Come one, come all! Come see the horror of one thousand worlds. Come and witness the vile and the repulsive. Come and view with your own eyes the vile, diabolical, disastrous, reprehensible, no good The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies!!?
Directed by, and staring Ray Dennis Steckler, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and became Mixed-up Zombies has a reputation of high trash.
As told in an essay by Lester Bangs:
“this flick doesn’t just rebel against, or even disregard, standards of taste and art. In the universe inhabited by The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, such things as standards and responsibility have never been heard of. It is this lunar purity which largely imparts to the film its classic stature. Like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and a very few others, it will remain as an artifact in years to come to which scholars and searchers for truth can turn and say, ‘This was trash!’”
I am here to refute that.
There is nothing to find of merit in this movie. The movie is banal with its plot, messy with its coverage, unoriginal with its choreography, and sloppy with shot composition. There is nothing redeemable about the straight up bad filmmaking taking place within Incredibly Strange Creatures.
“So bad it’s good” cinema only works if the bad movie in question fails on a spectacular scale. There is passion in its failure. There is a well-intentioned imaginative individual behind the camera shaping something no one else could have made. Anyone could have made this movie.
Nothing about Incredibly Strange Creatures feels original or like anyone has any passion to it. There is no ground breaking or inconceivable conceit behind it. It is simply trash of the lowest degree.
The plot follows Jerry (Steckler, under the pseudonym Cash Flagg) as he become infatuated with a gypsy girl and is hypnotized by another gypsy girl who keeps zombies of some sort in her closet. Jerry will eventually become a zombie himself, the submissive kind, not the flesh eating kind, as he finds himself killing gypsy number one.
Firstly, this movie is billed as a “monster musical” which means that every third scene is an overlong, uninspired cabaret number that totally breaks from the plot and the already flimsy visual grammar established by the movie. The next most photographed sequence is a variety of coverage shots at a carnival that play out at length to establish that yes, in fact, this movie does take place at a carnival. Close ups are either framed cutting off the tops of the heads of their subjects or are too wide and show an awkward amount of the subject’s shoulders.
Zombies barely figure into the plot at all, as even “zombified” Jerry becomes so more through some convoluted hypnosis rather than magic or medicine. There is just nothing to find entertaining about this movie at all, even ironically.
This is no Plan 9 From Outer Space: This is an affront to the cinematic form and gives truly great trash movies a bad name.
Many of you will probably still watch it though, just because of its great title. And least that is something it has going for it.
Watch The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and became Mixed-up Zombies:
|Buy the film at Amazon.com|
|Buy the film at Amazon.co.uk|
Written by: JJ Perkins