Pardon the juvenile headline, but I think it’s what Ray would’ve wanted.
The infamous director of The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, Ray Dennis Steckler, passed away last Wednesday. The cause of death was cardiac arrest. He was 70. Steckler had just finished post-production on the sequel to Strange Creatures, subtitled One More Time. The original film is one of the most loved and hated Mystery Science Theater episodes.
Say what you will about Steckler’s films and his approach to filmmaking — he may have acted somewhat self-importantly at times, he may have lacked talent in areas — but the man appeared to truly love film. He was never especially fond of MST3K’s use and treatment of Strange Creatures, particularly taking issue with the riffs centered around his wife, who portrayed the somewhat masculine dancer.
Ray was also good friends with Arch Hall, Jr., the protagonist of Eegah, a film in which Steckler’s acting persona, “Cash Flagg,” also appeared briefly. Wikipedia has a good summary of Ray’s career. One More Time releases direct-to-DVD in June 2009.