The Astro-Zombies

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The Astro-Zombies
The-astro-zombies-movie-poster-md.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTed V. Mikels
Produced byTed V. Mikels
Screenplay by
Starring
Music byNico Karaski
CinematographyRobert Maxwell
Edited byArt Names
Production
companies
  • Ram Ltd.
  • Ted V. Mikels Film Productions
Release date
  • May 1968 (1968-05)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$37,000

The Astro-Zombies is a 1968 American science fiction horror film starring John Carradine, Wendell Corey (in his final film appearance) and Tura Satana. It was written, directed and produced by Ted V. Mikels.[1]

Plot[edit]

The plot follows a disgruntled scientist who, having been fired by the space agency, decides to create superhuman monsters from the body parts of innocent murder victims. The creatures eventually escape and go on a killing spree, attracting the attention of both an international spy ring and the CIA.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Produced by Ram Ltd. and Ted V. Mikels Film Production, The Astro-Zombies was filmed on a low budget of $37,000, with $3,000 of the budget used to pay Carradine.[1][2] The film would be Mikels' last collaboration with Wayne M. Rogers (of later M*A*S*H fame), who also co-wrote and co-produced the film.[1][3][4] The score was written by Nico Karaski, cinematography was handled by Robert Maxwell and editing by Art Names.[1]

Release[edit]

The Astro-Zombies was released in May 1968, at a runtime of 94 minutes.[1]

Reception[edit]

Variety wrote, "There's almost nothing good to say for this horror scifier ... The scifi aspects don't enthrall and the thrill aspects don't shock".[5] Author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film the lowest possible rating of "Bomb", calling it "yet another nominee for worst picture of all time".[6] On his website Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings, Dave Sindelar called the film "wretched", criticizing the film's messy plot and "talky/dull" scenes.[7] TV Guide panned the film, calling it "one of the all-time worst sci-fi pictures".[8]

In a retrospective review, David Cornelius of eFilmCritic.com gave the film an extremely negative 1 of 5 stars, calling it the worst film ever made and panning the film's acting, its "painful-to-the-eyes production values" and the film's absence of reason.[9]

Influence[edit]

American horror punk band the Misfits recorded a song titled "Astro Zombies", released on their 1982 album Walk Among Us. The lyrics, by frontman Glenn Danzig, were written from the perspective of mad scientist Dr. DeMarco.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "The Astro-Zombies". American Film Institute. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Christopher Wayne Curry (24 October 2007). Film Alchemy: The Independent Cinema of Ted V. Mikels. McFarland. pp. 448–. ISBN 978-1-4766-0301-8.
  3. ^ June Pulliam; Anthony J. Fonseca (19 June 2014). Encyclopedia of the Zombie: The Walking Dead in Popular Culture and Myth: The Walking Dead in Popular Culture and Myth. ABC-CLIO. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-1-4408-0389-5.
  4. ^ Welch D. Everman (January 1993). Cult Horror Films: From Attack of the 50 Foot Woman to Zombies of Mora Tau. Carol Publishing Group. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-0-8065-1425-3.
  5. ^ "The Astro-Zombies". Variety: 6. May 7, 1969.
  6. ^ Leonard Maltin (3 September 2013). Leonard Maltin's 2014 Movie Guide. Penguin Group US. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-101-60955-2.
  7. ^ Sindelar, Dave. "The Astro-Zombies (1968)". Fantastic Movie Musings.com. Dave Sindelar. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  8. ^ "The Astro-Zombies - Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings". TV Guide.com. TV Guide. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  9. ^ Cornelius, David. "Movie Review - Astro-Zombies - eFilmCritic". eFilmCritic.com. David Cornelius. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  10. ^ http://www.dirgemag.com/danzigs-double-feature-movies-misfits/

External links[edit]