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The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies
The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies
Actors: Ray Dennis Steckler, Carolyn Brandt, Brett O'Hara, Atlas King, Sharon Walsh
Director: Ray Dennis Steckler
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
NR     2004     1hr 22min

Studio: Media Blasters Inc. Release Date: 09/28/2004


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Movie Details

Actors: Ray Dennis Steckler, Carolyn Brandt, Brett O'Hara, Atlas King, Sharon Walsh
Director: Ray Dennis Steckler
Creators: Ray Dennis Steckler, Joseph V. Mascelli, Don Schneider, George J. Morgan, E.M. Kevke, Gene Pollock, Robert Silliphant
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Guilty Pleasures
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/28/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 22min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Steckler's Tour de Force
Robert I. Hedges | 10/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had the good fortune of meeting Ray Dennis Steckler in 2001. He is a great guy and we talked about movies all afternoon, and in particular this one. I told him how much I would like to see "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies" ("Creatures") come out on DVD, but at the time it was price prohibitive. Well, it's finally here and it is a thing of wonder to behold. With original color photography by future Hollywood legends Joseph Mascelli, Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond, the movie looks great overall.

The story concerns Jerry (Steckler), a troubled youth who gets involved with evil gypsies and crime, ultimately becoming one of the mixed up zombies himself. The plot is complex and involves a carnival (now long gone; it was at Long Beach) with many musical numbers, spectacularly costumed dancers, murder, and general mayhem. The film has something for every audience; after all it was billed as "the first monster musical"!

In talking to Ray in 2001, I found out a lot about the movie which I was thrilled to learn, as I had admired the film as an archetypal B-movie legend for years. Fortunately, this DVD has a commentary track featuring Ray, explaining many of the same things he explained to me about "Creatures": it is interesting, and contains many surprises, which any fan of Steckler's will certainly appreciate.

This version also has an alternate commentary track by Joe Bob Briggs, which contains some other obscure information, and general hilarity, although I did find Joe Bob in error twice during the film. I like Joe Bob, and think his commentary is funny and informative, as is his separate introduction. Joe Bob is very knowledgeable, and genuinely loves these movies (and this one in particular, it seems) and if you happen to be the rare B-movie viewer that doesn't like the commentary it's always easy to turn off. Other bonus features on the DVD are interviews with Ray and Carolyn Brandt and the original trailer.

If you like great, classic B-movies, you owe it to yourself to buy this today! It is a real gem, and I'm glad that it's finally available to new generations of Steckler fans!
Mark Norvell | HOUSTON | 08/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The full title for this film is "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Crazy Mixed Up Zombies". If that title doesn't grab your attention then maybe the film will. I hope this gets the best treatment possible from Media Blasters because it's a one-of-a-kind treat. Filmed on an impossibly low budget, it tells of a weird carnival where a fortune teller (Brett O'Hara) lures people to her tent, disfugures them with acid, then locks them up in cages for the freak show. When she pulls this stunt on a beatnik (Cash Flagg aka Ray Dennis Steckler) things go horribly wrong. "Creatures" has tacky showgirl musical numbers, the zombie-creatures themselves running amok, hypnotism, sort of a love story, fantastic color effects and photography (by unbilled Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond) and an all-around cheezy aura that's impossible to resist. Steckler was a low-low budget filmmaker in the 60's and this is one of his greatest achievements. Watch for this one and enjoy."
Great Treatment for Steckler's Best Flick!
J. Martin | Portland, OR USA | 02/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Not only is it great to see "Creatures" in such glorious color, but this DVD is packed with really GOOD extras. This is truly one of the more bizarre of all low-budget horror/exploitation flicks of the 60s - and that's saying a lot. It also happens to be among the most fun to watch. Somehow, it's funny, cheesy, incomprehensible and kind of sweet all at the same time. And dig the ladies in those musical numbers!

As for the commentaries by director/star Ray Dennis Steckler and drive-in critic Joe Bob Briggs, I have to say I like 'em both. I do have to disagree with the reviewer who didn't like the Joe Bob commentary. Joe Bob has an amazing depth of knowledge when it comes to movies, and his humor and observations are right on the money. Sure, he points out the inadequacies of "Creatures," but isn't that part of the fun? After all, if you're going to examine a movie like this, how can you NOT mention cheap sets, out-of-step dancers and actors with sky-high pompadours? Joe Bob clearly loves this movie, and his enthusiasm for this sort of cinema is infectious.

If you're even considering buying this DVD, you're probably already familiar with the movie. Rest assured that the extras are a worthy addition...and are just as 'incredibly strange' as you'd hope."
It really is as bad as everyone says it is.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 03/10/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!? (Ray Dennis Steckler, 1963)

This is another case of me watching a movie that has been universally panned thinking "it really can't be all that bad, can it?" Yes, yes it is. Director Steckler (whose thirty-year-plus Hollywood career contained such highlights as Debbie Does Las Vegas and Teenage Dessert) does double-duty as the film's lead character, Jerry, a lunkhead who does most of his thinking below the belt. He, his roommate Harold (Atlas King), and his girlfriend Marge (Carolyn Brandt) head to the fair one night to see what's happening. After a rather strained session with fortune teller Madame Estrella (Brett O'Hara, suffering from what I assume is the worst make-up job in history), the group split up, with Harold taking Marge home after a fight with Jerry, who wants to see the girlie show. A little setup, and Jerry is back in Madame Estrella clutches, hypnotized into becoming a hit man for her.

Now where, you might ask, are the zombies in that synopsis? Well, they're nowhere. (They do put in a small appearance towards the end of the film, to be fair.) They're pretty pathetic zombies, and the musical numbers (yes, the musical numbers!) get more screen time than the zombies. The acting is terrible, the direction is awful, the technical aspects of the film range from hideous to terrifying (not in the way Steckler intended, I'm sure). This is one movie that thoroughly deserves its reputation; it's probably good to have on in the background at a party where the main goal is everyone getting as drunk as possible, but I can't see any other uses for it that makes sense. (half)"