The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1963) half brain

Alternate Titles:

Diabolical Dr. Voodoo
The Incredibly Mixed Up Zombie
The Teenage Psycho Meets Bloody Mary

I'm not going to bother referring to this film by either the name or the acronym in this review, but make sure to take a good look at the title so you know to avoid it like the plague. Brought to you by the mind of director Ray Dennis Steckler, who stars in his own films with stage names like Cash Flagg and Cindy Lou Sutters (really), this film is bad in whole new ways in the genre of bad zombie films.

It took me three tries to watch it. The first two times I tried, I fell asleep, probably in the middle of a dance number. Yes, there are dance numbers. And songs. And dream sequences about dance numbers and songs. Apparently it billed itself as the first monster movie musical. I've discovered that one thing perhaps more painful to watch than low-budget acting is low-budget dancing and singing. The film is set mostly in a carnival, so a large portion of it is of the various shows, which do nothing to further the plot except to establish that certain characters are, in fact, in a show. (To be fair, I guess this is true of most musicals.)

The zombies are the creations of a fortune teller at the carnival, who makes them that way by throwing some kind of acid in their face. Their existence is implied for most of the movie, but you don't actually see any until almost the very end. The fortune teller also has the power to hypnotize and control people with a big, spinning spiral, which I guess makes another kind of zombie, but they don't stop living. It's not clear that the other zombies ever stopped living either, but they at least look sort of like normal zombies.

I'm trying to judge how this movie would have been without the music. I think not quite as bad. The acting was bad, but not horrible. I think the plot would still have dragged in spots, which is saying a lot for the 40 minutes or so that would have been left. Still, with the music, the only way to watch this movie is with a finger on the fast-forward button.