Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gilbert Interviews a Zombie from Witches' Blood


Yes, my little zombie snacks, I got an interview with a zombie. Well, not exactly a zombie, but a woman who played a zombie in the horror film directed and produced by Ryan Scott Weber, called Witches’ Blood. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ryan and actor Joe Parascand on the movie, but how many chances do you have to interview one of the not so dearly departed zombies. Joining me today is Leah Gelber-DeCicco.

Well, not exactly a zombie, but a woman who played a zombie in the horror film directed and produced by Ryan Scott Weber, called Witches’ Blood. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ryan and actor Joe Parascand on the movie, but how many chances do you have to interview one of the not so dearly departed zombies. Joining me today is Leah Gelber-DeCicco.
Marie Gilbert: “Hi Leah. I’m so happy that you’re a guest on my blog today and that you can give us some insight on what it’s like to be a zombie in a movie. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what prompted you to be a zombie?                                                                              
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: Well, I was raised in a small town and have lived here ever since. Since I was nineteen, I’ve worked many jobs over the years in the retail and restaurant industry; going back and forth from being a stay at home mom of two daughters, Frances and Angela. But, in the last few months I found myself wanting to do exciting things; doing something different. I started going to Comic-Cons and conventions where they have celebrities, and the first one I went to was Wizard World with my husband, Frank, this past June in Brooklyn New York. My husband and I got to meet Norman Reedus and we got his autograph and his picture.
Marie Gilbert: Oh my God!  You met Norman Reedus? I love him.
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: Yes, he is awesome and a real sweetie. I’ll tell you what happened. We were there to have our picture taken and hopefully have it autographed, but the people doing the pictures had messed up and it was time for Norman Reedus to leave the area. When he realized that we were upset because of the mix-up, Norman walked back and said, “Don’t worry about it and God bless you.” He went back to the booth so we could get his autograph. I met Anthony Michael Hall and had a picture taken with him. The convention also offered a panel with questions and answers and I was able to talk to Henry Winkler (the Fonz) and he gave great advice on helping me raise my eleven year old on helping her reach her hopes and dreams. I even had a chance to speak with Stan Lee.
Marie Gilbert: Nice!
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: Yes, but I didn’t get to ask the question I wanted to ask. The girl before me asked that question first. My mother, youngest daughter and I got to see the newest preview of The Wolverine with Hugh Jackman and we got his autograph and a picture of him with my daughter, Frances, on my not so smart, phone.
Marie Gilbert: So how did you get the part for a zombie?
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: My very good friend Robin MacArthur told me about the Zombie Walk that they have at Asbury Park. After the Zombie walk there was an after party Asbury Park Lanes and that’s how I met Edward X Young. At the after party they were having contests on the stage and Edward Young was at the bar and we began talking. He told me he was an actor and I asked if there was ever any chance of me being a zombie or something. I love that stuff. He said he would see what he could do. He gave me his information and we became Facebook friends.
Marie Gilbert: So, who was the actual person who contacted you for the part?
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: I’m not sure if it was Edward Young or one of his friends, but I saw a post on how they needed people to play zombies in a film and to contact Stephen Ohlarik. We had to meet at Bernardsville, N.J. on a Friday night.
Marie Gilbert: So how did they get you ready for the part?
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: A gentleman called Dennis Carter Jr., who I didn’t realize I’d already met at the Zombie Walk, did my makeup. We had to sign a release form because we had to fall on the ground after we were shot. The ground was hard and I don’t have a high pain tolerance, so I asked the people in charge if I could be a crawling zombie. I figured if I’m a crawling zombie I wouldn’t have far to fall.
Marie Gilbert: Were you given outfits, or did you have to use your own clothing?
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: I went to a garage sale and bought clothing that I wouldn’t mind if the shoes or clothing were messed up with dirt or fake blood. I have a pair of navy blue sneakers that I used for the Zombie Walk and for this film and I call them my ‘zombie shoes’. I won’t use them for anything else.
Marie Gilbert: You’ll save them for your future zombie roles? Laughing
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: Laughing…Yes and it’s no problem because they’re already wreaked.
Marie Gilbert: Did you meet Joe Parascand on the set?

