Girls and Corpses is a US newsstand magazine that features photos of sexy girls posing with “real” dead bodies. I came across it when a friend of mine showed me a shoot called “Fetus Freaks” she'd found, and – if that wasn't enough to reel me in – when I discovered Courtney Stodden was gracing the cover of the latest issue, I knew it was destined to be my new favourite magazine in the whole wide world!
At first glance, the self-proclaimed “Maxim meets Dawn of the Dead” looks like wanking material for necrophiliacs and creeps. Its glossy, easy-wipe pages and shoots of porn stars pretending to fuck corpses weren't doing a great deal for me. However, the magazine insists it's all in jest, and actually features no explicit nudity – by which they seem to mean knickers on and a quick burst of Paint's spraycan tool over each nipple. Tasteful.
Although I'm usually into guys that are alive, I felt the need to know more about Girls and Corpses. I ordered not one but FOUR issues, which left me with nothing but more questions, most of them beginning and ending with “WHY???” I decided to interview the "Deaditor-in-Chief" – :( – in the hope he could explain to me, from a safe distance, how the hell everyone's favourite walking dark scene ended up on the mag's cover.
VICE: Hey, Robert “Corpsy” Rhine. Let’s get to the point, why does your magazine exist?
Robert “Corpsy” Rhine: I have always been fascinated by death and I also have a dark sense of humour – it started in the depths of my damaged brain. I had a massive head injury that technically killed me when I was ten years old. It was a huge skull fracture and my brain partially came out of my skull. It took 64 stitches to sew up my noggin' and I was in the hospital for most of fifth grade. My parents were told I was a goner.
That sucks. But still, why?
I recognised that there had never been a magazine about death, probably because who the hell wants to read about that? But through comedy I found the forum to get people to listen and learn about this vital and final transition in life. Also, it's not such a bad gig to be surrounded by beautiful young women all day, so the idea was hatched, and a legend born.
Do you think any of your readers might be legit necrophiliacs?
Finding a necrophiliac is harder than finding Nemo. There's not many around although it does occur, of corpse.
Lol. So you don’t actually want to bone corpses then?
I prefer warm flesh to cold and I'm not too much on the silent sex partner routine. We don't condone necrophilia at Girls and Corpses, but if you are having trouble finding a date, I guess you could dig one up for the prom.
Are the corpses used in the magazine real?
We have real corpses in every issue, guaranteed. We get them from a few particular spots around the world. They are all over 18 and we have releases from their families. They're similar to those in the Body World Exhibit – they have dozens of bodies which have been plasticised and bent into whacky positions in the name of art. We have a similar process and a secret formula for preserving the bodies. We then store them at our cold storage facility in Los Angeles.
Yes, they come to us vacuum-sealed and we keep them in storage before we use them. Kind of like a ziplock baggie for humans.
What happens to the bodies once you're done with them?
We use the bodies multiple times but if they are “retired”, they are cremated or buried per their families and their own legal wishes. We’ve had many requests from people to purchase the bodies but that is illegal.
How did you manage to convince Courtney Stodden to feature in the latest issue?
It didn't take much convincing at all – she contacted us. Courtney's a great girl and a lot of fun to work with on set. She’s so vivacious and funny, I'm always laughing. There are a lot of haters of Courtney but there isn't one bad bone in her body, except sometimes her husband, Doug's, who we've had several dinner dates with.
Why do you think she chose Girls and Corpses for her first nude shoot, and not a magazine like Playboy?
Why not? We don't retouch as much as Playboy – the women in Playboy are totally plastic looking and airbrushed so much that they look like poster boards. Did you see the Lindsay Lohan "Marilyn Monroe" shoot in Playboy? It was terrible! And Lindsay shouldn't look that bad on camera, she's kind of hot. The retouching is what made her look awful. Courtney looks her age in our magazine, 18, with very little retouching. She's a natural beauty and so many of the other shoots she has done, they cake on way too much makeup.
What did Doug think of the shoot?
He was there along with Courtney's mother. They stayed the entire day and even had some really crazy suggestions. Some of them were even wilder than what we were planning.
Before the Stodden shoot, Girls and Corpses featured no nudity and you've previously said, “Do we really need more porn in the world?” Why did that change for Courtney?
All I can say is that when a female star appears in Playboy you sometimes think you are seeing more than you really are. We took that approach with this shoot. The photos are tasteful and beautiful and also funny but I don't think Courtney will have to count Rosary beads over this shoot.
You must have a lot of haters?
Well, most people love us to death but we do have haters and we love them! It's so much more interesting to have controversy. I must say that 99% of the complaints come from God fearing religious folk and letters from the Churches themselves.
Why are there only dead men?
Who wants to see women killed but sickos? A beautiful women should be appreciated, not tortured.
You can order the issue featuring Courtney Stodden at GirlsAndCorpses.com