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  Doll Squad, The Girl Power
Year: 1973
Director: Ted V. Mikels
Stars: Francine York, Michael Ansara, Anthony Eisley, Tura Satana, John Carter, Rafael Campos, William Bagdad, Lillian Garrett, Jean London, Leigh Christian, Sherri Vernon, Bret Zeller, Carol Terry, Judith McConnell, Lisa Todd, Gustaf Unger, Herb Robins
Genre: Action, Trash, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Victor Connelly (Anthony Eisley) has invited Senator Stockwell (John Carter) to witness the launch of the latest Starflight space rocket, but as they sit in his office watching the countdown on the monitor, a strange voice is heard over the speaker, offering them a warning. No sooner has the rocket taken to the skies than it explodes, and act of sabotage that Connelly realises was the work of a criminal mastermind - but what can he and his fellow government representatives do about it? How about doing as the computer suggests and calling in The Doll Squad?

Trash auteur Ted V. Mikels had a bone to pick with Aaron Spelling a few years after this film was released, because he claimed this is what the Charlie's Angels TV show was based on, but in truth it's closer to the James Bond spoofs of the 60's, except that to all appearances we were intended to take this seriously. It has the logic of those playground games you used to play when you were little, and on that level it's quite good fun, for a while at least, but things do start to pall when it dawns on you that every scene is pretty much conveyed in the same manner, and Mikels really needed to add a dash of variety.

Not helping was Nicholas Carras' score which may have been about as seventies as it's possible to get, but made this seem monotonous when it ran through what sounded like the whole of the movie with very little variation. But that wouldn't count for much when we could watch an all-woman hit squad, all decked out in black jumpsuits with a white stripe down one side, kicking ass all over the place would it? Certainly Quentin Tarantino was impressed with the concept when he lifted their look for his DIVAS team in his Kill Bill films, but as can be the case, the reference to the work in question can be more fun than the source.

Francine York was the leader, playing Sabrina Kincaid who merely has to click her fingers (figuratively speaking) and she is backed up by an elite group of assassins with a can-do attitude. Among those ladies was Tura Satana, best known for Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! but here showing she appeared in other films as well, although here she is very much in a supporting role, yet among the actresses she would probably be the most recognisable. Actually, each member of The Doll Squad were fairly interchangeable - as long as they looked good in a bikini then they were in, as far as Mikels was concerned.

But even the patience was tested after you had the measure of it, there were various lunacies to watch out for: the very noisy computers, the equally noisy rats, the exploding guards (hilarious), the guards who shun sitting inside their vehicles like normal people and sit on top of them instead, the inventive electrocution scene... Main bad guy Michael Ansara looked to be enjoying himself even if you were not as he schemed to introduce bubonic plague to the world so he could, I dunno, take over or whatever your typical megalomaniac wanted to do. Eventually the plot settled into a lot of running about and watching the henchmen get offed - the "death acting" here was quite something - actually, the last half hour of the first Charlie's Angels movie is kind of similar to the last hour of this. If it had been made now you'd think it was a video game adaptation. But what did blowing up the rocket at the start have to do with the rest of the film?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Ted V. Mikels  (1929 - 2016)

Ostentatious, characterful Z-grade director whose film career spanned more than 50 years. The best thing about his movies are invariably the titles, but there are some cheesy pleasures to be found in the likes of The Black Klansman,The Astro-Zombies, Blood Orgy of the She Devils, 10 Violent Women, The Doll Squad and The Corpse Grinders. Still directed, and ran film-making seminars right until his death.

 
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