Written by Ty-Ron Mayes
Excitement is in the air as an unusual personality gears up to become the Hollywood’s next action villain. Zombie Boy is just dying to beat you Keanu! as to appear in Keanu Reeve’s 47 Ronin. My friend Rick Genest AKA Zombie Boy is set to appear as one of the antagonist in the new film 47 Ronin! And with his frightening tattooed exterior, The Prince of Ink is set to leave and indelible stain and some bruises in Hollywood as it is rumored that he may fight Reeves to the death. In a sneak preview… Z.B. is seen crawling through the rafters as he emerges from the shadows…. what happens next…. well we will all just have to wait and see.
Although 47 Ronin has had a lot of delays and has been plagued with constant revisions and ever-changing release dates, Ronin is now scheduled for a Christmas Day release stateside. Here’s a synopsis. The troupe of banished samurai long to restore their honor and find vengeance against the treacherous Lord Kira (played by Asano, who is in theaters now as Hogun in Thor) who was responsible for the death of their master. Kai is the uneasy compatriot in their company and his standing will be questioned even more as he falls in love with Mika (Shibasaki), daughter of the fallen master. The film presents a quest where the Ronin (the term for Samurai with no master) face trials that test their mettle and their loyalty to one another. It stars Keanu Reeves as well as several famous Japanese actor (like Hiroyuki Sanada for example!) in an 18th century Samurai tale of revenge.
It is a pleasure to witness a young talent such as Zombie Boy grow into a sought after actor. If the 4 newly released movie posters are an indication that Zombie is hot… well, just look for yourself. If a picture is worth a thousand words… then what is a poster worth? Check out his solo poster. Entitled “Outcast”, “Warrior”, “Freak” and “Witch”… can you guess which one he is?
For those of you who are not familiar with Zombie Boy… before he transformed himself into living art emblazed with tattoos and disturbing morbid imagery, Zombie Boy was born Rick Genest of La Salle, Quebec and grew up in Chateauguay. “Rico” first appeared on the world platform in the Lady Gaga’s video, Born This Way. No, that was not make-up in the video… at least not on Rico. Over 80 percent of his body is covered in tattoos, including his face. Rick’s tattoos are what he calls, his “project”. Unbeknownst to the general public, Rick Genest was not supposed to be amongst the living. In fact, as a teenager, Rick was diagnosed with a life-threatening benign brain tumor. At the age of 15, Rick underwent a surgery that many had not survived in the past. Because of the tumor’s position, his options were death or if lucky, blindness and/or to live as a vegetable. When he emerged from the surgery, he was none of the above. Rick was indeed alive and well. Defying the odds, he literally jumped off of the Grim Reaper’s deck of cards and began a new life.
The runaway embraced the underground Punk scene and became obsessed with body modification as he began to amass more tattoos. By age 21, the newly named Rico The Zombie or Zombie Boy… a name his friends called him; enlisted the help of tattoo artist, Frank Lewis to help execute his vision of death. Together, Lewis and Genest created a Frankenstein-like, skull-faced character with Rick Genest’s body as the canvas. For over 7 painful years, they augmented the appearance of normal, healthy, human flesh into a frightening homage to horror films. Slowly and methodically, Genest’s body was transformed from an average 5’9” man, into a decomposing, Zombie-like living corpses, with exposed rotting parts revealing the skeletal, muscular and circulatory system along with crawling insects that devour the dead.
Genest spent thousands of Canadian dollars on tattooing his exterior and he is not done because for Zombie Boy, it’s a work in progress. Although it was incomplete, Genest’s obsession for ink led him to garner two admissions into the Guinness Book of World Records: one for the most bones tattooed on the body (134) and one for the most insects tattooed on the body (176). “My tattoos symbolize life through death, or death through life.”
It wasn’t long before Hollywood took notice of the walking freak show he called Zombie Boy and he was casted to play one of the freaks in 2009’s Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. Along with his manager, lawyer and personal photographer Colin Singer, Zombie has been able to conquer the modeling world and push beyond the boundaries of what is expected from a one time runaway. From the streets to the covers and runways of the world; to the silver screen and beyond…. Zombie Boy is destined to be a superstar.
Ty-Ron Mayes: Your story continues to grow. How has this attention parlayed into an acting career? You just completed a movie with Keanu Reeves?
Zombie Boy: Yes, we were on film location in Budapest. It was my first role with a line. I have done movies with what is called figuration before. But this was my first big production with a speaking role and it is scheduled to come out in this Christmas.
Ty-Ron Mayes: What was your role in the movie? I understand there is an action scene? Give us a teaser.
Zombie Boy: Well, I haven’t seen the final cut, so let’s hope it makes it. It’s a really large budget film by Universal Studios. It’s going to be a 3D movie. The set was huge. I was really excited because I love Pirates. It’s a Pirate and Samurai movie, which is something I was very happy to be part of.