The Astral Factor (1978) Poster

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mediocre bloodless serial killer thriller
FieCrier6 January 2005
A mentally ill prisoner, through some sort of yogic meditation, manages to make himself invisible and escapes. As a child, he'd been unwanted by his celebrity mother, who nevertheless kept him close to her and didn't let him create a life of his own. He had strangled her, and apparently other women, giving him the nickname of "the celebrity strangler."

Having escaped, he goes after celebrity women who had testified against him. The police, having learned he was into reading mystical books in prison, for some reason contracted a para-psychological institute. The institute thinks perhaps the strangler is killing women by astrally projecting himself. In reality, he's merely strangling them while he is invisible (and naked). He nearly gets caught when to reach one woman, he has to don a scuba suit to get out to her boat. It's more interesting when he manages to strangle a woman in front of many witnesses simply because they don't realize what is going on. Eventually, a trap is set for him.

I kind of wonder if this was originally done as a TV movie, perhaps as a pilot. There doesn't seem to have been any reason for introducing the lead cop's girlfriend/wife Candy and the psychics unless they were to return in subsequent episodes.

It's not very good, but it's not terrible.
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Budget "Boogie Man" film.
kvande-126 September 2004
This budget "Boogie Man" film was just that.

I thought this movie was worth watching. Elke Sommer shows some nice cleavage and we get to see Stephanie Powers naked butt. That almost is worth it by itself.

This is definitely midnight movie fare, but I thought it told a story of an invisible stalker that was almost convincing. This movie embodies the flavor of 1970's budget movies. Stephanie Powers is fun as the cops playful girlfriend. Elke Sommer gets to be the drunk mean witch. The ending left something to be desired, as we really don't know what happened to the boogie man.

I think this was worth watching. 6/10
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Nice Take on the Invisible Man Story
gavin694225 October 2012
A convicted strangler, studying the paranormal in his jail cell, learns to make himself invisible. As an invisible man, he escapes from prison to stalk and strangle the five women who testified against him at his trial.

This film is interesting in that it seems to be like "The Invisible Man" or "Hollow Man", as it follows a criminal who can become transparent. But the plot is quite different -- he can turn solid or clear through the power of his mind, and is actually already in prison when the film begins. This does not involve any sort of scientific experiment, but rather more of a spiritual ("astral") approach.

Although this is a low-budget crime mystery thriller, it is certainly entertaining and better than I would have expected. I actually found it pretty clever, and really enjoyed the unique angle. Does the killer leave fingerprints? How does he turn his clothes invisible?

Although I saw the movie on Netflix, it is readily available for anyone who wants to track it down. The DVD has been released into cheap box sets and I think you might even be able to watch it for free online. Whether or not it deserves a new DVD or BD release with features is debatable, and if it is in the public domain, it would probably be hard to convince anyone to do that.

Bonus: Genre fans might be happy to see Elke Sommer ("Lisa and the Devil") and Marianna Hill ("The Baby").
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Not great but pretty satisfying overall
lazarillo27 August 2008
This movie is kind of like the more famous 70's cult horror film "Psychic Killer" in that it deals with a prisoner who develops psychic powers which he uses to escape and take revenge on his enemies. But while in that movie the convict was an innocent man taking well-deserved revenge, the psychic killer here is a grade-A lunatic out to finish the job. In an interesting back-story he is revealed to be the disturbed illegitimate son of a famous actress/sex symbol who kept him isolated from her social circle to avoid scandal, and ended up being strangled by him. (This might have been inspired by the real-life Hollywood murder of B-movie actress Susan Cabot in the 1960's, allegedly by her troubled, illegitimate dwarf son). It's never really made clear whether his psychic "powers" actually involve astral projection(thus the alternate title "The Astral Factor") or if he is simply able to appear invisible somehow (thus "The Invisible Strangler"). The inept cops are powerless to stop him regardless, even when he is obviously in non-"astral" form and has rendered himself decidedly visible by putting on a scuba suit.

