The Astro-Zombies – aka Space Zombies aka The Space Vampires – is a 1968 American science fiction horror film written, directed, and produced by Ted V. Mikels.
The movie stars John Carradine, Wendell Corey (in his final film appearance) and Tura Satana.
A disgruntled scientist who, having been fired by the space agency, decides to create superhuman monsters from the body parts of innocent murder victims. The creatures eventually escape and go on a killing spree, attracting the attention of both an international spy ring and the CIA.
The low budget movie has gained cult status along with many of Ted V. Mikels other works, inspiring him to write and direct a sequel. Mark of the Astro-Zombies was released direct-to-video in 2002 with Tura Satana reprising her role of Satana from the original film. A third—and last movie—was be released in 2010 called Astro Zombies M3: Cloned.
“The (sorta) zombies certainly look unique, with their sport jackets and dime-store skull masks. And they are solar powered(!), which becomes evident in my favorite scene in the film, where one of the creatures runs off while holding a flashlight to his forehead after losing his battery pack in a scuffle. It could certainly have used a few more scenes of ridiculousness.” Movie Feast
“The trip getting there isn’t the easiest, but the payoff is wonderfully ‘68. I can’t explain the joy that the last bit of The Astro-Zombies brings me, but it is something like seeing those darn shrew dogs in The Killer Shrews.” Oh! the Horror
“The storyline is impossible to follow … the sci-fi aspects don’t enthrall and the thrill aspects don’t shock…” Variety
American horror punk band the Misfits recorded a song entitled “Astro Zombies”, for their 1982 album, Walk Among Us.