Ted V. Mikels – filmmaker

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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 fifteen, 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.


Select filmography:

1963: Strike Me Deadly

1964: Doctor Sex

1965: One Shocking Moment

1968: Girl in Gold Boots

astro zombies2

1968: The Astro-Zombies

1971: The Corpse Grinders

1973: Blood Orgy of the She-Devils


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

2015: Paranormal Extremes: Text Messages from the Dead


2016: The Corpse Grinders (executive producer and cameo role)

Image credits: Ralph Fountain


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