Death By Cinema – 1 – The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies!!?

Hey, guys, STinG here once again to introduce my former co-host of A Night at the Opera, Britt RhuartIf you followed Movie Motorbreath Breath, you might recognize his name as one of the guests for the Grave of the Fireflies episode and can be sure to expect him to reappear in a few more episodes.

In the meantime, Britt will be with us during this month to give us his reaction to 31 different B-movie, schlock, and other disreputable types of horror cinema as he runs them down (I will of course still be supplying some horror themed writing during this month once I clean up a few projects). As per my lack of foresight, you’ll be seeing the first two works tonight, but in the meantime… Britt Rhuart…

“If I must just choose the method of my demise, I choose…

Britt

Death By Cinema!” -Britt Rhuart

Day 1: “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies!!?”

So, last year I did a review a day throughout the month of October of exploitation and cult films, so I figured this year I’d do it again. Last year almost killed me to get through, because while I saw some really good films and some fun films, I had to dreck through terrible movies like Caligula, The Bloodthirsty Butchers, and Robot Monster (the latter two of which are on my bottom 10 least favorite films). I’m a bit of a movie masochist, so I don’t know that this year will be better in my choice of exploitation films, but luckily, I have my friend rum backing me up.

So last year, as some may recall, I chose the first film based purely on it’s title, “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things.” While not a wonderful film, it was at least fairly fun, so I enjoyed it. I figured I’d do the same thing this year, so I picked the film with quite possibly my favorite film title, “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies!!?” I don’t know much about it beyond the fact that I’ve heard the title for years and so I’ve wanted to see it. I know it’s partially a monster musical (I’m stoked on that). I know the director is Ray Dennis Steckler, of whom I’ve heard some fun things. And I know Joe Bob Briggs had this on MonsterVision. I have no illusions about this being a good film, but I’m hoping it’ll be fun. So, without further ado, here is “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies!!?”

Random Thoughts While Watching the Film:

Wow, there is some bad makeup in this film. That guy’s false beard looks like someone glued random patches of pubes to his face.

The opening hook has me interested at least.

The title cards look very cheap. Plus the music for the credits just changed from fun dance to creepy way too quickly.

Those credits went on way too long and yet somehow ended too quickly. It was weird.

Ooh, first musical number! It’s… interpretive dance? This… disappoints me. And the music is this weird opera-y sounding song that makes me picture two people running through a field of flowers.

Oh, good, acting without emoting. And bad editing in this boring conversation. Marvelous.

Lot of random characters being introduced. I’m doubting I’ll be able to keep them straight. Or that I’ll care enough to do so.

Can I just say the women’s hair is just huge in this film? I know it’s the 60s, but damn.

Would it be so much to ask for one person who even just tries to act?

How is an animatronic monkey the best actor so far?

Ok, I get it… it takes place in an amusement park.

Yes, because what this movie really needed was a bad stand up comic.

Seriously, another dance to sappy music? Isn’t this supposed to be a horror film?

More amusement park shots. That’s half the film.

This carnival barker does not know how to be a carnival barker.

And now a burlesque show. I mean, that’s fine, but isn’t this a monster movie? Where are the monsters? And it goes on way too long, as well.

“Where are we going?” should not be that hard a question on a date.

And here’s the first song where someone is actually singing. You know, it’s not a bad song… but it has nothing to do with anything, leads nowhere, and there are still no incredibly strange creatures, nor any mixed up zombies! We’re more than 1/3 of the way through the film!

A striptease to a song called The Pied Piper of Love. What does any of this have to do with anything? What’s happening?!?

I don’t need a spinning wheel to put me asleep during this movie… but I’m getting one anyway.

Liberal use of the zoom feature and canted does not good cinematography make.

Oh, great more of this terrible comic. That’s what we need and- wait, the club is called the hungry mouth? The good club is the hungry i! Boo! Also, this guy playing in the club might be the worst folksinger I’ve ever heard.

Another goddamn dance number?!? When are we gonna get some action, or even some plot?

Oh, never mind, guy with a knife out of nowhere! And he’s stabbing people in the skull! Who stabs in the skull? I know this is hypnotized guy, but still.

A dance nightmare? Really? And why is hypnotized guy (Jerry) wearing a kabuki mask?

This nightmare sequence makes no sense, but it’s similar to other nightmares I’ve had so… I’ll give it a small pass.

Terrible conversation between two guys who we can’t understand and who can’t understand each other and who can’t understand themselves. The mechanic sounds like Chico Marx, without the humor.

Bad editing! Just strangles his girl, then it jumps 10 seconds ahead to him running and driving off.

Kinda okay-ish folk song, but it’s supposed to be Jerry’s contemplation music, so it’s kinda cheesy. Then it ends suddenly. It actually reminds me of the theme to the original My Bloody Valentine.

Another song, this one’s a Twist. Still no Incredibly Strange Creatures or Zombies and we’re an hour in.

“The Girl With the Golden Voice” appears to have a voice made from Pyrite.

Fantastic, the Chico Marx sounding mechanic is back. Just what the film needs.

Hey, skull stabber’s back with some bad cinematography! And more carnival rides!

Ok, so skull stabber Jerry gets water thrown in his face and I guess now he’s gonna become an incredibly strange creature… or a mixed-up zombie. Finally! After 70 minutes! With 10 minutes left in the film!

Wait, that’s what the zombies look like?!? After all that? I mean, I knew the makeup was bad, but this is like… if Two-Face and Quasimodo had triplets and then they hired a three year old with one brown crayon to paint their portrait. And then you crumpled up the drawing. And then gave that drawing to a sculpture who only saw the picture for a second and had just lost his hands in a thresher accident. That guy would make a better looking monster.

I will say this, at least we’re getting a bodycount and something is actually happening! I mean, this is still God awful, but at least this is somewhat interesting.

The cops just shot one of the mixed up zombies and he wasn’t doing anything! #justicefortheincrediblystrange

Monster Jerry is running along a beach being chased by his girl, the two trigger happy cops, and Chico Marx. And now the cops are shooting at him, too! They have no evidence he’s the head stabber, they just no what he looks like, a mixed-up zombie! Did someone say hate crime? #nomixedupzombiesnopeace

The cop didn’t even identify himself before he shot. #socialactivismforheadstabberjerry

Wait, he’s still alive? He was shot and fell from a cliff! Oh, wait now he’s dead. And mercifully, it’s over.
So the actor who played Jerry was named Cash Flagg and the cop who shot him was Son Hooker. Those are some cool names. Also, whomever Bill Ward was played himself. Good, I’m glad there’s a sense of realism here.

Final thoughts

This movie was frightfully boring and pointless, up until the end, which was insane and pointless. Seriously, I can forgive a lot in films, but never boring. If the whole movie would have been the mixed-up zombies or incredibly strange creatures or whatever, that would have been one thing. I mean, the final 10 minutes was bad, but it was at least a little fun. The rest of the film was just random musical and dance numbers mixed with shots of a carnival sideshow that meant nothing to the plot. There were maybe two decent songs in the whole film and the rest of the time I was just waiting for something even vaguely interesting to happen. Oh, well, hopefully tomorrow will be better when I watch another horror musical, Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter! Hopefully, that’ll be more fun! See ya then!

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