SHOCK chats with cult legend Ted V. Mikels about the making of a zombie classic.
Yes, you read that headline right.
Now, for those of you not in the know, you might be asking yourself, “Wait a minute, Chris…BOB CLARK made CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, not Ted V. Mikels!”
Well, you’re mostly right.
Clark, the soon-to-be-legendary Florida based, Canadian made-famous, filmmaker indeed directed and conceived that sweaty, strange, psychotronic horror hit, along with collaborator Alan Ormsby.
But if it wasn’t for Mikels, we might never have seen it. Or at least, the version we’d have wouldn’t be what it is.
Mikels, as every good horror fan knows, is the wildman of the indie downmarket cult movie world, the man who gave us such storied stuff as THE ASTRO ZOMBIES, THE CORPSE GRINDERS, BLOOD ORGY OF THE SHE-DEVILS and dozens upon dozens of other notable trash masterworks.
But love those gems or don’t, the fact is that Mikels was – and remains – a real deal maverick. A self-taught lover of movies and an unapologetic gear-hound who had his fingers in hundreds of cinematic pies, working tirelessly in the 1960s, throughout the 1970s, writing, directing, producing, editing and overseeing a myriad projects, most of them his, some he’d simply come on board to help out with.
One of those movies was indeed Clark’s seminal 1972 living dead melodrama.
One might wonder how an LA based (Mikels is almost 87 now and STILL making tons of movies, now out of his Nevada home) ended up hanging out in Florida with a bunch of post-hippie lunatics, making the film that would be known as CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS.
Well, we spoke to Ted yesterday, an epic chat that we plan to run in segments here at SHOCK over the next few months, and got the low-down on his involvement in the film. And though IMDB swears Mkels was merely the executive producer of the picture (he actually receives no on screen credit), according to Ted he was so much more than that…
Here then, is that audio interview. Sit back and enjoy the stories…