Click for larger version
foto by JMM
design by Ron Harris
Cadavera © 2006

“You can come back from the dead but you can’t go back home.”

One day in August 2006 as the 29th DEATHWEEK beat down upon us, black tressed CORI DIALS strolled into Sun Studio. When she told me that she liked to make her own blood and guts and play dead in photographs (meanwhile she sells health insurance!) we hit if off immediately! “Strange lass, this Cori”, I thought...with Tura Satana eyes, Bettye Page jaw, and Veronica Lodge hairline.

I accompanied CORI on a horror movie shoot where she was hogtied in the back of pick up truck for hours (without complaining once). At an incredible antique junkyard location she climbed into rusted out car trunks at dusk after winning the approval of a County Deputy who at first stood in our way. CORI doused herself in red karo syrup and cherry jello - just to play dead.

“I have someone dead you can play.”

I explained to Cori how I created CADAVERA; a girl made from the parts of dead movie stars in ‘84 (when Cori was three) and that CADAVERA’S human name had been”Corey Foster” in the comics I drew back in ‘92. I told her about the newer script co-written by me and BLAINE CAPATCH. But most of that script would be too impossible to shoot for no money.

But CORI wanted to play CADAVERA and that was the important thing.

I found fifteen pages (from the ninety page screenplay) wherein CADAVERA deals with school and parents. That could be done for cheap but everyone would have to be into it.

A day later cinematographer JOHN PAUL CLARK called to ask if there were any new projects going on. I went to the LI’L FILM FEST and met the actors NANCY MILLS and JON SPARKS who would play CADAVERA’s parents. We randomly found a manor location belonging to ROBERT “TINO” DONAHUE who welcomed my crew into his home. I got back in touch with JIM EIKNER, the FX dude from the old days to cast CORI’s face.

J.D. (formely of ACTION FAMILY, Wheat’s old band) ran the sound. RACHEL and DANIEL came along as crew. BRUCE DOWNING from MEDICAL CENTER DELI catered the food. WHEAT did a little bit of everything. H.G. RAY appeared from nowhere snapping video stills. In short, the planets lined up. Director CRAIG BREWER even came on board with much needed advice based on his experiences as writer/director of the upcoming BLACK SNAKE MOAN (‘07).

While thrift shopping for the right boots CORI and I encountered blaring CHUCK BERRY on eight track in the parking lot of the Transvestites and Mattress store on faded Summer Avenue where we bought boots in the KARLOFF tradition for a mere fifty bucks. Indeed, a sweet Memphis memory. One very important detail was CADAVERA’s dead eye. My ‘Wild Eyes’ connections played out and I was forced to use a contact that is a littte too “Marilyn Manson”, but it was better than having no DAVID BOWIE effect at all.

On October 14th, Starlet CORI DIALS endured fives hours of airbrushing, sutures and one head appliance. At certain times four make up people worked on CORI at once. The shoot itself took five hours. A kitchen scene was also shot but is not edited at this moment. JON SPARKS is working on a “Making Of”.

Back in ‘96 I thought of making CADAVERA instead of SORE LOSERS. Starlet D’LANA TUNNELL posed as CADAVERA for Victoria Renhard and I shot five hours of footage in 2000 with Starlet KATHERINE GREENWOOD as Eva Braun. This new version is a more serious attempt at script, acting, and trying to maintain an ownership principal or trademark on the name CADAVERA itself.

Finding CORI DIALS to play CADAVERA has been very gratifying to me in ways that might seem freakish to others. It’s taken so long to make it happen because I see it so clearly in my head. I’m not saying that this version is perfect in any way, far from it, but it gives a indication of what could be, if there was a budget. It completes a circle; a link between my comics and my movies. Stay tuned for more monster scenes.

Cori Dials is the Last Starlet.
Embrace Repulsion.

View Photo Gallery

Official Cadavera Page