Zombies invade Riverside Arena

Published 10:12 am Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Zombies took over Riverside Arena on Monday, and they were surprisingly coherent for the undead.

Zombie horror-comedy movie ‘“Ahockalypse” continued to film at Riverside Arena on Monday. Extras came from around Minnesota and Wisconsin for a chance to portray zombies.

“I’m a naturally dramatic person,” said extra Samantha Elsing of St. Paul.

Samantha Elsing says being an extra in “Ahockalypse” aligns perfectly with her dramatic nature.

Samantha Elsing says being an extra in “Ahockalypse” aligns perfectly with her dramatic nature.

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Elsing, who does promotional work, heard about the need for extras from the Instagram page of make-up artist Nicole Fae.

“I figured what better way to channel my creativity and drama than being a zombie extra?” she said.

The appeal of playing a zombie attracted people from all sorts of backgrounds and occupations.

“I’m an engineer draftsman,” said extra Matt Feikema of Hudson, Wisconsin.

Feikema, whose wife, Nikki, also played a part in the film, found out about the movie through his friend, Austin Bruins co-owner Craig Patrick.


Matt Feikema of Hudson, Wisconsin, in the make-up chair for his turn as an extra in “Ahockalypse,” on Monday. Deb Nicklay/deb.nicklay@austindailyherald.com

Extra Ryan Gilmer, who portrays a security guard turned zombie in the film, works at AME Sports in Roseville, Minnesota.

“I‘m friends with a couple of guys in the film and it sounded kind of cool,” he said.

Members of the Austin Bruins, such as goalie Jake Kucharski of Erie, Pennsylvania, and forward Liam Thrawl of Gurnee, Illinois, also took to the make-up chair to get zombified.

Make-up artists April Rocha and Tanner J of Nicole Fae, LLC, tended to a line of people waiting to be transformed into the undead for the movie. Assisting them was make-up artist Jacob Ryan of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, who has prior experience working on sets.

“I worked behind the scenes as an editor out in West Hollywood,” Ryan said. “I did a lot of reality TV shows.”

Four-year-old Tanner Heinz of Ferryville, Wisconsin, could not wait to get on his zombie make-up.

His mother, Krista Heinz, originally from Austin, also portrayed a zombie in the film. The family heard about the movie at the Bruins game on Saturday.

“As soon as he heard the announcement, he said, ‘I want to be a zombie,’” Krista said.

“Ahockalypse” will finish filming in Austin this weekend. It is scheduled to shoot in other locations.