Ted V. Mikels was one of those directors who lurked at the edge of my consciousness a few decades ago thanks to the low-rent notoriety of such genre B-flicks as The Astro-Zombies (1968) and The Corpse Grinders (1972). Well, actually those two were it. He’d made other films, but those others weren’t on my radar. Still, AZ and Corpse Grinders were enough to draw him out of total obscurity, even though when I finally saw them they didn’t raise him to the top tier of exploitationers in my mind. Entertaining, yes — and maybe that’s good enough for Ted.
I’d thought that was it for Mr Mikels, however; but it now appears that he’s back with a vengeance. His career since those films has been reasonably invisible (though far from non-existent), but, like many other old-time directors, reviving his “classics” post-Millennium seems have given him new life.
In 2000 he made The Corpse Grinders 2; then in 2002 returned to his skull-headed, machete-wielding space undead with Mark of the Astro-Zombies:
Neither set the world on fire, but now he’s raging into production with Astro-Zombies M3: Cloned. On Bmovienews, Ted describes the project this way:
Shooting in June here in Las Vegas. We’re cloning ASTRO ZOMBIES from the left-over remains of the destroyed ASTRO ZOMBIES from MARK OF THE ASTRO ZOMBIES. DeMarco’s niece, Stephanie, working at area 51 with government supervision, is cloning an army of AZ’s to fight the nation’s wars, saving human lives. (Dr. DeMarco was John Carradine in my fist AZ movie.) It’ll be a campy Sci-Fi/Horror movie, fun to make, from a story and script by Cory Udler and myself.
But that’s not all. Ted’s most recent film is one that features a gigantic CGI monster demon — and as you know that’s enough to pique my interest.
Demon Haunt is into post-production and will be released soon.
Here is a conceptual picture of the lead demon:
And some images from the film:
Which should give you some idea what we’re in for!