The Incredibly Strange Features of Ray Dennis Steckler


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About the Book

American filmmaker Ray Dennis Steckler may forever be remembered for his cult classic The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!? but his career path is even more fascinating than his strange signature film. Between 1962 and 1986, Steckler wrote, directed, edited and occasionally acted in nine more underground feature films. After his live oddities roadshows helped propel the director to even greater cult infamy, Steckler turned his camera towards the adult film world. Between 1970 and 1984, Steckler directed no fewer than three dozen of these explicit genre pieces.

This book covers Steckler’s nearly 50 movies, including several lost, incomplete or experimental films. Each entry includes a full list of cast and crew credits, along with a plot synopsis, plenty of images and behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Transcriptions of the author’s interviews with Steckler’s ex-wife Carolyn Brandt, his daughter Laura H. Steckler, actor Ron Jason and stuntman and actor Gary Kent are included along with an homage chapter and an overview of the director’s collectable memorabilia.

About the Author(s)

Freelance writer Christopher Wayne Curry lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Christopher Wayne Curry

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 263
Bibliographic Info: 113 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8936-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4768-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction 6
Part One: The Films of Ray Dennis Steckler 13
Wild Guitar (1962) 13
Goof on the Loose (1963) 22
The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became ­Mixed-Up Zombies!!? (1963) 24
The Thrill Killers (1964) 45
Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1966) 65
The Lemon Grove Kids Meet the Monsters (1967) 79
Body Fever (1969) 96
Sinthia: The Devil’s Doll (1970) 110
Blood Shack (1971) 120
The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher (1979) 134
Las Vegas Serial Killer (1986) 144
Part Two: The Adult Films of Ray Dennis Steckler 153
Introduction 153
The Films 154
Part Three: Unfinished Films, Unreleased Films and Compilations 191
Part Four: Homage and Memorabilia 198
Part Five: The Interviews 207
High Hopes to Hard Knocks: Carolyn Brandt on Living and Working with Ray Dennis Steckler 207
Growing Up Steckler: A Conversation with Laura H. Steckler 218
Gary Kent: The Danger God Speaks 225
Have Talent, Will Travel: A Conversation wwith Cult Movie Star Ron Jason 230
Conclusion 239
Bibliography 243
Index 245

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Curry offers a loving, insightful, and sometimes critical look at Steckler’s 11 completed films, interweaving plot summaries with information about cast and crew, production details, and outrageous anecdotes…..includes a list of collectible memorabilia and newly conducted interviews with Steckler’s family and former crew….Curry combines extensive research with deft writing to reveal the life of a Z-movie director through his unconventional oeuvre. Aimed at cinephiles, the book celebrates an underdog who made movies in Hollywood’s shadow.”—Library Journal

• “An amazing amount of detail…Curry deserves commendation for telling the whole story, proving a writer can show reverence without being disingenuous. …fascinating and fun”—Flick Attack

• “A thorough, entertaining book on Ray Dennis Steckler’s incredible career…Curry’s book is a treasure. Through the pages, we witness a smaller but no less entertaining Hollywood of the 1960s.”—Plan 9 Crunch

• “When it comes to his knowledge of Steckler, author Chris Wayne Curry is no joke.”—Andrew Furtado, Severin Films

• “Deep-diving into Steckler’s unique filmography requires a guide who understands the full range of delights he offered. Christopher Wayne Curry *is* that guide.”—Aaron AuBuchon, associate professor of film, Webster University

• “Curry’s painstaking research brings to life this fascinating and much overlooked director. Essential reading for anyone interested in the incredibly strange world of independent filmmaking.”—David Dent, Dark Eyes of London

• “Curry’s biography of Ray Dennis Steckler is clearly a labor of love and it takes me through a wonderful schlock time warp in the same way as my favorite books on the subject.”—David Konow author of Schlock-O-Rama: The Films of Al Adamson and Reel Terror: The Scary, Bloody, Gory, Hundred-Year History of Classic Horror Films

• “Covering the career of Ray Dennis Steckler is no easy task without either being overly critical or just a love encrusted puff-piece. Curry gives us a bit of both, showing what was really going on, but also why we should love or at least admire Steckler and his work.”—Jon Kitley, Kitley’s Krypt, author of Discover the Horror

• “The Incredibly Strange Features of Ray Dennis Steckler is the book you never knew you needed about a filmmaker you never knew you needed to learn about. There’s nothing particularly strange about Christopher Wayne Curry’s new book, but true to its name it is incredible.”—Andrew J. Rausch author of The Godfather of Gore Speaks: Herschell Gordon Lewis Discusses His Films and The Cinematic Misadventures of Ed Wood