The Doll Squad

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Whenever the world faces grave danger, someone has to stand up and ensure peace is sustained and the threats are neutralized. But when crazed madman O’Riley (Michael Ansara) plans to loose rats infected with the bubonic plague, the need is even greater than ever before. So who will step forward and challenge this evil force, with so much danger involved? The Doll Squad will handle the situation and if you know these ladies, you’ll know what a hurricane of justice they can prove to become. This all female team is a force to be reckoned with, led by Sabrina (Francine York) and with four other girls to back her up, they make one hard group to defeat. The girls have backgrounds in scholastics, martial arts, weaponry mastery, and of course, erotic dancing, among other specialized fields. But even with their vast array of talents, O’Riley’s ruthless nature and assorted dirty tricks will be tough to overcome. But if there is a team in the world that can put an end to O’Riley’s antics, it is the toughest team to ever lace boots, The Doll Squad.

Before we had Charlie’s Angels, we had The Doll Squad, a Ted V. Mikels low budget picture about some asskicking females. As a fan of most of Mikels’ work, I am thrilled to see The Doll Squad on DVD, especially with such a nice treatment. The story here is what you’d expect, an outrageous plot that puts the world in danger and of course, only The Doll Squad has the skills needed to defuse the situation. This is 1970s cinema in the most wonderful form, with brown shag carpet everywhere, awesome skintight jumpsuits, and even some hilarious dated dialogue. I happen to like that about this movie, but your mileage may vary, especially if you dislike the visuals and texture of the 70s and the movie from the period. The girls are a lot of fun to watch, with their low rent martial arts skills, poor weapon handling, and such, but they look great, which is what counts here. I’d rather see a hot chick poorly load a bazooka than a well trained ugly chick, so I rest my case. I think most people would say this is a bad movie and I would have to agree, but it is also fun and in my opinion, that makes it more than worth a look, to be sure.

His resume is loaded with low budget movies, most of which have been rejected by the mainstream audiences. I happen to love some of his flicks however, especially The Doll Squad and as such, I praise the work of director Ted V. Mikels. No, this is not classical filmmaking and nor should it be, Mikels worked with a low budget and minimal resources, but still managed to deliver a fun, now cult classic picture. Even if he had a massive budget, the main elements would remain the same and I suspect the flaws would be present still also. You need plot holes and humorously bad dialogue in a film like this, it’s just a cool little movie, not Shakespeare. Other films directed by Mikels include Girl in Gold Boots, The Black Klansman, 10 Violent Women, The Corpse Grinders, Blood Orgy of the She-Devils, and Astro-Zombies. The cast here includes Francine York (The Family Man, The Centerfold Girls), Michael Ansara (The Bears and I, The Pink Jungle), and the immortal Tura Satana (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Irma la Douce).

Video: How does it look?

The Doll Squad is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. I had low expectations in regard to print quality here, but I was pleasantly surprised, as it turns out. The stock footage is obvious and some scenes have extensive flecks, but on the whole, the print looks terrific and some scenes simply sparkle. The dated colors have held up well, no real fades or smears to mention, while flesh tones appear natural at all times. The contrast is stable and provides good shadow presence, but some scenes do taper off somewhat. Even so, this is a fine transfer and I think fans will be quite thrilled, I know I was.

Audio: How does it sound?

I don’t have a lot to report on this front, as the included mono option is stable, but isn’t that memorable. The materials have some signs of wear, but nothing too serious and in the end, I was never too let down here. The very cool music comes through loud & clear in the mix, while sound effects are about as good as limited mono allows. You have to remember this movie had minimal cash injected into the sound budget, so keep those expectations on the ground. The dialogue is never harsh and sounds more than decent, considering the nature of the production. A more than adequate, but unimpressive experience, which is about all can ask for in this case.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc contains a filmography on Mikels, an audio interview with Tura Satana, and the film’s theatrical trailer. The main attraction here is an audio commentary with Mikels however, in which he reveals some insight as to the production of The Doll Squad. His comments sometimes lapse into talking about what’s on screen, but most of the time, Mikels is focused and offers more than a little behind the scenes information. Not his best session, but a more than solid one and it has some moments.

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