The Astro Zombies (1968)

   

Produced, Edited & Directed by: Ted V. Mikels

Written by: Ted V. Mikels & Wayne Rogers

Starring:

Tom Pace .... Eric Porter
Joan Patrick .... Janine Norwalk
Wendell Corey .... Holman
John Carradine .... Dr. De Marco
Tura Satana .... Satana
.... Juan
Joe Hoover .... Chuck Edwards
.... Dr. Petrovich

Release Date:
Theatrical: May 19, 1968

Rating:

 

A mad scientist named Dr. DeMarco (John Carradine) creates an astroman from a criminal's dead body after being fired from the Space Agency but his creation goes wrong and ends up going on a killing spree with residents nearby.

 

An impressive beginning for one of those grindhouse drive in films with a woman driving her vehcile and then later on spotting an astro zombie in her garage attacking her which looked cheesily fun but yet there's a scene that took too long with was this monster's off killing as we expect some blood splattering as the moment looked way too slow to watch.
There's some nicely focused sitatuations with a team of people gathering around for a meeting hosted by Holman in which this was nicely drawn in and a good serious fashion.
A great camera shot on a grissly car accident with the passenger unconcious and looking bloodied as this should please gindhouse horror fans that spots this as well as an Igor type figure named Dr. Petrovich wobbling down the field and taking this vicitm away which keeps you in mystery as to what will happen next.
There's a perfect shot on a crypt of some sort as well as spotting a mad scientist Dr. De Marco instructing Petrovich on his experiments as well as having this corpse and using a tube to drain out his blood with other types of scientific devices surrounding all of this. Certainly makes you cringe while watching all of this happening yet this scene takes way too long and lags alot. Very slow too. Certainly had an almost Frankenstein type of vibe to this but a little more horrific on what was happening. Plus in other spots we see a human brain active which is another nice touch to the story too. There's also neat and cheesy situations with him doing experiments on a woman whom is tied up which almost leaves a suggestion that she's being tortured here.
Things seem to get going good with the action involved in the story when there's a suggested mafia moment involving Satana doing some unfinished business with one of the people at the table as this looked dysfunctional by what goes on here and perfectly set too by how all of this was done with cigarette smoking, aggressive behavior and situations like that.

There's also a great moment with someone being pinned down in another scene with a good shot looking up on Satana looking at this victinm and forcing him to talk by putting her cigarette in his face as this showed perfect timing as well as what she does to him later. Another perfect mafia or mobster type of moment unravelling into the story here.
We spot certain situations with the Astro Zombie once again ready to kill his next victim but yet the moments seem to be a bit slow when doing this person in and a bit off too. It doesn't look intense or terrifying like it should've been.
There's a moment when Janine is acting alert with hearing any sort of sound in a quiet area and fearing someone is going to attack her which is supposed to make you cringe with these moments due to close up shots on things in the room but this fails to deliver regardless.
There's the odd interesting moments with the Astro Zombie trying to attack Janine Novak with her screaming as well as Eric Porter trying to save her by struggling against this creature as it was well put into the plot too.
More interesting moments with a supporting character Chuck Edwards trying to point a gun at Satana and then his scheme fouls up as wel spot her assistant Juan planning to kill him for trying to take over which doesn't look pleasant to watch and making you cringe knowing on what's going to happen to this fellow.
The action gets going once again when Satana tries to take over De Marco's crypt and demanding him to control his Astro Zombie with him not being able to as well as some sloppy moments on Juan being violent and forceful towards Petrovich. Also things look intense with spotting the Astro Zombie grabbing a machette and ready to do some killings which is a famous scene used in the film and looked good in a low budgeter such as this one. Plus some gruesome results which was way ahead of it's time by what we spot here.
Bottom line is that this is an average type of flick in which there's some amusing scene's but the story seems to lack quite a bit and seems confusing as well as hard to follow. It can be a fun party flick to watch but yet not too exciting as well as different scene's happening which makes you wonder as to what will come out of it in the end.

The acting is not too badly done here as we have a fine performance by Tom Pace (Eric Porter) in which he seems to offer a nice charming type of role into what he does in the film coming across as believeably outgoing into whatever he did here. Also shows it off good with his speaking as well as his witty attitude too. Yet he is a little off with his blocking whenever he is struggling against someone during a terrifying moment.
Joan Patrick
(Janine Norwalk) seemed to pull it off well with her smooth talking as well as having a good sharp attitude on things. Plus does well by acting a little tense and cuatious during a certain spot of the film which was dead on too. However when she screams or freaks out she is low on energy.
Wendell Corey
(Holman) was very energetic and to the point with his announcements making himself a worthy type of leader on subjects and seemed perfectly clear with his speaking too. He seemed to draw a fine line within whatever he did here. Also had the right sharp and rough type of looks too but yet coming across as someone whom is understanding too. He shows off a nice and solid performance.
John Carradine
(Dr. De Marco) showed off a good and seriousness as well as concentrating hard on his experiments. Seemed to know his stuff fairly okay as a mad scientist of some sort. He had the right tall features for this as well as the looks too. He wasn't overly spectacular but did his job passable enough.
Tura Satana
(Satana) stole the film with her performance as she certainly came across as a perfect wicked female mobster leader with her sneering attitude as well as her wicked smiley expressions too. Was perfect by acting manipulative as well. Certainly drew across as someone you wouldn't want in your everyday life as well as dead on by acting perfectly demanding or doing a good job with her blocking like firing a weapon or doing something forceful as well.
(Juan) portrayed another perfect bad ass mobster in which he has a great icy smooth speaking along with getting perfectly nasty with his behavior. However he is a bit off with his blocking during his fighting but not too terrible. Everything else is dead on with his ruthless behavior. He offered some nice energy within this.
Joe Hoover
(Chuck Edwards) seemed to present himself well as one of those other type of criminals and speaks okay in a tough type of voice. He seems a bit stiff at times though. Shows off a nice versatality in acting like somewhat a pussy later on when he is nearly about to be killed showing a nice anxious and fearsome type of behavior.
(Dr. Petrovich) certainly drew in his character nicely as an Igor type figure with his awkward walking and creepy presence. Does well with his blocking and acting perfectly clumsy drawing all of this in together in a decent fashion. Also knew on how to act alerted when he is being attacked cowering away. His looks were fairly okay but wasn't perfect for this role as he wasn't overly creepy looking.

A topless stripper with tattoo's all over her body is seen with her breasts revealed.

Blood is sucked out of a tube from a body.
A head is chopped off.
Machette is impaled in another person's head.

The music sounds pretty good in this film having a nice theme to the adventureous moments especially the crimes that are happening here with the trumpet and trombone composing along with drum rolls blending in perfectly. Plus some effective cymblas clashing too. We also hear the odd clarinet playing which seemed to add more flavor to the plots. All of this was put together by Nicholas Carras