15 March 2002 | Mr. OpEd
A masterpiece of bad.
Don't listen to those who claim this isn't a so-bad-it's-good film. It's terrifically lousy and laughably GREAT. From the dull, muted library music to the stock footage of LA Police cars to what has to be the first unnecessary nude-dancer scene (since then, a staple of cop/buddy movies), to the total lack of pacing in the editing, to fight scenes that look like Shriners hugging after an all-nighter, this is hoot city.
First, a compliment: The Astro-Zombies' masks are actually impressive, except they do not say "Astro-Zombies." They say "tricked-out motorbike helmets for the Village People."
You already know the plot, such as it is, from the other comments and no, it doesn't make a wit of sense, but the wife and I enjoyed every grueling minute. Personal favorites: the 40-weight oil on Franchot's hair and Carradine's endless muttering in a vain attempt to let the audience in on the plot. Wendell Corey, apparently stewed to the gills just to be able to mumble his dialog (he died from drink before the film was released). The Astro-Zombie running, running, running, holding a flashlight to his forehead (now that's ACTION!). The long, pointless shots of a car radio. Tura Santana's need to use a silencer in a gun fight (it's a revolver, which can't be silenced anyway, and the silencer is hardly real; more like a mashed dixie cup painted silver). Poor Rafael Campos, actually doing decent acting, making the other players even more wooden. And who leaves a scimitar lying around in a lab? Handy, yes, if you need to lop off someone's head, which as I recall from my own lab experience, is rather rare. But why ask questions about the incongruous? Astro-Zombi cannot answer them. It's an enigma. Or is that enema?
Those toy robots in the credits. What the? Hysterical. This is not to be rented. You must own it.