I recently took a week off work, purely because I’ve just accrued loads and have to use it up, so what better way to spend a week off than to watch some of my back catalogue of films that even my Hammer Horror loving flatmate wouldn’t want to watch. Yes, that means the proper trashy Zombie flicks were wheeled out for my amusement, starting with the Astro Zombies.
Amazingly, this 60s trash came out in the same year as Night of the Living Dead (1968 ) but the two couldn’t possibly be further apart in every other respect. Huge long 10 minute scenes of nothing but people driving, or silently pressing buttons in a laboratory, a CIA ‘investigation’, the sole place in the film is for 2 CIA agents to be killed and nothing more, a mad scientist and his hunchbacked mute assistant (very original). And the Zombies. Oh yes, solar powered robot zombies. Bodged together from artificial organs and recently dead murderers, and powered by light. Well, Zombies is pushing it a bit. There is only one ‘zombie’ (until the 2nd comes to life at the very end) with a head that is clearly a cheap 50’s alien mask who runs around and kills people. Quite brilliantly in one scene the Zombie battery pack comes loose during a fight, so he has to hold a flashlight up to his forehead solar panel and run away, holding the torch against his face the whole time!
Although starting out slow, (very slow) as the film continued, and my wine bottle emptied I started loving this flick. All the poses that Tura Satana makes, every scene with the Astro Zombie, and even the stupid gore at the end (which actually includes a decapitation) were pure trashy awesome-ness. If Night of the Living Dead hadn’t come along at exactly the same time this film is what all Zombie films may have turned out like.
Actually probably not, but hey.
Gore Score – 2\5
Nork Score – 2\5 (oh yes, even Astro Zombies shows Norks.)
Overall Score – 3.5\5