Ray Dennis Steckler & The Robot – RIP
On January 7th, director Ray Dennis Steckler died in Las Vegas. He was 70. I hadn’t heard about it until now. If you’re a fan of low-budget horror films, you probably know Steckler as the director of tons of flicks including THE THRILL KILLERS (1964), THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED-UP ZOMBIES (what an amazing title! – also from 1964), RAT PFINK A BOO BOO (1966), THE HORNY VAMPIRE and BLOOD SHACK (both 1971).
He also acted in several of his movies under the name Cash Flagg. His wife Carolyn Brandt also appeared in several of his films.
While Steckler’s most famous films were made in the 1960s and 70s, he worked right up until the late 80s. Some of his later films included THE HOLLYWOOD STRANGLER MEETS THE SKID ROW SLASHER (1979) and LAS VEGAS SERIAL KILLER (1986).
Some of his films are considered low-budget classics such as INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES which features Steckler/Flagg as a kid who is hypnotized by a carnival gypsy and ordered to kill. And RAT PFINK A BOO BOO which is about a couple of superheroes who are a bit similar to Batman and Robin (and the movie has the same campy sense of humor as the old Adam West Batman TV show). Originally the movie was titled Rat Pfink a Boo Boo, but when the name was spelled wrong on the opening credits, it stuck.
Alongside such other legendary old school horror directors like Herschell Gordon Lewis, Ted V. Mikles, Al Adamson, and Andy Milligan, Steckler gave us some of the strangest films ever made. He’ll be missed.
Also, Bob May died Sunday of congestive heart failure. He was 69.
Fans of the old TV show LOST IN SPACE (one of my all-time favorites) will remember Bob as the guy inside the metal costume of The Robot, who was famous for the line “Danger! Danger!” May did not do the voice of The Robot, though. That was the voice of television announcer Dick Tufeld.
Bob was an actor and a stuntman and the Robot was his favorite role. He often appeared at memoribilia conventions with his suit, and was known as a friendly guy.
As the Robot’s nemesis, Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris) would say “Farewell, you bubble-headed booby!”