When I first saw Don Bartin’s low-budget horror movie, ZAAT (1971) I was surprised to discover that Jamie DeFrates makes an appearance! DeFrates is an accomplished musician/composer/producer, who lived in Jacksonville, FL at the time. DeFrates was born in Springfield, Illinois. His parents ran a Christian ministry that included a radio show called “The Golden Gospel Hour.” After college he traveled the country, playing guitar and singing in clubs from New York to San Francisco. DeFrates has been a national opening act for: Willie Nelson, Janis Ian, Leo Kottke, Little River Band, Jerry Jeff Walker, Richie Havens, Doc Watson, John Hartford, John Lee Hooker, and others. He eventually settled in Jacksonville, where he established a publishing company and recording studio. The music in ZAAT is credited to Jamie DeFrates and John Orsulak.
I’ve noticed some interesting parallels between ZAAT and another B-movie called Beware the Blob (1972), also knows as Son of the Blob, which was directed by none other than Larry Hagmen, between his stints in I Dream of Jeannie and Dallas. Read on…
While ZAAT featured a small role for Jamie DeFrates, whose upbringing was steeped in Gospel, Beware the Blob featured appearances by Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill, two of the pioneers of the “Christian Rock” genre, now called “Contempory Christian.” You might think the makers of ZAAT got the idea to include Jamie DeFrates from Beware the Blob, but Hagman’s movie was released in 1972, ZAAT in 1971! Just below the credits for DeFrates and Hodgin, we see “Electronic Music: Jack Tamul,” another interesting Jacksonville musician who specializes in synthesized music.
Finally, at the end of what turned out to be a three-part article about ZAAT, I want to thank my friend, Susan Eason, for telling me about the Don Barton estate sale.