American filmmaker Ted V. Mikels holds a unique position as one of the most unconventional directors of exploitation cinema. Famous for his eccentric home life (he once lived with a harem in a castle with secret passageways) and promotional gimmicks (he was known for having nurses and ambulances on hand to assist "scared-to-death" moviegoers), Mikels is now considered a pioneering master of low-budget movie making.
Examples of Mikels' influence can be seen everywhere: from music (punk band The Misfits wrote a tribute song called "The Astro-Zombies"), to Mikels' film The Doll Squad being the template for the television series Charlie's Angels, to inspiring the look of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.
025 Independent Film Legend Ted V. Mikels Talks With Us at Theatre7
Filmmakers Notebook had the pleasure of speaking with Las Vegas Independent Film Legend Ted V. Mikels recently at Theatre7. Known for directing numerous cult classics the filmmaker is currently hard at work on the latest in the Astro Zombies series "Astro Zombies M4: Invaders From Cyberspace" and enjoying having some of his films celebrated this April with Ted V. Mikels Thursdays at Theatre7. Coming up on the 21st is "10 Violent Women" and on the 28th one of his most famous films "The Corpse Grinders". After spending 30 years working in Hollywood, Mikels became well known for his unconventional spirit and eccentric lifestyle and went on to be considered one of the masters of low budget movie-making. So, have a listen and find out some of Ted's thoughts about filmmaking. I think you'll find his interview as fascinating as I did.
Local grindhouse hero Ted V. Mikels screens his latest Thursday
Posted by Carol Cling, Screen Queen
Cult auteur — and longtime Las Vegan — Ted V. Mikels may be busy making his latest "Astro-Zombies" sequel. But that's not keeping him from making a rare public appearance Thursday night at downtown's theatre7, 1406 S. Third St., to kick off an April screening series celebrating his wild cinematic world.
Mikels will meet and greet fans at a screening of "Astro-Zombies M3: Cloned" at 7 p.m. Thursday. The third chapter of the "Astro-Zombies" franchise features the final cinematic appearance of the late Tura Satana (who starred in the original 1968 "Astro-Zombies") as the Doll Squad (from Mikels' 1973 spy romp of the same name) meets the mutant Astro Zombies.
"This is super exciting," according to theatre7 owner Derek Stonebarger. "I'm a big fan of Ted's and just showing his films is exciting, but having him here at my theater and getting to watch 'M3' with him, that is too cool."