Finally, the film that has it all! A mad astro-scientist ("B" horror king John Carradine) reviving corpses at his laboratory in a secluded mansion, two gore-crazed, solar-powered killer robot zombies, a bloody trail of gir... more »l-next-door victims, Chinese communist spies and deadly Mexican secret agents led by the insanely voluptuous Tura Satana (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) and intrepid CIA agent Wendell Corey hot on their trail and trying to figure it all out! Almost too much for one movie; must be seen to be believed! A high-powered fusion of Ed Wood, Russ Meyer and George Romero! Co-written and co-produced by television star Wayne Rogers (M*A*S*H).« less
"Oh, where to start? The movie, co-produced by Wayne Rogers (Trapper John from M*A*S*H) is a bit difficult to follow, which is not one little bit surprising seeing that it is the directorial brainchild of Ted V. Mikels. The plot is fairly typical B movie fare, but has a few subplots and distractors to keep the viewer on their toes. The movie shows off the ample talents of Tura Satana as much as possible in the lead role of ruthless Chinese spy. She and her two henchmen (one is a Hispanic man who may be supposed to be Cuban, all we know is that he likes to dance around with his switchblade a lot, the other is a cranky old coot who reminds me of Abe Vigoda with constipation) are trying to get the secrets of lunatic scientist John Carradine's Astro Zombie project. When John enters the film, the problems start.Carradine and his conveniently mute French Igor character, 'Franchot", work in a lab in a huge mansion bringing back people from the dead. This is not a good situation. While Tura is pretty (as are the good lab assistant women we meet later), and the spies vs. the CIA subplot is kind of interesting, as soon as they show the lab I cringe because only one thing happens there: Carradine explains every painful little bit of his procedures to Franchot is pseudo-science technobabble like "We must feed this memory circuit through the emotional quotient rectifier!" This just never ends. Apparently Wayne Rogers picked up a physics textbook, flipped to the glossary and started writing. Man, the Carradine stuff is just painful. The only thing that is good about John's lab is his equipment. He has all the bubbling test tubes, of course, but when he is doing his dirty work he straps what looks for all the world like a colander to his victims head; no doubt it has something to do with the dekrelnification redundancy circuiting of the gauss plasma ion generator of the prefrontal cortex of the brain stem. (But I digress. Of course John will tell you what it's for; I must have dozed for a second during that monologue.) Eventually, the cops get involved and start looking for the Astro Zombies, who are, of course, on a killing spree. There are many plot cul-de-sacs to be negotiated, including my favorite which involves the absolute lamest 'exotic' dance that I have ever seen in a movie; yes, even worse than in Mikels' much better "Girl In The Gold Boots", from 1969 (and notably starring the same male lead.) The three spies lug around a radio detector thing that makes the exact same sounds as Spock's panel on Star Trek, and locate Carradine's lab. The spies try to hijack the Astro Zombies, but Carradine sees the error of his ways, and the good guys show up. For some reason the head lawman (we aren't sure what agency they are from, but are led to infer the CIA) brings his girlfriend to the bust. It is a wild melee and justice is served. I particularly like the John Carradine/Tura Satana joint death scene and the zombie with a machete. This movie has some fun spots for bad movie fans like me. It has some hilarious scenes, like when the zombie holds a flashlight to the photocells in his forehead to get recharged. It also has some classic day/night confusion a la Ed Wood, and this is compounded by the fact that some of the film is way too dark, especially when the spies and CIA guys are having a shootout in the apartment complex (I may be wrong, but that apartment complex looks to me to be the exact same one from Mikels' later film "The Corpse Grinders". Did Ted live there?) The wacky plot and all it's needless but fun twists are big pluses, but I just couldn't give it more than three stars for the huge chunk of John Carradine rambling on about infusing the memory proteins in the hydrogen recombiners, or something like that. Good luck!"
An endearing guilty pleasure
J. H. Lesher | Canton | 09/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have a lot of affection for this film. I first learned about it from the Misfit's song Astrozombies and then I stumbled across Mark Of The Astrozombies (the sequel to this movie) on video. I was astounded! I then tracked down the original on DVD and it was love at first sight. I loved the great DVD cover featuring an Astrozombie attacking a beautiful female and those great cheesy blurbs like "See: Astro Space Laboratory"! Great stuff! I put this disc into my DVD player, hit play, and I had a blast! It's been magic ever since. Folks this infamous bad movie has become like a beloved retarded relative to me. Sure it's slow in spots (it would have played better if it were only a little more than an hour long so keep your finger on the fast-forward button) but it's got plenty of entertaining moments that I adore. Truly a gulity pleasure. The sequel is something else too. Wait 'til you see the living severed head of John Carradine in that one! Mark Of The Astrozombies is a fine follow-up and an even more enjoyable gulity pleasure. Ted V. Mikels has gotten better with age! THANKS TED!"
Not very cerebral, but entertaining.
