|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Astro Zombies aka "The Astro-Zombies" [Blu-ray]
(Ted V. Mikels, 1968)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Ram Ltd.
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,534,184,627 bytes
Feature Size: 20,437,131,264 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.81 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 11th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English
192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
• Audio Commentary by Writer/Producer/Director Ted V. Mikels
Description:Newly Re-mastered in HD! A film that has it all… a mad astro-scientist (John Carradine, House of the Long Shadows) reviving corpses at his laboratory; two gore-crazed, solar-powered killer robot zombies; a bloody trail of girl-next-door victims; Chinese communist spies; deadly Mexican secret agents led by the insanely voluptuous Tura Satana (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) and intrepid CIA agent Wendell Corey (The Killer is Loose) hot on their trail and trying to figure it all out! This cult favorite was written, produced and directed by cult legend, Ted Mikels (One Shocking Moment, Blood Orgy of the She-Devils) melds into a high-powered fusion the films of Ed Wood, Russ Meyer and George Romero with undead cannibal gore chills… hot-pants sexploitation thrills… '60's sci-fi mumbo-jumbo and Cold War espionage intrigue.
A bizarre creature is running around loose murdering and
mutilating women. The police try to investigate.
Meanwhile, a mad scientist tries to explain his work to
his mute assistant, who is intent on experiments of his
own on a bikini-clad girl tied to a table. Meanwhile,
spies led by Tura Satana's breasts (followed closely by
Tura Satana) look for the scientist to get his secrets.
I am ashamed to say I had never heard of The Astro-Zombies (1968)
until my husband stumbled across it one night. Wendell (Hic!) Corey?
John Carradine? Tura Satana? I’m a fool for never having watched this
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Astro-Zombies looks probably about as good as the film can in 1080P. Considering that the estimated budget for Astro Zombies was $37,000 - it looks surprisingly adept in HD. The source has some frame-specific marks and damage, but I noticed no noise - not even in the few night sequences. The source must have been in reasonable shape with decent density to produce such contrast. It's a little dull and colors drift creating a haze but despite all that this Blu-ray gave me a watchable, and pleasurable, viewing despite the imperfections and the film's bottom-of-the-barrel cinema status.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1557 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are no demonstrative effects in the film - aside from some screaming and the score by Nicholas Carras - as Nico Karaski (Mikels' films The Doll Squad and Girl in Gold Boots amongst his credits.). It's unremarkable and on-par with the production. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Exactly what you need after this film experience, to put it all in perspective - three rewarding audio Commentaries - the first is by writer/producer/director Ted V. Mikels and is un-moderated and he discusses production short cuts with low budget tricks. It's fairly low-key and enjoyable. Kino include a "RiffTrax" with Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett and it is amusing From a more serious standpoint a 3rd commentary is by Horror Cinema Historian Chris Alexander delving a little deeper into Mikels, some of the performers and the production roots. It's also worth a spin. Lastly are some trailers; Astro Zombies, Beware the Blob (Son of Blob), The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant and Deranged.
September 26th, 2016