This is one of those movies that just defines
cine-cheese....it was released in 1969, and tried, in its own bumbling way, to be a hip, now, happenin' flick. Sadly (or happily, depending on how you look at it), it failed, but produced its own essence of trip.
What's it about? Let's see....ASTRO-ZOMBIES....sounds like another one of those "cool-way-to-explore-space-so-Man-doesn't-have-to" pictures,and it is. It's got John Carradine, playing yet another somewhat meshugga
scientist with a basement lab borrowed from "Shock Theatre", an icky-sticky assistantant named Fanjo who may have been an early influence on Tarantino-at one point, Carradine admonishes Fanjo to stop playing with a female corpse's toes.
Carradine has developed a process called "Astro-Mobilization", which turns dead bodies into creeple-people with skull masks for heads
and Salvation Army reject suits for outerwear. The idea is, you produce these schlubs,shoot them off into space, and ....well, no more Apollo One- type tragedies, for starters....it probably sounded much better over screwdrivers and cocktail nuts.
Of course, there's always plot complications in this type of picture. First off, one of the Astro-Men, no doubt disgruntled over what this movie will do to his career, is (SUPRISE!)
KILLING PEOPLE, particularly nubile young white chicks. This, of course, gets the cops involved.
As if THAT weren't enough, the Wrong People get interested in this project, in the person of the astonishing Tura Satana, looking much like an Oriental drag- queen in a Chinese mini-dress, heels, and an entire can of Clabber Girl Baking Powder on her face. For some reason, Rafael Campos, the 1960's utility infielder for Hispanic villany, plays her
The killer zombie kills people, the cop knocks the solar cell off the forehead of the zombie, causing it to run away, holding a lighted flashlight to its forehead, Tura dumps an entire clip into a guy as he floats facedown in the pool, everyone winds up at Carradine's lab, for the final showdown.
If such films were food, this would be good old-fashioned leftover mac and cheese casserole-not prime rib, but a great late-night snack.