Leah Gelber-DeCicco: Yes, I did and in fact, he shot me.
Marie Gilbert: So, Joe Parascand was the one who shot you? Laughing
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: Laughing, yes, he was Sheriff Tom and he shot me and killed me. Some people when they’re playing zombies they make growling and moaning sounds, but I didn’t make a sound I just moved my mouth like I wanted to eat someone. We were there for hours, but we had so much fun. It was really cold and I was joking around pretending that I was Rose from the Titanic.
Marie Gilbert: This does sound like a lot of fun.
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: As much fun as I had playing a zombie, I always wanted to play the part of someone who screams in a movie and if they ever need someone who can scream then that would be me. I’m a good screamer. Growing up, I was a bit of a nerd, didn’t have a lot of good relationships with boyfriends, and I wrote a poem called “Ugly Duckling” and it was published in an anthology called A Break in the Clouds. I met my true love right out of high school in 1992 and we got married in 1999. He’s a truck driver and I’m a stay at home mom.
Marie Gilbert: If the opportunity comes up, would you want to become an extra on upcoming films or commercials?
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: Oh yes, I would love it as long as it doesn’t interfere with my eleven year old. I would have loved to have my daughter accompanied me that night I played a zombie, but she has asthma, it was cold and we didn’t start until after five. I wasn’t sure if there were sex scenes in the script. You have to be careful when you have children.
Marie Gilbert: Do you kept in touch with the other people who played zombies that night?
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: Oh yes, I keep in touch with Dennis Carter Jr. who was a zombie.
Marie Gilbert: So, the makeup guy was also a zombie. Neat! Marie is laughing.
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: Laughing. Yes, the makeup guy was also a zombie.
Marie Gilbert: Do you keep in touch with the main actors?
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: Yes, with Dennis, Stephen, Edward, Ryan and a few others. They’re all my facebook friends.
Marie Gilbert: A lot of great films are being made more and more by Independent Film Companies and I’m so excited that we have so many talented young directors and producers coming into their own. What is your opinion of Ryan Scott Weber, Joe Parascand and the other stars of Witches’ Blood? Were they fun to work with?
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: They were fun to work with and very nice. God bless them, because I never knew how hard it truly was to do a movie. We were out there for hours and it was cold and dark. You know…at one point a train passed us, and we were wondering if they saw the bodies and the zombies.
Marie Gilbert: I can only imagine what they thought was going on. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me and my readers, Leah.
Leah Gelber-DeCicco: I am so happy that you accommodated me and took the time to hear about my part in the movie. It was just a small part in that one movie, but you took the time to listen. There is one more thing.  My younger daughter’s friends now think I’m cool and want to hang out with me and her. My daughter had a class Christmas party that I had promised to attend, but I was recovering from a recent surgery and afraid that I would not be able to keep my promise. My daughter had told all her friends about my being a zombie in a film; her classmates were very excited to hear about it. Even though I was still in pain and had trouble walking, I went and, seeing the smile on my daughter’s face made it all worthwhile. To experience that moment is one of the most gratifying things you can experience in your life, especially as a mom.
Well, my little zombie snacks, I hoped you enjoyed this interview with Leah Gelber-DeCicco and maybe we’ll see her in other movies. I promise to have more blogs about zombies and the people who play them. Stay safe; run fast.




  1. Thank you,Marie Gilbert.This was perfect! It was a pleasure sharing this information,and being interviewed by you.Hope to hear from you soon.Thanks again.

  2. Thank you,Marie Gilbert for interviewing me.It was a pleasure to share the information,and be interviewed by you.I hope to hear from you,soon.Thanks again.

    1. Happy to do this Leah. Thank you for being such a good guest