Cody Renee Cameron is quite the jack-of-all-trades. Not only is she a model, stunt performer, and biker, she proudly holds the title of being the “best damn dead girl in Hollywood.” Over the course of her acting career, she’s played a murder victim and corpse on numerous occasions, including in the 2016 Elle Fanning film The Neon Demon [our review]. Now, Cameron is back for some festive slashings in Full Moon Features’ latest release, The Twelve Slays of Christmas, available now online.
Directed by William Butler and starring Dare Taylor (Girl Blood Sport 2019), Lauren Nicole Smith (Giantess Battle Attack 2022) and Tom Fitzpatrick (Insidious: Chapter 2 2013), The Twelve Slays of Christmas follows three unsuspecting travelers who take refuge in a Gothic manor during a snowstorm. Little do they know the terror that awaits them at this holiday feast. Cameron recently chatted with PopHorror about her latest horror project, as well as her transition to landing a spot on Mayans M.C. and other roles that go beyond “dead girl.”
PopHorror: The Twelve Slays of Christmas looks so fun based on the trailer. Can you walk me through how you got involved in the project?
Cody Renee Cameron: So The Twelve Slays of Christmas is a Full Moon Features production. I’ve been working with them over the past maybe eight years and I’ve done maybe 10 projects with them. I started out as an actor, kind of one of the hot naked girls in the background, and now I associate produce for them, as well as act. So I’m one of the four main characters. It starts out, these three pretty girls are going to a festival and their car gets stuck in the snow and there’s no cell service and so they find this creepy manor and wander in and then that’s where the creepy funniness ensues.
PopHorror: Tell me a bit about your character, what she’s like and how she fits into everything.
Cody Renee Cameron: So I play Britany and this is the first time I’ve ever worn a black wig. It’s like I’m giving Courteney Cox vibes, so I’m excited for that. She’s definitely the sassy one. I feel like when there’s three characters, there’s always the sassy, sarcastic one, and so that’s Britany. She’s got kind of Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls vibes or Scary Spice from the Spice Girls vibes. That was really fun to play because normally, I’m the ditzy one. So this time, I’m the sassy one. And the girls’ names are actually Britany, Mandy and Christine, an ode to the pop stars [Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, Christina Aguilera].
PopHorror: What was the filming process like for the movie?
Cody Renee Cameron: We filmed in Cleveland, Ohio. Full Moon actually has a manor there that they repurpose every time they shoot something. The last movie was called Sorority Babes and everything was pink, so they had to repaint everything. That was a really cool process. They found all these fun knickknacks at thrift stores nearby and they went all out decorating it for Christmas, which is really funny because it was before Halloween. I had to get my nails changed from orange with little black hats and skulls on them to Christmas nails. My nail ladies were like, “What are we doing? It’s not even Halloween yet. It’s a little early.” So we filmed the Christmas movie during Halloween, which is funny.
The three girls, we flew to Cleveland and we were only there for a couple of days because in the film, we weave together this whole story. We’re reading a book and there’s 12 stories, 12 slays of Christmas. There’s 12 murders that happen and they involved previous Full Moon characters. So if you know the Full Moon world at all, there’s Eebee from Evil Bong and then there’s the Gingerdead Man. There’s 12 different characters that we bring back, so we actually flash back to footage that we already have. The filming of the movie was very short compared to what most movies would take to film because we already had the footage.
PopHorror: That’s so cool! Have you previously worked with the other Twelve Slays actresses, Dare Taylor and Lauren Nicole Smith?
Cody Renee Cameron: Yes, so Dare and Lauren are two of my really good friends. Dare, I try to pull into everything that I’m doing. As the associate producer, I definitely have some strings when it comes to casting, so I went for some of my friends that are just super talented. That made it so much more fun. It felt like a big slumber party in the house where we were filming.
PopHorror: You mentioned that you’ve been in about 10 Full Moon projects now. How did you initially get involved with them?
Cody Renee Cameron: The very first one was called Ravenwolf Towers and I auditioned to play, I think the role name was just “naked woman.” It’s one of those things where it’s an opening scene and there’s two people hooking up and then they hear something creepy in the closet and the guy goes to check and, lo and behold, there’s a monster in there. I also get murdered in a very fun way. That was my very first time with them.
