I received an email from the producers of Live-eviL today with a link included to where you can see the movie on Amazon.

    Here it is:

    This is a decidedly low budget production, but there is a lot to recommend if you like the tropes of horror and randomness. There is some fun imagery and camera work here and there. And I’m in it!

    Before you shell out your four bucks, let me warn you: my role is small and you don’t really see my face. The part is “Gary” and they say my name several times. You hear my voice quickly on the phone early in the movie and you see me lying on a table in a hospital a little later on. My big scene at Tatton Hall was shot all from behind (which I knew at the time), but I gotta say, the scene and my part in it are pretty fun. You can find it at about the 1:04:20 mark of the movie.

    There are plenty of questions any fan of film would probably have about how and why certain decisions were made in the making of Live-eviL. I’m pretty much sure almost all of them would be answered by “we ran out of money.”

    Have a look if you like and respond here with your congratulations/condolences.

    Thanks ahead of time for everyone’s enthusiasm and support!


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