Ted V. Mikels

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Ted V. Mikels
Ted V. Mikels with a fan in 2008
Theodore Vincent Mikacevich

(1929-04-29)April 29, 1929
DiedOctober 16, 2016(2016-10-16) (aged 87)
Occupation(s)Film producer, film director, screenwriter, actor
Years active1950s–2016
Spouse(s)Geneva M. Mikels, Wendy O. Altamura
ChildrenMichele Cosette Mikels,[1] Cherisse Mikels,[2] Theodore Vincent Mikels Jr.,[3] Troy Scott Mikels[4]

Ted V. Mikels (born Theodore Vincent Mikacevich; April 29, 1929 – October 16, 2016) was an American independent filmmaker primarily of the horror cult film genre. Movies that he both produced and directed include Girl in Gold Boots (1968), The Astro-Zombies (1968), and The Doll Squad (1973).[citation needed]

During the 1960s and 1970s, Mikels also operated his own recording label, Geneni Records, which primarily issued radio spot advertisement records used to promote his various movie projects but also released a number of stand-alone singles by such artists as Vic Lance and Little Leon Payne.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Mikels was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on April 29, 1929; his father was a Croatian immigrant who worked as a meat cutter, and his mother was an herbalist who emigrated from Romania.[6] When Mikels was in third grade the family moved to Portland, Oregon, where his father took up farming. In Oregon, his father changed their surname from Mikacevich to Mikels.[7]

During his grade school years, he was an amateur photographer who developed his own film in his bathtub. While in 8th grade, he was awarded his first acting role in a film that was to star William Powell, but World War II forced the cancellation of the production. By the age of 15, he was a regular stage performer and developed an interest in film-making when he attempted to shoot his performances. In 2008, he said, "I figured out that you have to move the camera around to get different angles, and then you have to edit the film when you're done."[8]

In the 1950s, Mikels moved to Bend, Oregon, joined the Bend Community Players little theater group, and founded his own film production company.[9] Soon, he began producing both educational documentaries,[10] and short dramatic features.[11]

Additionally, as horseman, archery expert, Indian[citation needed] and stuntman, he contributed to the production of several Hollywood films made in Central Oregon. Notably, during on location filming of The Indian Fighter, he taught studio special effects crews a technique for making flaming arrows appear authentic. Before leaving Oregon in the early 1960s, Mikels wrote and directed his first feature-length film in 1963, entitled Strike Me Deadly.[12]

Throughout the 1960s through 1980s, Mikels lived in Glendale, California out of a house he decorated as a castle. He became as well known for his hard-partying lifestyle as he did for his low budget exploitation films he'd produce and direct. He opened his first studio office with the help of actor John Houseman, and helped on many big budget Hollywood films but directing directly for a major studio constantly eluded him. Increasingly he'd shoot more of his films in the substantially cheaper Las Vegas, Nevada area and eventually moved there in the early 1990s.

In 1993, Mikels began running TVM Studios, a film and video production studio based in Las Vegas. On August 28, 2005, he was presented with a Certificate of Recognition by Nevada Lieutenant Governor Lorraine T. Hunt on the day of screening of his then-latest film, Heart of a Boy, which was the only G-rated film of his career. The certificate was awarded to Mikels for his contributions to the filmmaking industry.[13]

In 2010, Mikels released the third installment in his Astro-Zombies franchise, Astro-Zombies M3: Cloned, followed two years later by Astro-Zombies M4: Invaders from Cyberspace. Both were produced by TVM Global Entertainment in association with Blue Heron International Pictures, and distributed by Alpha New Cinema.

Mikels died on October 16, 2016, at the age of 87 from complications of colon cancer.[6][14]

DVD releases[edit]

In 2007, Alpha Video released 10 of Mikels' films on DVD under the Alpha New Cinema imprint. Six of these titles included 10 Violent Women, The Doll Squad, The Corpse Grinders, The Corpse Grinders II, Girl in Gold Boots and Blood Orgy of the She-Devils, all of which Alpha later released as a six-DVD set titled Ted V. Mikels Signature Collection, which was autographed by Mikels.