What really makes this movie though is the all-star cast(or, as some wag might say, the "all has-been and never-would-be cast"). The lead detective is played by Robert Foxworth, who appeared most memorably in the ridiculous 70's mutant bear/environmental horror flick "Prophecy". German actress Elke Sommers appears as a "special guest star" (as opposed to the other actors who were apparently "regulars"). She plays a sexy former "Miss Galaxy" who the cops try to protect while she lounges around her mansion in skimpy bikinis. Sue "Lolita" Lyon has a five minute role as an early victim without uttering a word of dialogue (which is probably for the best as acting was never her strong suit). Mariana Hill ("Mrs. Fredo Corleone" in "The Godfather Part II") appears also, in accordance with an apparent law that she had to appear in every low-budget exploitation/horror movie made in the 70's and early 80's. The best though is Stefanie "Hart to Hart" Powers, who is VERY sexy as Foxworth's bimbo girlfriend "Candy". She routinely refers to herself in the third person, and buys herself an expensive fur coat on HIS birthday (which he doesn't object to since she's obviously wearing absolutely nothing underneath it). Some will probably tune in for Powers' "nude scene" (if you don't blink you might get to see the top part of her bare butt), but frankly her whole performance is downright wood-inducing (even if, like me, you don't usually go for the whole Marilyn Monroesque dumb bimbo thing). So what, if her entire character is completely superfluous. . .

This actually seems kind of like a 70's TV movie or series episode--it would not have been out of place as an episode of "Kolchack, the Night Stalker" actually. But since I like "Kolchack" and 70's TV movies I found it pretty satisfying overall if, admittedly, not all that great.
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Crazy and inept, but somewhat fun.
Coventry20 February 2007
Forget about the nonsensical other title "The Astral Factor"… In just two words, "Invisible Strangler" perfectly summarizes what this low-keyed 70's Sci-Fi horror movie is all about! There's a strangler on the loose and he happens to be invisible, which makes it all the more easier to practice his macabre hobby of killing beauty queens. The lamentable screenplay doesn't really bother to enlighten us about how exactly mommy-obsessed psychopath Roger Sands renders himself invisible or why he goes after five women specifically. All we know is that he spent more than enough time in prison to gain supernatural powers and, after his escape, he uses them against everyone who testified in his court trial. There's absolutely no mystery surrounding the serial killer's persona. For example, macho police lieutenant Barrett (Robert Foxworth) doesn't discover the connection between the strangled victims himself; he just hears that Roger Sands peculiarly escaped from his cell and automatically assumes he's the culprit. And since we're never informed about the crimes that put Roger in prison the first place, it remains unclear exactly how obsessive his quest for vengeance is. Most of all, nobody seems to be really astonished about the fact they're dealing with an invisible maniac! Like it's the most common thing in the world to witness a woman, surrounded by an army of police officers, getting strangled by invisible hands! The lack of background info and character drawings makes "Invisible Strangler" a suspenseless and often tedious film, and it's really no surprise it took another five years after finishing the film before it got released. However, it's a not a complete waste of time, since the murders – albeit gore-free – are sometimes imaginatively staged. The film is also (unintentionally) comical because the characters often say the craziest things at the most inappropriate times. Especially Candy, the luscious girlfriend of lieutenant Barett, appear to live in another universe, as she wishes her lover to have fun catching his maniac. She's also the world's absolute worst cook and doesn't like to wear pants. Candy hasn't got anything to do with the murder investigation, so it's rather awkward Stefanie Powers received top billing for her role. Then again, it certainly isn't the only awkward aspect about "Invisible Stranger". Why is Roger the killer so obsessed with his mother? How come becoming invisible is reminiscent to a bad-quality TV broadcasting? Why on earth does Roger not abuse his power to spy on them naked ladies before killing them? Why am I asking so much questions about a bottom-of-the-barrel 70's horror production?
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Obscure science fiction junk from the 70's
malcomforbes12 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I bought this film on a cheap DVD from a 99 cent store. I know very well why it was 99 cents. It starts out in the prison where the strangler, Roger Sans, is being held. He starts to meditate and becomes 9/10 invisible when his stupid insomniac cell-neighbor sees him. He picks an argument with him and gets telekinetically attacked. A guard comes in and is locked in Sans's cell while he escapes in a tacky hand-held shot accompanied with ridiculous "heartbeat" and "heavy breathing" sounds. He visits his mother's grave, where in a weird flashback-ish scene it is explained that Riger's mother never cared for him and never let his life progress. A police officer, a particularly stupid officer, approaches him, claims Roger is a vandal and threatens to call reinforcements. This is where one of my favorite bad movie things happens. His eyes glow when he telekinetically pushes him into an open grave. This sounds normal, but the glowing eyes effect was achieved by painting glowey stuff on a still picture of the strangler. Greaaaaaaaaaat. Anyway, a bunch of inconsistencies ensue, Robert Foxworth shows his HIDEOUS rear area, Elke Sommer wears a bikini, and blablablabla. However, let me point out the silly ending. Roger Sans is sneaking up the stairs to kill Elke Sommer. However, the police are hiding watching him, and have charged the railing with electricity to know when he arrives(!) Robert Foxworth rapidly fires a machine gun until there is a shot (in negative to illustrate the invisibility) of Roger Sans screaming as bullets go in everywhere. He falls onto the floor, pulsating from inverted to normal tone. His last words: "I never wanted to hurt you mama." He then glows brightly. It fades away and a void opens up in the floor, where a blue glowing Roger Sans careens into another dimension and creates a glowy blast thing. The void in the floor closes up and that is the end of Roger Sans. It is a little hokey, but it genuinely disturbed me. Tell you what, buy the DVD and skip to the end. You'll actually feel a little weird. Bad, very bad.
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Pretty shabby stuff but quite strange and that's always something
Red-Barracuda19 February 2014
The Astral Factor is about a psychopath, imprisoned for murdering his mother, who somehow learns how to make himself invisible by studying books while incarcerated in a hospital for the criminally insane. Needless to say, he escapes and goes on a killing spree.

