I Was A Zombie For The FBI

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In 1985, SPIN Magazine asked Bob Dylan "What movies do you wish you'd been in?" One of his answers was "I Was a Zombie For the F.B.I," which had aired for the first time on cable TV on "Night Flight" earlier that same year (it was originally offered up with "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" for a cult double-feature). "I Was A Zombie For the F.B.I." is low-budget, black & white sci-fi/serial/adventure film, recreating the early 1950s with lots of deadpan humor and ironic tongues-in-cheek. The plot follows what happens after agents of the F.B.I. get involved with a pair of criminal brothers who've survived an airplane crash, only to uncover a plot by aliens from outer space to conquer Earth by turning human beings in zombies. It had been shot in 1982 and directed by Marius Penczner, who pooled together some of the $4000 prize money he'd won a year earlier for a short film he'd made that had just won an Emmy. Penczner found some more money (the final budget was about $27,000 total) and gave acting and crew parts to students at Memphis State University (now University of Memphis). Within just a few years, he had a career directing music videos -- like ZZ Top's "TV Dinners," which we told you about on the blog recently -- before making commercials for Democratic politicians.