"The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?" is most certainly a one-of-a-kind experience. Madame Estrella(Brett O'Hara) doesn't like being ridiculed or questioned by detractors. When an old drunk turns down her sexual advances(!)she gets really angry and, trust me, you don't want to see her(..or hear her squeaky voice)when she's angry. If you make Madame Estrella mad, you not only get acid tossed in your face(..this turns your face into silly putty)but a prison behind her purple curtains is your brand new home. Almost always by her side is hideous hunchback, Ortega(Don Russell)who assists her in disposing bodies and grabbing innocents(..he even pops up in nightmares and hypnotic trances caused by Estrella). A customer(..a boozing club dancer who has a rather uninspired act with a male partner) desiring to know her future fate finds Estrella's "xombie prison"(..I spelled zombie with an x because of have no idea what these ugly fiends should be labeled)and is targeted for execution. She'll find a dope in "I'll try anything once"(..the world is my college)Jerry(Ray Dennis Steckler)who is entranced with popular stripper Carmelita(Erina Enyo). Carmelita, in league with Estrella, will trick him into coming backstage where he will be hypnotized into killing those who threaten to expose her prison. Estrella chose Jerry when he, pal Harold(Atlas King, with an unbearably laughable accent), and girlfriend Angela(Sharon Walsh)wanted to try out a "reader". I guess Jerry pushed that "no-no" button when he poked fun at her magical crystal ball. Anyways, hoody-up and eyeballs wide-open, Jerry, along with his incredibly shiny butcher knife, stabs the singer and her dance partner(?!)in the face during their act on stage. Haunted by one hell of a bizarre nightmare, Jerry awakens to a blur wondering what happened the night before when he went backstage to meet with Carmelita. Soon another dancer, who happens to oh so eloquently mention she had seen the murdered girl meeting with her, gets the knife(..along with a date, the barker who brings the salivating males to dance shows)treatment. Soon, though, Estrella will make on fatal mistake, keeping open the prison a little too long as the xombies soon revolt, shredded clothes and hands that strangle. Soon Jerry will get acid-faced, on the lam as blank-faced police, guns-a-firing, give chase with Angela, her bro Madison(Pat Kirkwood) & Harold is hot pursuit. The closing of the film features a VERY long run across a rocky beach front as Jerry stumbles, falls, returns to his feet, and repeats the clumsy cycle for our amusement, performed so melodramatically.
I'll admit that I found the carnival atmosphere particularly effective, it's all spontaneous and random, scenes where Jerry and friends are living it up. I realize that many will giggle at the lack of spirit or choreography for the MANY musical dance interludes which populate this bizarre 60's token of campiness, but I kind of figured it be this way in real life..this isn't The Chorus Line, you know. The transitions from scene to scene are jarring to say the least, and the sound is rather tepid. I had a great difficulty hearing what was being said half the time(..maybe that's a good thing?). I thought the nightmare sequence was a hoot, dancers with painted faces, images of Estrella and Ortega giving Jerry commands, and what seems like cigarette smoke steaming upward(..and the spinning spiral, a constant, returning Jerry to his homicidal ways). As MANY others have mentioned, this is far from a good movie and suffers from lack of real experience, but "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?" is such a strange experience I couldn't turn away, wondering what was gonna happen next. Lots of dead air and oddly structured camera shots of characters' faces. I must admit that I rather enjoyed some of the music sprinkled throughout and it was kind of neat getting a peek at certain parts of LA during such a cinematic era where independent filmmakers(..good and bad)were finding opportunities to make movies.