I think I’ve finally hit the bottom.
“One More Time” is the sequel to the 1964 “classic” ‘The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies”. That’s one of the worst films of all time, without a doubt, a barely comprehensible story about ugly, lumpy youths going to a funfair and the fortune teller who’s actually using poison to create zombie slaves. Or something.
Suddenly, 44 years later, Ray Dennis Steckler decided to make a sequel. Sorry, an “extension”. Made on a budget of $3800, and looking like he could have made it for pretty much nothing, this is maybe the most pointless film I’ve ever seen. I bet your average episode of “Bangbus” has higher production values than this (a line for the promotional literature there).
But, you know, I get the big bucks round here for actually reviewing films, so here goes. An old man who still dresses like he did in 1964 wanders aimlessly about the sleazier areas of Los Angeles, while going to see a shrink about the vivid dreams he’s having (which is a way of padding out the running time using footage from the original film- a running time which is still only 68 minutes, meaning there’s barely half an hour of new stuff in this).
He goes to a club to see dancing women, although his tastes in old age appear to be fully dressed, perfectly nice but completely un-erotic women. The best bit of the film is the sleazy rock n roll band that’s playing at the club, but they’re sadly on there for a few minutes.
One of his flashbacks involves him walking down a nothing side street, a boring scene when it was first shown in 1964 and truly baffling to be shown again in the “extension”. Then, things get…odder…stupider?…when he meets a woman in a pizza place who claims to be the granddaughter of one of the dancers he killed in the original. She stabs him, and then he wakes up, in the same pizza house, but as Ray Dennis Steckler. The people we’ve met so far are revealed to be his friends and co-workers, and all the talk is about raising the money to make…wait for it…a sequel to “The Incredibly Strange Creatures…”
So, after rendering the first three-quarters of the film completely irrelevant, the film finishes with what can only be described as bits and pieces he had on the tape he used in the camcorder, along with some ripped-off footage which looks like it came from the 1980s (maybe one of Steckler’s other films, like “The Hollywood Strangler Meets The Skid Row Slasher”), then his wife winning some money in a casino, which allows him to turn his dream of a piss-poor film into a reality. In actuality, he raised the money via Myspace.
I feel bad mocking this film. It’s barely a film at all, for all the reasons stated above, and why it exists is confusing. He’d made one film in the last 25 years (which also just scraped above 60 minutes running time, in 1997) and clearly had learned absolutely nothing from the couple of decades where he was working fairly steadily. It looks, for all the world, like poor home movie footage – he films inside a club, while walking down the street, while at the same funfair he used in 1964…it looks awful and I ‘ll lay good money on there being at least one of the people reading this who made a film with their mates for a laugh one weekend which is at the very least the technical equal of this, with a more compelling storyline (in other words, any storyline at all).
Steckler died the year after this film was made, and given the very very few people who’ll have bought this from his website before it shut forever, it’s disappeared from public consciousness every bit as completely as “After Last Season” (which, to be fair, didn’t stop me from reviewing that). Unless you’ve got a gun to your head, and you’re fairly sure the person is going to use it, I’d recommend against making even the slightest effort to track this down. Remember Steckler as the young man who made rotten, ugly films:
and not the sad old man who made rotten, ugly, pointless films.