Combustible Celluloid
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With: Wendell Corey, John Carradine, Tom Pace, Joan Patrick, Rafael Campos, Tura Satana, William Bagdad, Victor Izay, Vincent Barbi, Joseph Hoover, Wally Moon, John Hopkins, Egon Sirany, Lynette Lantz, Vic Lance
Written by: Ted V. Mikels, Wayne Rogers
Directed by: Ted V. Mikels
MPAA Rating: GP
Running Time: 91
Date: 05/19/1968

The Astro-Zombies (1968)

1 Star (out of 4)

Robot Toys & Rubber Masks

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I love bad movies, but The Astro-Zombies commits the most terrible crime of bad moviedom; it's unrelentingly boring, and -- at 91 minutes -- very long. It begins with a lengthy sequence of a woman driving. She's wearing a low-cut dress, and she fills it out well, if you know what I mean. After a very long time, she pulls into the garage, looks around in some weirdly random directions, and then is murdered by something in a rubber mask. Blood spatters on the car, but that dress never comes off. Then we get a title sequence with -- for no reason -- wind-up robots walking around. Then we get Wendell Corey (The Furies, Rear Window) talking and talking. Then we get John Carradine and his creepy assistant Franchot (William Bagdad) endlessly twiddling gadgets in a lab. Then we get Tura Satana (Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) lounging around in a series of great dresses and killing people, and cops and bad guys kinda/sorta having a shootout. Then we get a topless dancer with her body covered in swirly paints, dancing for so long that even the nudity is boring. But the astro-zombies rarely show up again. And when they do, we just don't care. This is arguably the best known movie of legendary schlockmeister Ted V. Mikels. At least it has a great poster and inspired a great Misfits song! Kino Lorber released it on Blu-ray in 2016, and not even a "RiffTrax" commentary track, a commentary track by historian Chris Alexander, and a commentary track by Mikels himself, makes this worth sitting through. The disc also comes with a trailer.

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