Here, Bruce LaBruce reflects on his experiences working with the late Erik Rhodes on the set of L.A. Zombie, and generously shares some private behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot.
Bruce LaBruce: I was truly saddened to hear about the death of Erik Rhodes, whom I had the opportunity to work with on my movie L.A. Zombie in 2010. I wanted to cast some of the biggest names in the porn world to appear alongside the great Francois Sagat in the climactic bloody orgy scene near the end of the film, so Francois helped me get in touch with and cast his friends Erik, Francesco D’Macho, Matthew Rush, and Adam Killian. I only worked with them on one very long, final day of shooting, but I remember being a bit surprised at how easy-going and congenial these four big hulking men were. They were all totally into the idea of being splattered with fake blood and rolling around in the gore.
Erik horsing around with Adam Killian on the set of L.A. Zombie
Erik in particular seemed to be so fun-loving and mischievous, like an overgrown - very overgrown! - kid. There is a scene in which he kneels on the ground while two of the other guys stand above him on wooden sawhorses and pee all over him as he tears his wet tank top off. He submitted to the “humiliation” with such obvious joy, it was great to watch.
More horsing around with Adam
There was one snag in the proceedings, though. At one point, the four gentlemen were surprised that I wanted them to do a more straightforward group porn scene before the big gorn finale. It was a misunderstanding - they just didn’t realized or hadn’t been properly informed that they would be expected to do a more conventional scene for the hardcore version of the movie along with the gore scene. They were reluctant to do so, largely owing to the fact that they had contracts with specific porn studios, and also personal issues with boyfriends and whatnot needing to be informed - things that always need to be taken into consideration on a professional level.
(l-r) Matthew Rush, Francesco d’Macho, Adam Killian, Erik Rhodes
It was Erik who was the most conciliatory, and who smoothed things over with his co-stars and got everyone to agree to go ahead with the scene. I was so grateful. He was a real professional, and so warm-hearted. Of course my impressions were only based on one long, arduous day of shooting, but he came across as a gentle giant, smart, witty and personable, and everyone seemed to love him. I’m happy that I had the chance to meet and work with him, and I’m sad that he’s gone.
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