This one begins quite well in all fairness but it soon gets somewhat tedious. The storyline is such a bad basic idea you have to wonder how the likes of it ever got as far as to be given the green light for an actual movie. Well, while it was made as film, it seemingly sat on a shelf for near enough ten years before actually being released. It's really not all that surprising to be perfectly honest. While the story is pretty terrible, it's not really that that is the chief problem. Sometimes bad stories make for good films after all. No the issue is probably that, with very few exceptions, movies about invisible men are almost always terrible. What can be more cinematically tedious than an invisible character? What it does mean though, is there are some very silly murder scenes which I guess could provide some laughs I suppose. But for me the best aspects about this one were the appearances of Elke Sommer and Stephanie Powers. Sommer starred in a few interesting cult films in the 70's and her presence is always welcome, while it was strange to see future 'Hart To Hart' TV star Powers cavorting about with her butt exposed. She played the detective's trophy wife! She does zero housework and spends all his hard earned cash. She and Sommer were at the very least interesting diversions in a film in need of them.
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A glimpse of Stefanie Powers' behind
Cristi_Ciopron18 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
THE ASTRAL FACTOR is a pretty exciting, albeit silly, supernatural thriller about a cereal killer who, after having studied ESP and psychic sciences, escapes from prison to have his revenge by assassinating some hot matrons; slightly clumsy, gruesome like a genuine _giallo, THE ASTRAL FACTOR, an honest '70s C thriller, boasts a delightful feminine cast—Stefanie Powers, Leslie Parrish, Elke Sommer, Jennifer Burton (--an erotica starlet--).

The movie's title is explained, by misleading—because this guy's case isn't one of 'out—of—body travel', but one of _dematerialization, or rather of mere invisibility.

In the C flicks she made in the mid—'70s, things like GONE WITH THE WEST and THE ASTRAL FACTOR, uprising starlet Stefanie Powers had the good habit of providing us with a glimpse of her naked behind; by then, she was already 33—34 yrs. An article says that CRESCENDO is 'notable only for her brief nude scene, the only one in her career'; it seems we have a definition problem. Stefanie shows her ass in at least two other flicks—those mentioned. So, take heart, Powers fans, it's more to Stefanie than it looks like!
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The dialogue requires the viewer to seek chemical dependency
seattle-twistyroad27 October 2005
The Astral Factor contains dialogue that limps its way through the plot. The cast is full of actors I've enjoyed watching on screen for years but none of them managed to get past the wooden interaction of the characters. The dialogue is just that bad. This movie is so stilted in places that it competes with my all time really bad but fun favorite, "The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes."

