Ted V. Mikels (born Theodore Mikacevich; April 29, 1929 – October 16, 2016) was an American independent filmmaker primarily of the horror cult film genre. Movies that he has both produced and directed include Girl in Gold Boots (1968), The Astro-Zombies (1968), and The Doll Squad (1973).
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.
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 filmmaking 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.”
In the 1950s, Mikels moved to Bend, Oregon, joined the Bend Community Players little theater group, 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 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.
In 1993, Mikels began running run TVM Studios, a film and video production studio based in Las Vegas, Nevada. 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.
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