Ted V. Mikels: A Video Primer
The following list of films is in no way intended as definitive, nor is it based on any criteria other than personal recommendation. This is merely a guide for those unfamiliar with Ted Mikels’ films to give them an entry point into the career of a unique film maker. All titles included in this list, except where noted, are available on VHS and DVD at http://www.tedvmikels.com. This website also includes a great selection of photos and original memorabilia for sale and is highly recommended.
The Undertaker and His Pals (1967) - A macabre story of two motorcycle-riding, knife-wielding, shiv-shaving, eye-gouging, arm-twisting, chain-lashing, scalpel-flashing, acid-throwing, gun-shooting, bone-breaking, pathological nuts and their pal the UNDERTAKER! Wow, the tag line for this film pretty much says it all! This mixture of graphic horror and oddball comedy is similar in tone to the original EC comic books like Tales from the Crypt. Robert Lowery, best known for playing the caped crusader himself in the 1949 serial “Batman and Robin”, stars as a low rent detective out to solve a series of bizarre murders that all lead to a cut rate mortuary run by the highly underrated Ray Dannis. While not technically a Ted Mikels’ film, “Undertaker” is infused with many of his signature touches. It is not available through the website but can be found from a number of discount retailers on DVD.
The Astro-Zombies (1969) – This is probably my personal favorite of all of Ted Mikels’ films and I consider the one sheet for the 1971 re-release of this title to be one of the coolest movie posters of all time. John Carradine, Wendell Corey, and Tura Satana are a triple threat B-movie dream cast in this science fiction tale of synthetic organs and solar powered zombies! This film has something for everyone!
The Corpse Grinders (1972) - Common house cats turn psychotic and attack their owners after being fed cheap cat food made from human corpses! This horror / black comedy mix is probably Ted Mikels’ most famous production and features some weird characterizations and interesting lighting effects.
The Doll Squad (a.k.a. Seduce and Destroy ) (1973) – Another B-movie dream cast of Michael Ansara, Francine York, Anthony Eisley, and Tura Satana in a tale of female CIA operatives out to stop saboteurs. This is a fun little action adventure film with plenty of babes in jumpsuits firing machine guns. See how many similarities you can spot between this and the “Charlie’s Angels” television series which premiered a few years later!
10 Violent Women (1982) – This combination of just about every exploitation movie theme you can imagine is also one of Ted Mikels’ raciest and bloodiest films. A group of female miners get fed up with doing dangerous work for minimal pay and stage a jewel heist. From there this tough girl, crime drama, caper film becomes a drug dealing, women in prison, sexploitation picture!
Ted V. Mikels Collector’s Reel – This 100 minute compilation contains fourteen trailers from some of Ted’s best know films plus “making of” featurettes for two of his most recent pictures, “The Corpse Grinders II” and “Mark of the Astro-Zombies”. This is an excellent introductory overview for anyone unfamiliar with Ted Mikels’ work.
Ted V. Mikels Drive-In Delites – Return to the hey day of motion picture exploitation and drive-in movies with this wonderful compact disc. This ten track CD features musical cues and radio spots from Ted Mikels’ most famous films. The highlight of this compilation is the final track, “Solid Gold Countdown to Showtime”, an incredible mixture of popular rock tunes hosted by a phony DJ who conducts an even phonier interview with the “director” of the “Final Dimension in Shock” film package. This is a one of a kind must have for cult film and drive-in fans!