More ZAAT Connections: Jamie DeFrates and Jack Tamul

Jamie Defrates in the movie ZAAT (1971)

Jamie Defrates in the movie ZAAT (1971)

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…

ZAAT movie cedits

ZAAT movie cedits

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.

Randy Stonehill (right) in Beware the Blob

Randy Stonehill (right) in Beware the Blob

Larry Norman (left) in Beware the Blob

Larry Norman (left) in Beware the Blob

Jack Tamul

Jack Tamul

Beware_the_Blob_poster

 

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.

More about ZAAT: Ron Kivett on Ed Tucker

The April 2001 issue of Scary Monsters magazine and the ZAAT 2-disc combo DVD set

The April 2001 issue of Scary Monsters magazine and the ZAAT 2-disc combo DVD set

Ed Tucker is an aficionado of classic and vintage science fiction & horror films and memorabilia. He wrote the liner notes for the ZAAT 2-disc combo DVD. The official ZAAT website features an excerpt from an interview with Ed Tucker that first appeared in the April 2001 issue of Scary Monsters Magazine. Tucker begins:

I suppose being born in Ocala, Florida in the 1960’s in some way predestined me to my love and appreciation of motion pictures. The small town of Silver Springs is located so close to Ocala that, today, it is almost considered a suburb of it, but in the 1950’s and 60’s, it was a booming conglomeration of widely varied tourist attractions. Chief among these was Silver Springs itself, with its glass bottom boats, jungle cruises, and wildlife exhibitions. Hollywood often utilized the spring’s clear waters and jungle-like settings for every manner of production. From installments in the Tarzan film series to episodes of Sea Hunt and I Spy. But in my mind it will always be remembered for the underwater footage filmed for the 1957 3-D horror icon, Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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