This one in my opinion is a little bit to bad for casual weeknight watching. Elke Sommers character, however, has the correct idea by only appearing on screen with a drink in her hand. This is good advice for anyone interested in watching this gem on a Saturday night. Heck, with enough scotch and soda and the near nude scenes of Stephanie Powers to help it out; you might like it.
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nogodnomasters9 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is a bad film no matter how you slice it. I liked the film for its humor, intentional and unintentional, and the cheese. Roger Sands (Frank Ashmore) is a homicidal maniac who kills women who remind him of his celebrity mother. He uses Astral Projection to make himself invisible and escape (eat you heart out Rosicrucians) so he can kill again.

Two policemen are assigned to find him. The lead investigator is Lt. Charles Barrett (Robert Foxworth). Holt (TV star Mark Slade) his side kick is annoying as he constantly clicks his pen (flicks his Bic as we used to say). He wears nicely creased bell bottoms.

The film has scenes where I laughed out loud like the shoe tossing scene, the face of the strangled girl, the littering scene, and of course the birthday cake.

It is a fun cheesy film, not real science fiction for purists.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity unless you count Stefanie Powers' butt. Elke Sommer in a bikini. Part of a 50 film sci-fi collection.
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Better than Expected
bnwfilmbuff4 March 2017
This film was dark and unsettling. I think the idea that one could use their mind to make themselves invisible made it believable and, therefore, all the more eerie. Therefore, in spite of the obvious low production values, the movie had me on the edge of my seat. Frank Ashmore is the standout as Sands, the "Invisible Man". And Robert Foxworth is respectable as the chief detective. The women are fairly nondescript with the exception of Elke, who was over-the-top. This was far better than the Invisible Man and definitely worth a midnight viewing with the lights out!
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Should Have Been Much Better Than It Was
Uriah4322 October 2016
This movie concerns itself with a young man named "Roger Sands" (Frank Ashmore) who has special mental powers which he uses for his own deranged purposes. For example, at the beginning of the film he happens to see a beautiful young woman and proceeds to follow her into her apartment while he is invisible. He then walks into her bathroom while she is bathing and strangles her to death. Naturally, when her body is discovered this draws the attention of the police chief who assigns a detective named "Lt. Charles Barrett" (Robert Foxworth) and "Sergeant Holt" (Mark Slade) to investigate. Even though they have no idea how the murderer managed to get into the apartment they find a fingerprint belonging to Roger Sands and realize that they have a serial killer on their hands who has unique abilities which they don't quite fully comprehend as of yet. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this movie definitely had some potential but due to a couple of lackluster scenes here and there didn't quite achieve it. It also had several notable actresses to include Stefanie Powers (as "Candy Barrett"), Elke Sommer ("Chris Hartman"), and Leslie Parrish ("Colleen Hudson") but except for Stefanie Powers their performances were rather weak as well. In short, this film should have been much better and because of that I have rated it accordingly. Average.
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Avoid this film at all costs!!!
trouserpress20 February 2004
Morrison's supermarkets are currently selling this movie in their bargain DVD bin. I decided to risk picking it up on the off-chance that it might be a forgotten SF classic. It isn't. The print was awful. It looked like it had been fished out of a sewer and then sand-blasted. I gave up trying to watch the film itself as it just seemed so ridiculous. What I could make out of the acting and direction, which wasn't much, brought to mind a bad episode of Prisoner Cell Block H.

Don't take the risk! Learn from my mistake! I had to have a big argument with one of the managers at Morrison's before they would give me my money back.
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Invisible Narrative
Chase_Witherspoon31 January 2010
Incarcerated killer learns to transcend existential boundaries and temporarily abscond from his gaol cell, preying on a vast array of glamorous former Hollywood starlets. Detective Foxworth is baffled by the apparent lack of physical evidence, and begins to speculate on a supernatural cause. Aside from an original premise and a great cast of former 60's sexpots (Powers, Lyon, Hill, Sommer and Parrish), with names like 'Bambi' and 'Candy', there's not much right with this tepid mystery.

