director Ted V. Mikels
It was quite recently that I finally first watched a Ted V. Mikels movie. It was The Corpse Grinders (1971) and it was kind of interesting, kind of interesting and sort of boring and kinda terrible. It’s quirks added charms, like its weird actors, but for a movie about grinding bodies into cat food, it was pretty tame exploitation.
The Astro-Zombies is Mikels other most famous movie. Merit is earned in large part by this pretty terrific poster image. The question is, can the movie deliver on the poster? (Of course, The Misfits gave this film some further credence and notoriety in writing a song titled after it.)
The best thing that Astro-Zombies has going for it is Tura Satana, most famous for Russ Meyer’s most-famous film, the legendary Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965). And a decent small bit by John Carradine, slumming it but not slumming as hard as he might and eventually would. And I have to give a shout-out to the lesser-known piece of amazingness herein: William Bagdad as Franchot, Carradine’s wild-eyed, leering and mute assistant.
So, there are more than one astro-zombie in the film, though mostly there is just one. And at the end, he does indeed pick up the wicked-looking machete and chase a girl. Overall, though, it’s kind of a slog otherwise, with some spying and thugs and a complex story about a rogue scientist and this astro-zombie stuff he’s developed.
I guess from here on out, I will assume that the Mikels filmography does not improve if further explored. I will watch that documentary about him, though.