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Football players vs. zombies

Ex-Chicago Bear Brandon Lloyd might be a free agent, but his fantasy football profile was updated with a very different kind of stat this week.

ESPN and fantasy football blogs alike were abuzz Tuesday after word got around that Lloyd is set to appear in “After Effect,” a Chicago indie horror flick up for release Oct. 8. The former Bears wide receiver plays a sergeant in the film. Fellow University of Illinois graduate Juice Williams also appears in some scenes at the end of the film.

“Originally, they weren’t written for the film,” said producer and co-writer Marc Menet, 34, of Portage Park. Menet said he was completely shocked to see ESPN personalities like Mike Wilbon and Skip Bayless talking about his film on different programs yesterday. Additionally, Lloyd’s fantasy football profile had been updated with facts about his appearance on popular blogs like Rotowire. Menet, who is also an adjunct professor at DePaul University and Columbia College, said Lloyd’s appearance came by total chance when he was filming over the holidays in 2010 and 2011.

“It was a happy accident,” he said, noting that another producer at the time with connections to the University of Illinois just happened to know Lloyd and Williams were in town. They were approached about parts, and were more than eager to be on camera.

“He was a really, totally cool guy,” Menet said of Lloyd’s time on the set. “There was no ego or diva-ness. He was like a film student the first time on set; he had a wide-eyed eagerness.”

Lloyd plays Sgt. Chuck Lloyd in the film, which is about a group of college students who volunteer for an experimental medical test that goes awry. The majority of the movie, which stars Daniel Baldwin, takes place at Chicago’s Provident Hospital and Oakton Community College.

“We had no idea of the publicity,” Menet said, adding that the ESPN mentions got tens of thousands of views for the movie’s trailer. “It was mind blowing what happened yesterday. To hear Skip Bayless say the name of the film was bizarre.”

Despite the last minute casting, Menet said Lloyd was paid a nominal fee of a few hundred dollars nonetheless, the same amount collected by the other actors in the film. Lloyd, however, just seemed happy to have a part.

“He never cashed his check,” Menet said.

“After Effect” is set for release on iTunes, Amazon and DVD in Wal-Mart stores.

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