Mother fixated killer Ashmore does little other than look constipated, perspire and affect intense mind grips, while Foxworth's perplexed expression suggests he's struggling with the concept of the killer's meta-physical abilities. As an audience, it was also a struggle to remain engaged, as the movie laboured from one murder to the next seemingly without selection or purpose. Powers is entirely irrelevant to the plot, a vexatious waste of talent simply for the status her name brings to the dull production. Whatever value the original idea had, it quickly evaporates, the all too brief cameos being the only partially redeeming qualities.

Wasting an attractive cast, "Invisible Strangler" has invisible special effects, paltry production values and incoherent dialogue to match its laborious narrative approach. Female viewers will be less concerned with the bevy of babes on show, and more appalled by the blatant misogyny of the storyline. A disappointing revision of "The Invisible Man" borrows heavily from "Psychic Killer" released a year earlier in 1975, and should have been so much more entertaining.
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Putting The Ass Back Into Astral
junk-monkey1 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
An incoherent mess, with only one or two vaguely interesting things to think about as it churns relentlessly on. It is such an incredibly boring movie that it gives you plenty of time to think about all the awful things in it. Many of them have been mentioned in the other reviews here but a couple of points I don't think have been raised are the weird, not quite Point of Veiw shots, and some horrendously wrong eye lines.

The "Are-they-aren't-they?" POV shots come early on in the movie, when the invisible killer escapes from the Institute for the Criminally Insane, and later when he follows a girl out of the underground garage that was such a feature in every other Columbo movie. Each shot is the standard POV camera moving down the hallway, complete with heavy, close-to-the-mike breathing and heavy heartbeat on the soundtrack. Pretty standard fare. Except, instead of just cutting away at the end, in this movie the camera stops short of the doors at the end of each shot and the invisible killer carries on through them alone - without his POV! It's weird.

Later, in a touching scene between our last potential victim (Sommer sitting on a bed seen in close up) and the detective trying to protect her (Foxworth standing up, seen in medium long shot over Sommer's shoulder), the eye lines are so bad that in the close up Sommer appears to be holding a conversation with the detective's belly button.

Other lowlights include an electrocuted stuffed owl, Foxworth's naked backside, some terrible pointing of the brickwork of the house at the final scene (I was THAT bored), a masked scuba diver attacking people on a boat not taking his mask off in case the audience noticed it was a different actor, and endless shots through mobiles, chair-backs, candelabra and whatever else the DP could place in front of the camera to frame the action. William Cameron Menzies could do this because he was a genius. This film couldn't spell genius.

Crap. But worse than that - boring crap.
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dbborroughs13 August 2008
Low rent almost TV movie starring Robert Foxworth, Elke Summer, Stephanie Powers and others from TV about a man who can kill people by astrally projecting himself. He escapes from prison and the continues his evil ways. Foxworth is the cop on his trail.

Its bad 1970's low budget film making where everyone no doubt did it for the pay check.(Hey back in the 70's there were lots of tax lop holes that got some ghastly films like this made. The regrettable thing is that films were then set loose on the unsuspecting public.) Not worth your time. For insomniacs only-even if it is in the 99 cent bin-or even if you get it for free.
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The quality was as bad as the quantity!
charlenelv18 February 2007
I don't understand how you can take some fairly decent actors and make a film that a film student would be ashamed of doing. It had lines through it, as perhaps it was taken from someone's shelf, turned into a DVD with no clean up, and sold. Luckily my copy was with a 6 disc box of "Blood Chillers". Apparently they forgot to preview it before they added it to the collection. Who knows? Perhaps someone's relative was in it!! They story line itself was promising, but Robert Foxworth spent the entire movie overacting, Mark Slade was typecast as the "college boy" with no police skills AND who chewed gum even while eating his hot dog. What kind of Lieutenant on the police force has a hot dog?

That sums up this film...Foxworth being the severely overacted hot dog.
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A Very Cheap Invisible Man Meets Norman Bates
Rainey-Dawn18 January 2017
The guy has a mommy complex similar to Norman Bates, saying "hello mother" when he kills - invisibly kills that is. Yep this guy has found the key to invisibility somewhere.

