Ted V. Mikels, a grindhouse legend and B-movie mainstay for decades, passed away in his Las Vegas home on October 16, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The cause of death hasn’t been specified beyond mention of a “long illness,” but it is known that the 87-year-old filmmaker known for such films as “Girl in Gold Boots,” “The Astro-Zombies” and “The Doll Squad” will leave a lasting legacy in his corner of the film world.
Born Theodore Mikacevich on April 29, 1929 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Mikels had an interest in everything from photography to fire-eating in his younger years. He began producing educational documentaries and short films in the 1950s, by which time he lived in Bend, Oregon, before making his first film, “Strike Me Deadly,” in 1963. He became highly prolific thereafter, staking a claim for himself in the realm of exploitation cinema with the alluringly titled “Dr. Sex,” “One Shocking Moment” and “The Black Klansman” over the next three years.
Among his more recent work were several more installments in the “Astro-Zombies” franchise and last year’s “Paranormal Extremes: Text Messages from the Dead.” In the foreword to Kevin J. Lindenmuth’s “Making Movies On Your Own,” Mikels wrote that, though filmmaking is hardly the most lucrative career, “you can always entertain yourselves and close friends by showing your film in your own home late at night.”