Jerry falls in love with a stripper he meets at a carnival. Little does he know that she is the sister of a gypsy fortune teller whose predictions he had scoffed at earlier. The gypsy turns him into a zombie and he goes on a killing spree.
It starts off seriously enough, with three thugs robbing an innocent young woman at night in the city, but then switches to Vin Saxon and Carolyn Brandt doing a goofy Elvis-like rock 'n ... See full summary »
Low-budget film about a young man given a mystical medallion by an Aztec shaman, in order to become a puma-empowered champion like his father before him. In trying to initially locate the ... See full summary »
Alberto De Martino
Walter George Alton,
Miguel Ángel Fuentes
Beatnik Jerry takes his girl Angie to the carnival. Angie wants to go see the gypsy fortuneteller, Jerry does not but relents. After hearing bad news from the fortuneteller, Jerry goes alone to see her sister, dancer Carmelita. He is invited backstage, where he is mesmerized into becoming a psychotic killer. When he tries to kill Angie, she and his best friend Harold realize something's wrong. Written by
Buxx Banner <buxx572aol.com>
The original title was "The Incredibly Strange Creature: Or Why I Stopped Living and Became a Mixed-up Zombie." Columbia Pictures threatened to sue writer/director/star Ray Dennis Steckler, accusing the title of being too similar to their upcoming Stanley Kubrick film, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Steckler, amazed that Columbia would feel so threatened by a $38,000 film, phoned the studio to straighten things out. He made no progress until he demanded that Kubrick get on the line. When Kubrick picked up, Steckler suggested the new title, Kubrick accepted, and the matter was dropped. See more »
The climax begins at night, then immediately switches to broad daylight (see trivia). See more »
Mike Nelson: "He WON'T go to sleep if you keep slamming the Steadicam against his forehead!"
This is a fascinating artifact from another era of pop culture; From the convoluted title (complete with "!!?" at the end) to the open mike "Amateur Night" numbers to the horribly muddled sound recording to the goofy throwaway dialog to the discombobulated ending to the paper-thin plot, this one has to be seen to be believed.
You know the old saw about a movie being 'like a train wreck - you can't look away'?? Well, imagine if a school bus ran into the train wreck and a 727 crashed on top of it and then a herd of lemmings swarmed over the smoking remains on their way to go over a cliff. And then the Jolly Green Giant picked up everything and threw it over the mountain range and into the next state.
The movie piles one jarring, disorienting choice after another in rapid succession. First 'Jerry' rubs boogers out of his eyes on camera, then 'Harold' is jamming our ears with his Lithuanian/Chicano accent, and then 'Angela' throws off the composition of an entire scene with her Mile High Beehive of Hair, following which a bunch of 'dancers' perform bad choreography with all the precision of a dance recital for kindergarten girls, and then some dick-weed who can't carry a tune in a bucket sings the most insipid love song in the history of music while strumming a guitar that sounds like a ukulele. Then Elizabeth Taylor spins a pinwheel to make Jerry commit badly staged murder to cover up the fact that she threw acid in the face of a lumpy alcoholic, following which Jerry dreams that he got his face painted at a Renaissance festival and leaps about like a Thompson's Gazelle while a montage of women point and laugh at him. Then a mechanical wind-up monkey shrieks that we should "GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!! GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!!!" and a bunch of people who previously got acid thrown in their face and were drawn by the Rat Fink Hod Rod guy and have apparently been living on Angel Dust and Pop Tarts break loose and rampage through an Inuit/Swedish/African dance revue until the police come and shoot everyone, including Jerry who also had acid thrown in his face just before the titular 'zombies' got loose. Oh, and there's no moral, THE END.
I'm making the movie sound more coherent than it really is.
And yet, the whole mess is somehow entertaining and amusing, and I ended up being glad I saw it. If I were to meet Steckler (unlikely), I'd shake his hand and comment on how weird the movie was and ask him "WHAT THE HELL WAS HE THINKING?" when he made it.
MST's riffs on the movie are inspired and their version is worth getting hold of. But the movie stand on its own as a lunatic pinball of weirdness, careening randomly off the walls of our expectations of pop culture.
See it if you have a fondness for silly stuff. Otherwise, stay far, far away.
33 of 51 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?