Slice of SciFi #102: Interview with Cult Filmmaker Ted V. Mikels

Radio Info: Since we’ve been getting more and more feedback from XM Radio listeners, Mike gives an update on how the show airs on XM, and why sometimes the news may be a little bit older than listeners were hoping for.

Ted V. Mikels

News Bytes:

  • Angelina Jolie is willing to join James MacAvoy and Morgan Freeman in Wanted, for filming in May.
  • Beginning May 1, the HD-In Demand Channel will be renamed Mojo and start new programming for upscale men aged 25 to 54. Much of the programming will cover sports, gambling, comedy, music and world travel — with a smattering of SF.
  • MIT grad student and Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Award winner Nathan Bell developed an ascender apparatus and technique that allows a firefighter with a full load to bound up as high as 30 stories in about 30 seconds.

    What normally takes a man carrying a 100 pound load several minutes to do via a stairwell can be done in a matter of seconds by using Bell’s device known as The Atlas Rope Ascender. While originally designed with firefighters and rescue workers in mind, the possibilities for amusement park rides abound.

Movie Talk:

  • Nimrod Antal will be directing “Vacancy”, written by Mark L. Smith and starring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale, and follows a stranded couple as the try to escape from being the next victims of a killer video taping his victims.
  • Highlander‘s Adrian Paul stars in “Seance”, also written by Mark L. Smith, tells the story of five college students trying to rid their dormitory of the ghost of a troubled little girl. “Seance” was the winner of the Horror Genre Award at the 2006 Modesto ShockerFest.
  • “Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill” is new on DVD, and has a group of college students on a road trip finding themselves in a life and death struggle against a band of revenge-seeking Civil War Confederate zombie soldiers.

TV Talk:

  • Battlestar Galactica executive producer David Eick signed a contract extension with NBC Universal, according to reports from TV Guide On-Line. Eick will continue working with Galactica show-runner Ron Moore on the fourth season of the hit sci-fi show as well as the proposed sequel Caprica.

    Caprica, which was once thought to be a slam dunk, will have its fate decided soon, according to Variety.

    Eick is also developing two other pilots for NBC Universal. One is an update of The Bionic Woman for NBC. The other is Them for FOX, which will follow the story of sleeper cells of extraterrestial terrorists. James D’Arcy, Rachel Nicohosl, Ben Feldman and Reg Rogers have all been linked to the project. This past week it was announced that Galactica’s Tricia Helfer had joined the cast.

  • Kiefer Sutherland’s production company East Side Entertainment has landed a deal with the SCI FI Channel to produce and create a two-hour pilot for a possible weekly series called Phenomenon. The show looks at a team of scientists and medical professionals as they investigate events that seem to defy the known laws of physics and established truths about the biological sciences. This specialized team is led by a young female prodigy, who is somewhat of a mystery herself.
  • Mike also talks a little about Acceptable TV, a new show coming to the airwaves from VH1.

Interview: Cult filmmaker Ted V. Mikels joins us, and Sam runs away with the interview! Some of Ted’s cult films include The Astro Zombies, co-written with a very young Wayne Rogers of M*A*S*H fame, the very campy cult favorite Corpse Grinders and Bloody Orgy of the She Devils. Michael Ansara, best known by sci-fi fans as the Klingon Captain Kang from the original Star Trek series and years later on Deep Space Nine and Voyager, worked with Ted on his movie The Doll Squad which dealt with an elite army of female assassins.

Ted talks about his famous one-time home, the Glendale Castle, what it takes in the way of personal and financial sacrifice to put together an independent cult film and that many times, the payback isn’t monetary but the satisfaction of seeing your creations well received and still being talked about over 40 years later.

There’s so much to cover, we couldn’t fit it all into one interview segment… We’ll have more from Ted real soon!

Future Talk: Andrew Currie’s latest film, “FIDO”, takes place in a future that has residents of the small town of Willard living in a 1950’s era lifestyle, where the sun always shines, the moon is full and bright, everybody knows their neighbors and brain eating zombies deliver the mail, stack the store shelves and walk the family dog.

FIDO is a comedy horror film that is a mix of Planet of the Apes, Pleasantville and Night of the Living Dead, with just a dash of Animal House.

FIDO opened in several countries this month, including Canada and will get its U.S. theatrical release on June 15, 2007.

Listener comments: If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know. We’ve got plenty of voicemail from fans to listen and respond to, but you’ll hear that in a fresh, separate show.


  1. says

    Mike, you’re not the only one kicking yourself for not seeing Casino Royale in theaters. I had the exact same experience this week after watching the movie.

    Great stuff.

  2. Magess says

    I really liked Casino Royale. It should definitely be moved to the top of the queue.

    Hmmm… an Adrian Paul movie? That usually doesn’t turn out well… not that that keeps me from seeing them. 😉 Although, it is a horror flick, which I don’t tend to see. Maybe I’ll wait to rent it.

  3. says

    I didn’t catch Casino Royale in theaters either, but watched it on Blu-Ray on the PS3. Even my wife thought the PS3 was worth the price after that.