Irrepressible exploitation director (and Salvador Dali look-alike) Ted V. Mikels may not have produced Oscar-winning films, but he has certainly been responsible for contributing a significant body of low-budget genre classics to the post-60s grindhouse tradition (see this Undead Backbrain article for details). Dodgy acting, cheap FX, simplistic stories, blood and gore, gratuitous violence ... say what you will, his films tend to remain in the memory of those who sat through them at the drive-in or watched them on scratchy VHS tapes rented from the local trash cinema repository. The fact that he is still making films with glee and passion has to represent the triumph of determination over reason, and as such is rather inspiring to independent filmmakers everywhere.
One of his fan favourites has always been The Astro-Zombies (US-1968), the tale of a machete-wielding, artificial, undead assassin that in a way defined the genre.
This was followed much later, in 2002, by a sequel -- Mark of the Astro-Zombies. In this one, the undead assassins have become the mutated servants of alien invaders. In 2009, Undead Backbrain looked at the coming of a second sequel, officially making the Astro-Zombies into a franchise -- Astro-Zombies M3: Cloned (see Astro-Zombies Back for More!)
These Astro-Zombies are the product of a secret cloning project by the US Government.
Now the film is available on DVD for your delectation, through Oldies.com:
Alternative/Early Cover Art:
A Collection of Clips and Production Videos:
More from Ted:
Also now available on DVD is Mikels' demonic horror film, Demon Haunt (see previous Undead Backbrain article):
See Trailer here.
Coming Soon! News of a fourth instalment in the Astro-Zombies saga. Watch this space!