Ted V. Mikels (born Theodore Mikacevich; April 29, 1929 – October 16, 2016) was an American independent filmmaker primarily known for his horror movies such as The Astro-Zombies and The Corpse Grinders, although he also directed cult action-exploitation movies such as Girl in Gold Boots (1968) and The Doll Squad (1973).
During his grade school years, he was an amateur photographer who developed his own film in his bathtub. By the age of 15, he was a regular stage performer and developed an interest in filmmaking when he attempted to shoot his performances.
In the 1950s, Mikels moved to Bend, Oregon and founded his own film production company. Soon, he began producing both educational documentaries, and short dramatic features. Additionally, as horseman, archery expert, Indian and stuntman, he contributed to the production of several Hollywood films made in the area.
Although his late ’60s and early ’70s horror output was decidedly low-budget, the movies he created had an undeniable quirkiness and charm that gave them a cinematic lifespan that eventually led to cult status, belated sequels and, in the case of The Corpse Eaters, a remake.
In 1993, Mikels began running run TVM Studios, a film and video production studio based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 2010, Mikels released the third instalment in his Astro-Zombies franchise, Astro-Zombies M3: Cloned, followed two years later by Astro-Zombies M4: Invaders from Cyberspace.
1963: Strike Me Deadly
1964: Doctor Sex
1965: One Shocking Moment
1968: Girl in Gold Boots
1968: The Astro-Zombies
1971: The Corpse Grinders
1973: Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (co-executive producer)
1973: The Doll Squad
1977: The Worm Eaters (producer)
1982: The Aftermath
1982: 10 Violent Women
1998: Dimensions in Fear
2002: The Corpse Grinders 2
2003: Chimera (short)
2004: Cauldron: Baptism of Blood
2004: Mark of the Astro-Zombies
2008: The Wild World of Ted V. Mikels (documentary)
2009: Demon Haunt
2010: Astro-Zombies M3: Cloned
2012: Astro-Zombies M4: Invaders from Cyberspace
2016: The Corpse Grinders (executive producer and cameo role)
Image credits: Ralph Fountain
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