It really is like a very cheap 1970s cop show - one of those that is easily forgotten about because no one cared enough to watch it or remember. It's that bad.

I got this dud in Mill Creek's Sci-Fi Classics 50-Pack. I was hoping that this would be a hidden rough gem - but it's just a plain old rock. If you skip this one, you will not miss a thing. OK one thing maybe, I saw Powers' butt cheeks when she bent over in that pink shirt she was wearing... like I really cared to see that - but some of you might.

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Mental defective gains a psychic cloaking ability. Yawn.
DigitalRevenantX711 June 2015
Roger Sands, a mentally disturbed murderer jailed in an asylum for the murder of his overbearing mother, has developed the psychic ability to become invisible. Walking out of his jail cell, he begins strangling those who helped convict him. Police officers attempt to stop him but find themselves outclassed by his powers.

The Astral Factor was originally made in 1976 but sat on a shelf for years before being released in 1984. There are currently two different versions of the film – the original & the re-edited version known as Invisible Strangler, which has a completely reshot beginning & different characters & effects. Both are available on DVD or on YouTube.

But regardless of which version you watch, The Astral Factor is a very poor film. The story is interesting enough but the execution of it is mind-numbingly dull. The pace is slow & the very few action scenes featured are boring as heck. The visual effects are cheaply done & there are boom mikes present in many shots.
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Now you see him now you don't
kapelusznik1831 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
****SPOILERS****Horror flick about this deranged lunatic Roger "The Dodger" Sands, Frank Ashmore, who by speed reading all the books and articles from the prison library about astral projection uses that knowledge to escape from the California State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. That in to him getting even with all those witnesses at his murder trial that had him sentenced and sent there for life. As we soon find out it was Sands mother Chrlotta, Jo Ann Meredith, who warped his mind in her keeping him locked up in the attic away from humanity until he was an adult. Breaking out and finding out all the momentous events that he missed in life, like the Moon Landing and New Yorks Mets winning the 1969 World Series, Sands in a blind rage, in what his not so stable mother did to him strangled her to death. Now free and at the same time, whenever he wants to be , invisible Sands plans to murder those who put him behind bars as well as anyone who stands in his way in preventing him from doing it!

To make the movie more sexy & attractive all those who testified against Sands were beautiful blond actresses like his dead mom that made killing them , in like killing his hated mom over and over again, all the more gratifying for him. It's up to LA police detective Lt. Charles Barrett played by Robert Foxman, without his usual mustache,to track this psycho down but as he's soon to find out you've got to be able to see him in order shoot or arrest him. Something that Sands in him becoming visible isn't that likely to do!

***SPOILERS*** With all the witness but the gorgeous blond Chris Hartman, Elke Sommers, done away with it's up to Lt. Barrett and his squad of LA policemen to keep her alive. Which anything but easy in Chris' drinking, in order to forget the danger she's in, that makes their job that much harder! Not only can Sands make himself invisible he seems to be an expert scuba diver as well as if he, in making himself invisible,really needs to be. That's when he ends up boarding movie mogul Mario's, Cesare Danova, yacht murdering both him and his girlfriend Bambi Greer, Marianna Hill, who was one of those witnesses on his trial that helped convict him. With what seemed like his just about job done and no more mountains to climb or people to murder with the exception of the drunken Chris Hartman. Sands come out into the open to finish Chris off only to step into a trap set for him by Lt. Barrett and the LAPD that sends him back to the astral world for good.
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mildly amusing, mostly annoying
msburnett9910 November 2008
Yes, that pen-clicking detective was annoying. But when Barret took the pen away from him, HE started clicking it. Personally I would have taken the pen away from him and thrown it away. The only humorous part was when Barrett tried to eat the birthday cake Candy made for him. Apparently it was a sponge cake made from a real sponge.

I got my copy from the same 20 Blood Chilling Classics set that someone else mentioned. So far, the black and white movies are looking better than the color movies (except maybe for The Terror featuring an early appearance by Jack Nicholson).

