August 16, 2017 6:28 PM - Season 8, Episode 12 - Subscribe

(Note: title slightly condensed to fit in the form) "MONSTERS COME REAL! CRASH OUT OF SCREEN! INVADE AUDIENCE! ABDUCT GIRLS FROM THEIR SEATS! Not 3-D. Don't Miss It!" "SEE: The world's first monster musical!" Why do supposedly powerful magicians and sorceresses work at carnivals? Estrella tells fortunes, hypnotises people to make them kill her enemies, and keeps a small heard of mixed-up zombies, overseen by her employee Ortega. In between scenes, there are pointless musical numbers. This one's a full 10/10 for pain folks, beware! Some consider it to be one of the worst movies ever made, and it is the first such MST film of the Sci-Fi Channel era. It is extremely weird at the very least. In the subplot, Pearl takes the space children from last week to return them to their parents, and Observer has a very bad experience with Bobo. Promo - YouTube, Official, with Annotations! (1h32m) Premiered June 14, 1997.


Satellite News - Mighty Jack's Episode Review - War of the Colossal Fan Guide - Annotated MST3K - TVTropes

Paul did this movie's entry in the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, and here are his recollections:
In the vast history of MST movies made by oily guys who elect to direct the camera largely on themselves, this one stands out, although to be fair Ray Dennis Steckler is really no oilier than a number of sallow oleaginous fellows we could name. Actually, we couldn't name them, but we could definitely think of them and retch.
You know what, though? On the way on to work this morning I perceived a vision of three crosses surrounding the sun. It was a moment of blinding purity and a sign to change my ways, I'm sure, so I'm going to take the high road and play down the overt criticism. Except I do need to mention that the Psychotronic Guide to Films describes this movie as "unbelievably well photographed."
The cinematographer was one Vilmos Zsigmond, see, and with a name like that what else could he grow up to be, I ask you. He's a famous fellow who went on to cinematographize many a great film, as well as The Ghost and the Darkness and McCabe and Mrs. Miller.
Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt (Daddy-O's page on this movie is a trove of information on Ray Steckler, and is not to be missed, although it missed the occasion of his passing in 2009.)
Rotten Tomatoes (Critics: 20%, Viewers: 14%) - Wikipedia - TVTropes
IMDB (1964, 2.2 stars)
Directed by Ray Dennis Steckler. Written by Gene Pollock, Robert Silliphant and E.M. Kevke. Starring Ray Dennis Steckler (by the name "Cash Flagg"), Brett O'Hara and Atlas King.

Notes: Mighty Jack notes that director Ray Dennis Steckler (who also plays the hapless hero in this movie) had a bit part in Eegah. He was the teen thrown into the pool by the giant. He also did some cinematography for that, and hired Coleman Francis to play bit parts in some of his films. I like that those old Hollywood rejects stuck together, but I must admit I'm getting that uncomfortable feeling when you move the refrigerator and all the things living beneath scurry for the walls.

Would you believe this movie's cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond, would go on to win a freaking Oscar, for doing cinematography for Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Two other guys who worked in it are also big names in cinematography: Joseph V. Mascelli, author of The Five Cs of Cinematography, and László Kovács.

From Daddy-O: INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES was released in so-called "Hallucinogenic Hypnovision"--which basically meant that during the movie a few people wearing rubber masks of the movie's characters would run down the aisles and try to scare the audience in the theater just after a turning hypnosis-inducing spiral would appear on the screen.

Star and director "Cash Flagg" was, of course, Ray Dennis Steckler, who made several other very very bad movies, including Rat Pfink A Boo Boo, which is unfortunately familiar to those of us in MST Club. PopMatters has a nice obit piece for Steckler. There was also an obit on Metafilter.
posted by JHarris (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is...well, I suppose it's *technically* a film, yes.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:23 PM on August 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

My jaw dropped during the bit when the rather, er, Amazonian dancer is looking exhausted after a show and Tom Servo quips, "Boy, that duct tape did not wanna come off tonight!" That line seemed like such an insider drag queen thing, it could only come from a gal who has known the unique agony of duct tape tugging at chest hair. But then, Servo wasn't exactly afraid to explore his feminine side.

(Note that this is all from memory, but I'm 99% sure this was the episode with that bit.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:44 AM on August 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

We in MST Club watch that week's episode every week, on our long, long tour through the 212 episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Why not join us?

This week's show is tonight (Thursday) at 9 PM Eastern time, 6 PM Pacific, at We usually have interesting random stuff in before and after the show, so feel free to drop by early and stick around late.
posted by JHarris at 8:28 AM on August 17, 2017

I will be there (my medical procedure today went half-well... successfully identified the problem but couldn't correct it, at least not today, so I was discharged early). So come join THIS Incredibly Strange Creature...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:18 PM on August 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I remember reading about this movie in The Monster Times when I was a teenager. (I picked up some old issues of this newspaper at a comic book store I used to go to.) What a disappointment to finally see the movie.
posted by wittgenstein at 3:39 PM on August 17, 2017

Oh - this is the episode with the Walkathon gag. That's a great sketch.
posted by wittgenstein at 4:27 PM on August 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

So, the original title was actually The Incredibly Strange Creatures, or Why I Stopped Living and Became a Mixed-up Zombie, but there was a lawsuit because it was too similar to something or another.
posted by ckape at 10:17 PM on August 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

"Life is my college."
"He's taking it pass fail."
posted by lkc at 7:16 PM on August 19, 2017

This is one of the few MST movies that I found actively unpleasant to watch and just wanted to turn off, jokes notwithstanding. Oof. Perhaps that is a credit to the cinematographer successfully realizing someone's gross, abortive vision.
posted by praemunire at 12:49 PM on March 10, 2022

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