February 26, 2011

Netflix'ns: The Astro-Zombies

Netflix'ns is a series of review shorts of films, new and old, seen on Netflix, be it DVD or streaming. For better or worse, I sat through these films and have lived to tell the tale. These are not so much reviews as just comments on the film watched. Some will be first time views, others will be revisits. This is a work in progress.

Ted V Mikels is a name I have long been aware of but have never really been familiar with. I always associated him with the likes of Roger Corman and Charles Band only on a smaller scale. He writes, directs, and produces low budget films and has been doing so for forty-years. The closest I had come to Mikels before this was a low-budget science fiction flick called Planetfall that he appeared in.

The Astro-Zombies is a low budget (duh) yarn starring David Carradine as a mad scientist and Tura Satana (RIP) as a spy. The plot, such as it is, concerns mutilation killings being committed by this zombie creature that Carradine created while in the employ of the government. The problem was that it has the brain of a killer. There are a couple of government agents on the case as well.

There is a certain something about these types of movies that I like and others that I hate. In the case of The Astro-Zombies, I believe I like it less than others of its ilk. There are moments that I quite like, like when Tura Satana is on screen, sure she may not be at the top of her game but so what? I also like the Astro-Zombie attacks, with the visible slit on the back of the mask, the obvious fakery of it, the casual dress of the actor in the role, and when he charges up with a flashlight! However, there are long stretches of absolutely nothing, people driving or even just looking into space. Padding kills what would have been a fine short subject.

Oh yeah, there is also the great opening with the windup robots and the smoke coming from off screen. Great stuff.

You know if this is up your alley. If you're not sure, give it a pass.

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