The Doll Squad
A precursor to Charlie's Angels, Fox Force Five, and the entire oeuvre of Andy Sedaris, Ted V. Mikels' 1973 humdinger The Doll Squad offers just enough laughable camp to skate by its surprising paucity of true exploitation. When an evil madman plans to unleash an army of plague-infected rats into the world, the CIA sends an elite team of tightly clad vixens to infiltrate his exotic island fortress. While The Doll Squad succeeds in delivering the low level of performance and execution its camp-prone plot begs for as well as satisfying a Z-movie thirst for gratuitous violence and ludicrous special effects it never gets its mind far enough down in the gutter. Fans of unrated movies about chick assassins demand sex, and Mikels never even offers so much as a bare breast (pasties don't count). We're talking PG-13, at the worst. The 2000 Hollywood film version of Charlie's Angels is comparatively racy. Nevertheless, Mikels' ineptitude is frequently amusing, and his film would serve as a pleasant appetizer for any bad movie party. As part of Image Entertainment's "Cult Cinema Collection," The Doll Squad has a clean anamorphic transfer (1.78:1) with a remarkably well-kept print for such a cheaply made film; audio is in Dolby Digital mono. But the commentary by Mikels must rank as one of the very worst ever recorded, with the aging director cooing, cackling, parroting dialogue, and engaging in rhetorical conversations with the onscreen characters. Also on board is a pointless, absurdly lame seven-minute audio track of reminiscences from co-star Tura Satana. The best feature, movie included, is the selection of trailers for other Mikels discs available from Image, including Ten Violent Women (which looks more along the lines of what most folks would want from The Doll Squad), The Corpse Grinders, the infamously titled Blood Orgy of the She-Devils, and the simply unbelievable The Worm Eaters. Trailer, keep-case.