PopHorror: And you’ve stuck with Full Moon ever since?
Cody Renee Cameron: Then I auditioned for another project. That was shot in Vegas, so I went to Vegas with them. Right before the pandemic hit, my part pretty much got cut from that one. Charlie Band [our interview], the creator of Full Moon, was like, “I feel like I owe you one because you were in Vegas with us for a couple days and we didn’t even really get to use you.” So he’s like, “I have this idea for this character named Barbie and she’s going to be dealing with the corona pandemic. We’re going to call it Corona Zombies.”
To be as safe as possible, we just had me interacting with a girl on the phone, and this same idea where we used all of this footage that we already had. There’s a news clip of Trump talking about corona, so we use all this public domain footage to string together a story and it’s just me in the house on the phone. And then, you know, things are happening in my house. We had one guy filming, one sound guy and then the director. That was it. Just four of us in the house, we filmed this movie and it was like, the first thing to come out about corona and the first thing to come out during the pandemic when everyone was super hungry for new content. So that kind of started a whole trilogy called the Barbie & Kendra movies that I did with them. There’s others, a couple more in there. We definitely have some more up our sleeve.
Then Charlie asked me to start associate producing because he’s like, “Oh, you’re so great. You have great energy and you have all these friends that are also actresses. We’d love to work with them also.” So I started bringing in my friends, all for the Evil Bong movie. That’s where I introduced him to Dare and some of my other friends. He was like, “OK, let’s pull these girls into the Full Moon movies.” They’re also influencers so we’ll get a lot more eyes on the project because it’s indie filmmaking. It’s been really cool to explore working with influencers as actresses and just kind of melding everything together so that everyone gets the most out of everything that we’re doing.
PopHorror: So I’ve heard that over the years, you’ve gotten the reputation of being the best dead girl in Hollywood.
Cody Renee Cameron: Yeah!
PopHorror: How does it feel to hold that title?
Cody Renee Cameron: All of my beginning roles, I was playing dead hookers mostly. Shocker. My first role was in The Neon Demon with Keanu Reeves (The Matrix 1999) and he was a childhood crush, so that was really cool. I got to walk the red carpet right behind. But I just play an embalmed female corpse. That’s the name of the role, but I actually had to audition for it. It’s a scene with Jena Malone (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 2013) where it ends up being a necromancy scene where she’s kind of trying to hook up with my dead body. She’s fantasizing about Elle Fanning (Super 8 2011) and we have similar looks and body types. The movie is really crazy. If you haven’t seen it, definitely check it out. [Director] Nicolas Refn is dark and amazing. It kind of just felt like that’s where it started. Then the Full Moon movie I just described, I played a naked woman that gets killed. I actually get mummified in that one. It just seems like role after role, I tend to be dead and in very little clothing.
PopHorror: But you also do other things and different genres, which is really cool, like Mayans M.C. and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.
Cody Renee Cameron: Yeah, absolutely. Indie horror is kind of the easiest thing to break into because they’re producing it the most. It makes the most money overseas and it’s easiest to make. But then I feel like my goal is to do more network TV. My opportunity with the Mayans has been really amazing and I’m hoping to do more of that, although I love doing all of it. The roles have definitely gotten bigger and morphed into something a little more than just the dead girl.
PopHorror: Switching back to horror for a moment, given that you’ve been in so many films, are you a fan of horror movies? Did you watch a lot growing up?
Cody Renee Cameron: So I was super scared of scary movies as a kid. I remember watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre when my parents weren’t home and I was so freaked out that I had to go stand outside. It was still daylight, but I couldn’t be in my house. I was like, “I have to be in the street where I can see everything and there’s no hiding place for anybody.” But as an adult, I have now come to appreciate them so much more and with making the movies, especially with really fun prosthetics. I’ve now had my head cast to be killed in a movie and so to see your dead head across from you on set is pretty crazy. So yeah, now I love them.
PopHorror: I’m sure there’s a different feel to filming a horror movie like Twelve Slays versus a drama like Mayans. Could you talk about that?
