Heroes of Psychotronic Film

We know that it is impossible for us to publish articles on even a small fraction of the pyschotronic films that have been made and that continue to be made. That’s especially true when our definition of the term “psychotronic” is so broad. Often, it is easier to find these kinds of films by looking at the actors, writers, directors, and producers who specialized in them. As a result, we are creating a list of articles about psychotronic film heroes. It, like everything else around here is a work in progress.

We’ll start with a list and add to it over time. When we can, we will write articles about people on the list. In those cases, there will be links. Otherwise, do a Google search on the names and see what comes up.


JR Bookwalter
Bookwalter belongs on this list more than anyone because he is the Plutonic ideal of a psychotronic filmmaker. From his first feature, The Dead Next Door (probably the most expensive super-8 film ever produced), to his micro-budget films like Chick Boxer (later released as part of his series “Bad Movie Police” — get it all in Crimewave!), there is a charm to his films that can’t be denied. He stopped directing and became a distributor of other people’s psychotronic films. But most of all, Bookwalter has changed the way I look at psychotronic film as a genre.
John Carradine (actor)
Bert I Gordon (producer)
Richard Matheson (writer)
Vincent Price (actor)


We are listing what each person is primarily known for. A lot of actors have written a screenplay or two, or directed a film. Similarly, writers often show up in films. But we don’t want to mess with that. And although most people think of the director as the king of the film, it generally is the producer when it comes to the low budget world. So while Bert I Gordon always directed his films and usually wrote them, we have listed as producer, because he managed to get the film made. In his case, he directed more consistently than he produced. But his best known films were produced, written, and directed by him. Hence: producer. This is not a reflection of anything other than that the producer is the person most involved of the totality of the film: from getting the money and people, getting the film made, and getting it seen. The first and third might be taken for granted in a big budget studio picture. But that isn’t true of a film like Robot Monster.

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