I think this movie ranks at about the same level as The Galaxy Invader (also from the same set) about drunken rednecks chasing a space alien.
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Like Bad 70's Television
Hitchcoc1 May 2006
This is just like most of the television of the 1970's. Boring. This is about revenge and invisibility. The invisible guy is after a group of stunning women (including Elke Sommer) because of issues with the opposite sex and some Freudian stuff. I don't think Robert Foxworth ever made anything worth watching and this is no exception. Another downer is his assistant, a gum chewing idiot who doesn't follow orders and tries to be cool. I kept waiting for Captain Kirk to be waiting for the invisible guy, because he used the same sparkly stuff to become invisible as the Star Trek guys did when they beamed down. The acting is so wooden and there is so little true give and take, it's like they were reading from a blurry script.
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"No Thanks! You Mind If I Just Flake Off?!"...
azathothpwiggins17 July 2018
THE ASTRAL FACTOR starts off w/ prison inmate, Roger Sands practicing his paranormal abilities in his cell. After using telekinesis to torment a fellow prisoner, Sands makes himself invisible. Then, naturally, he escapes, setting off on a rampage of terror! Sands is an angry guy, due to some past mother issues. Soon enough, he's taking out his frustrations on unsuspecting females. Enter police Lt. Charles Barrett (Robert Foxworth- ANTS!, DAMIEN: OMEN 2, PROPHECY), who doesn't want to be bothered, mostly because he's married to Candy (Stefanie Powers- DIE! DIE! MY DARLING!). He also has no interest in working w/ his idiot partner, Holt (Mark Slade). Man, is this guy a jackass! As Barrett investigates, he gets to visit Chris Hartman (Elke Sommer- LISA AND THE DEVIL) by her pool. Caramba! Wasn't there some invisible guy running around? Oh yes, let the absurdity begin! Of course, the biggest stars of this film are the fashions and big hairstyles, including plaid bell-bottoms, leisure suits, poodle haircuts, and monster sideburns / mustaches! It was 1978 after all. PROS: #1- An intriguing idea, that may have influenced THE X-FILES. #2- Sands is menacing in an invisible sort of way. CONS: #1- Not enough Stefanie Powers or Elke Sommer! #2- Too much of that "thud-thud" heartbeat sound whenever invisi-Sands is around. Recommended for lovers of psychic phenomena and members of the Robert Foxworth fan club...
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If X-Files and Miami Vice went back in time and did a crossover on Acid
mstomaso3 March 2018
...the result would be The Astral Factor. The word "Factor" in the title of any vaguely sci-fi film should tell you all you need to know about the quality (or lack thereof) you are about to be subjected to. This plot-heavy film maintains the feeling of a 1970s TV detective show centered around a constantly distracted (and highly over-acted) hero police lieutenant (Robert Foxworth) in pursuit of an escaped strangler (Roger Sands) who is apparently using astral projection, among various other paranormal methods to kill people who remind him of his mother (who he murdered long ago).

The victims are all B-list glamour girls and aging starlets (Elke Sommer provides a typically campy performance and is one of the film's few bright spots), giving the film a predictable luridity characteristic of the decade in which it was made.

The film is riddled with irritating cliches, huge ridiculous 1970s detective cars, pretty women who are trying to portray being strangled by an unseen force, mediocre special effects, and completely unnecessary subplots (the lieutenant's absurd but cute romance with his codependent alcoholic girlfriend).

Although it doesn't break through the fourth wall at any time, it is impossible to imagine that the film-makers took it very seriously. You shouldn't either.
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If your standards are low
Tiberius27-14 February 2011
If it wasn't for the scene in which Stephanie Powers graces the viewer with her naked backside & some side boob action one would be forgiven for thinking "The Astral Factor" a TV Movie of the week (Which were quite prevalent in those days). As is it's one of the few things that DOES stand out in this lackluster dip into the new age pool. If you're already a fan of seventies era films & TV shows you'll no doubt recognize several of the actors from such fare as "The Love Boat", & "Fantasy Island". Needless to say that there's nothing groundbreaking going on here. If your standards are low (REALLY low) then you may get something out of this. Otherwise buyer (And viewer) beware.
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