Cody Renee Cameron: With lower budget indie movies, we’re always pressed for time, but it can be more of a collaborative effort because everyone’s trying to brainstorm and problem solve together. Whereas on a big budget network set, there’s unions and people have their own specific jobs. I tend to learn a lot more on indie sets because it’s like, “Oh, where does the lighting go?” We can discuss that. In the Mayans, the lights are already set. We do a walkthrough and then a body double stands in for me while they light and talk about everything. So you actually miss out on a lot of the process unless you’re just gonna stand there and insert yourself into being there. Otherwise, you can go back to your trailer or whatever. The snacks are definitely better on big budget sets. You can always find me eating snacks. That’s a big thing I like to do on set.
But they both have their pros. They’re both so fun to be around. And Mayans was really cool because every time I’ve been on-site, they’ve really taken a lot of time to explain the shot to me and explain what the goal is and how they’re shooting it. I had a sex scene in last season and the way they shot it is, they start outside of our hotel room, which is actually on a stage. It’s just a room that they built to look like a hotel room. They wanted the curtains to blow and we see these shadows cross, which will eventually be the guys that break in and kill us. So you kind of do this pan and they talk about all the camerawork and the action and making sure everybody’s comfortable on set. I love understanding that kind of thing as opposed to sometimes on indie film sets, it’s like, “Shutup and go stand over there and say your lines.” I mean, that happens on big sets, too. Movie making is crazy. It feels like you’re standing around for 11 hours and then for one hour, you’re mad dashing everywhere and rushing to do everything. It’s crazy.
PopHorror: Backtracking for a second, you’re killed on Mayans too!?
Cody Renee Cameron: No, no! They tried. Boy, did they try. But no, and I can say this because it was last season. My boyfriend gets killed, but I survive. And now they have brought me back for season five. We’ve only shot one episode so far, but I’m hoping to get a little bit of a bigger storyline. But we’ll see. I’m just definitely happy to be on set. It was a really fun day. We just filmed it last week. I rode my motorcycle to set in 30-degree weather. It’s December in LA but it’s still motorcycle riding season.
PopHorror: As far as The Twelve Slays of Christmas, when and where is that available?
Cody Renee Cameron: It came out Dec. 16 on Full Moon Features. We’d call that our soft showing because you have to become a member. It’s only like $6 a month. So I encourage everyone to go sign up for fullmoonfeatures.com. That’s how we usually release movies. It’ll be there first and then in a week, sometimes a month, it’ll come out on Amazon Prime, Tubi and all those streaming platforms, so more accessible.
PopHorror: Is there anything else upcoming for you?
Cody Renee Cameron: I actually have another movie coming out, the official poster just got released. It’s called Mutilator 2. I filmed that in North Carolina. And the first Mutilator was kind of a cult classic from the ’80s and the director’s son [Buddy Cooper] wanted to make another one. This has been his passion project. We filmed that earlier this year sometime and it was really fun. I got to act in it, as well as stunt double for some of the other girls, so I actually got to do death scenes for other people. There are a lot of deaths in that one, so a lot of opportunities for me to die.
There’s also one out right now called Waking Up Dead. Wow, so much dead in the titles! It’s on Amazon Prime and on a bunch of streaming platforms and Traci Lords (Excision 2012) is in it. It’s a really cool movie that we also shot during the pandemic that was one of, like, five union films that got made. It was the strictest I’d ever seen it where you had to have a walking path with arrows on the ground to enter the house and exit so that nobody was passing each other. We were just so careful because it was right in the height of everything.
Keep an eye out for Mayans season five. And I always tell people to go check out Girls Guns and Blood. It’s a Tarantino-esque movie about a brothel that gets invaded and all the girls fight back. There’s lots of girls and guns and blood, so that’s a really fun one, too.
PopHorror: Looking ahead, is there a dream role that you’d love to land someday?
Cody Renee Cameron: I would definitely love to be on a TV show about female motorcycle riders because that doesn’t exist and I’m not sure why.
PopHorror: Right! It could be another Sons of Anarchy spinoff.
Cody Renee Cameron: Babes of Anarchy!
PopHorror: Was there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Cody Renee Cameron: I like to go ride my motorcycle wearing crazy costumes during the holiday season to bring cheer to everybody. So if you live in LA, keep an eye out. I was just riding around with my girlfriend, she was dressed as Santa and I was Santa’s old lady. I was riding the Harley, she was on the back and we were throwing toys to adults and kids on the boulevard. So keep an eye out for us doing our tricks.