Year Title Director Writer Producer Cinematographer Editor Sound Stunts Uncredited Notes
1955 The Indian Fighter No No No No No No Yes No
1957 Oregon Passage No No No No No No Yes No
1958 Tonka No No No No No No Yes No
1963 Strike Me Deadly Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
1964 Dr. Sex Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
1964 Genesis No No No Yes Yes No No No
1965 Orgy of the Dead No No No No No No No Assistant Director
1965 Day of the Nightmare No No No Yes No No No No
1965 One Shocking Moment Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
1966 Agent for H.A.R.M. No No No No No No No Cinematographer
1966 The Black Klansman Yes No Yes No Yes No No No
1967 The Hostage No No No Yes No No No No
1967 Catalina Caper No No No Yes No No No No
1968 Girl in Gold Boots Yes No Yes No No No No No
1969 The Astro-Zombies Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
1971 The Corpse Grinders Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No No
1972 Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things No No Executive No No No No No
1973 Blood Orgy of the She-Devils Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
1973 The Doll Squad Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
1977 The Worm Eaters No No Yes No No No No No
1977 Alex Joseph and His Wives Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
1979 Missile X: The Neutron Bomb Incident No Yes Yes No No No No No
1982 Ten Violent Women Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
1986 The Aftermath No No No No No No No Producer
1987 Angel of Vengeance Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
1988 Knee Dancing No No No Yes No No No No
1991 Mission: Killfast Yes No Yes No No No No No
1993 Little Red Riding Hood Saves the Big Bad Wolf (short) Yes No No No No No No No
1994 Spooky World (documentary short) Yes No No No No No No No
1997 Apartheid Slave-Women's Justice Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
1998 Dimensions in Fear Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
2002 Chimera (short) No No Associate No No No No No
2002 The Corpse Grinders 2 Yes Yes Executive No No No No No
2004 Cauldron: Baptism of Blood Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
2004 Mark of the Astro-Zombies Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
2006 Heart of a Boy Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
2008 The Wild World of Ted V. Mikels No No Executive No No No No No
2009 Demon Haunt Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
2010 Astro Zombies: M3 - Cloned Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
2012 The Corpse Grinders 3 No No Executive No No No No No
2013 Our Forever Friends No No Associate No No No No No
2014 Astro Zombies: M4 - Invaders from Cyberspace Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
2014 ''The Parallax Man''(short) No No Executive No No No No No
2015 Paranormal Extremes: Text Messages from the Dead Yes Yes Executive Yes Yes No No No
2017 Ten Violent Women: Part Two Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No

Further reading[edit]

  • Curry, Christopher Wayne (2007). Film Alchemy: The Independent Cinema of Ted V. Mikels. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0786432370.
  • Collier, Kevin Scott (2016). Unmasking the Astro-Zombies. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1540590947.
  • Collier, Kevin Scott (2017). The Life and Cinema of Ted V. Mikels. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1546318743.
  • Ashmun, Dale (2000). "Ted V Mikels". Psychotronic Video. No. 32. pp. 39–46.</ref>



  1. ^ "Local News". The Bulletin. June 7, 1954. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  2. ^ "Bend Hospital". The Bulletin. December 14, 1955. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  3. ^ "Briefs - Here and There". The Bulletin. January 12, 1961. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  4. ^ "Briefs - Here and There". The Bulletin. September 6, 1962. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  5. ^ "Select discography for Geneni Records". Discogs.com. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Grimes, William (19 October 2016). "Ted Mikels Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  7. ^ The New York Times, William Grimes, Ted V. Mikels, Master of Low-Budget Cult Favorites, Dies at 87'
  8. ^ "Ted V Mikels Interview". Archived from the original on 2006-06-23. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  9. ^ Betty L. Oakley, "The Torch Bearers of Bend Oregon, 1912-1978", Maverick Publications, Bend, Oregon, 1993, p. 49.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ [2][dead link]
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-11-21. Retrieved 2016-09-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "The Heart Of A Boy". Tedvmikels.com. Archived from the original on 2004-12-04. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  14. ^ Cling, Carol. "Las Vegas cult filmmaker Ted V. Mikels dies at 87". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 18 October 2016.

External links[edit]