Stephen Epps | FORT MILL, SOUTH CAROLINA United States | 12/22/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Lets face it. The point in making a movie like Astro Zombies is not to win an Oscar, it is to take 10K$ and turn it into 50K$. The flick opens with a shapely middle aged woman driving what is now a vintage Mustang convertable through her "Malibu" neighborhood while listening to upbeat elevator music on the radio. I know this because the camera made a point to film the radio twice. Well as soon as she parks her car in the garage, even with the barking dog outside trying to warn her, an Astro Zombies' smoke alarm goes off and she gets nailed. A promising beginning eh.
We have a host of bumbling C I A men trying to track down the zombie. How we ever survived the cold war is a mystery to me. Now the spies: Satana,representing Red China. Juan, representing Cuba. Yes, and there was an Oaf from the DDR. Satana had to be the worst spy in history. The only interrogation she performed was on one of the Bumble Bureau agents. She asked him. "Who are you?" (Something Juan had already learned from his wallet ID.) When he doesn't answer she burns him with a cigarette and tells the others to kill him.Alas, cigarettes were only .30$ a pack back then, so she could afford to have a little fun. Then when she finally confronts Carradine who plays the mad scientist that created the zombies, she tells him they want his knowledge. Lo' and behold the first time he does something she doesn't like she shoots him in the back. Satanas' great looks make up for her lack of interest in James Bond Movies of the time. But, I beleive even Bubba the redneck could take one look at her and tell that, "That's a commie spy."
Now Juan, looks like a Hispanic member of the Monkees. He loves to kill folks with his switchblade. I know this because he appears to have an orgasm every time he makes a kill.
As for the German Oaf he's just there for Juan to have someone to stick when he attempts to cut Mao and Castro out of Zombie Technology.
One of the coolest characters in the film is Franchot, the Mad Scientists' assistant. Since he is mute' he doesn't have any lines.
Carradine, who has been in more movies than I can remember is contantly fidgeting with fake looking lab equipment and explaining to Franchot what is going on. He does crack me up when he tells Satana he must destroy the "crazy" astro zombie, right after re-animating it. Then he says he can focus on the astro man whos' brain is morally pure. This was five minutes after Franchot pumped Lime Koolade mixed with carbon dioxide pellets into the neck of a lovely, vibrant young woman, stapped to a slab.(Who had her whole life ahead of her.) Makes you wonder what his version of a morally sound mind is.
I first saw A Z back in my "blurred years" (early 20's)at a drive in theater. Since I was blurred, there were many gaps in the film. so I purchased the DVD.
If you are a collector of horror/gore genre. I say go for it. But, please remember you are not going to stimulate your intellect with this film."
If You See John Carradine, Go Fix A Snack...
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 06/24/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Astro Zombies has two major flaws. #1- Not nearly enough of Tura Satana! Of course, I could watch a 3 hour movie of her just standing around smoking cigarettes!! #2- Way, WAY too much meaningless babbling from John Carradine (as the astro-scientist)! Listening to him explain everything to his henchman "Franchot" is like watching your mother-in-law knit! His scenes (which take up like a third or more of the movie) are excruciatingly painful to both mind and body! They drag on and on until inducing a coma-like state. A limbo between suicide and hysteria. The rest of the flick is cool enough, with it's solar powered zombies, spies, thugs, cops, murder & mayhem, etc. Ted V. Mikels ain't no Hitchcock, but he just might be hitch's neighbor's brother's gardener. Enjoy..."
Four stars for 2 zombies!
KNO2skull | United States | 04/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Indeed, as a zombie film, it hardly has the right to use the plural in the title. Two zombies are available, but only one appears in a mobile fashion for the largest part of the film. As far as the zombie meter reads, there are far more in prior films like 'Last Man On Earth' and even way back in 1933 with Legosi's 'White Zombie'. It would be unfair to kick it out of the running for a fun film, though.
Essentially, the plot involves a mad scientist, (played wonderfully by John Carradine), has lost his job with the government and goes rogue to create 'astromen', or walking corpses able to survive in the rigorous environs of space. So far, so good. Adding to this, Tura Satana plays a sultry and violent vixen as an agent of a foreign government trying to obtain his secrets, and some government agents looking for the scientist.
This film is pretty campy with wooden acting, but you didn't expect less with such a title, now did you? It is, however, a fun kind of campy movie with a concept reminescent of 'Frankenstein', including an Igor character. An overweening 60's style fetish for fake-looking blood and scantily clad women being attacked, Astro Zombies doesn't offer much new concerning these old cliches. Some humorous diologue, and funny scenes (check the Astro Zombie holding a flashlight to his head!).
If you enjoy camp movies with a budget not equal to the concept, Astro Zombies is a fine film. Acting wise, only John Carradine shines, though Tura has talents beyond the poor dialogue provided. It fits the time well, and a fine introduction into zombie concepts on film 1 year before N.O.T.L.D.
As a DVD, it really is pretty sparse; the print has a couple of glitches, though it's presented in a nice widescreen and very watchable. Ten scenes to choose from, nice packaging, and a very messy non color corrected theatrical trailer."