WHAT A DOLL!

By 1973, the sixties spy craze had practically run its course. One of the last films during this time period was the action B-film The Doll Squad, directed by Ted V. Mikels. Francine York energetically played Sabrina, a CIA agent and leader of The Doll Squad. She is assigned by CIA operative Connolly (Anthony Eisley) to stop a madman who plans to overthrow the governments from around the world by unleashing thousands of rats infected with the bubonic plague. After contacting two of her members to re-join the Doll Squad they are ambushed and killed. Realizing that there is a mole in Connolly’s office, Sabrina deduces that it is his secretary, which leads to a catfight complete with hair pulling. Sabrina gets the vixen to reveal that the mastermind is Eamon O’Reilly (Michael Ansara), a former agent and Sabrina’s lover. After rounding up four more deadly dolls including Cat (Sherri Vernon) and Lavelle (Tura Satana), the Doll Squad, decked out in black jumpsuits with white go-go boots, heads to O’Reilly’s island fortress. After a series of explosions and gun battles, O’Reilly captures Sabrina. As he is about to eliminate her, the wily agent sprays him with her mace ring and stabs him with a sword.

The Doll Squad was one of Mikels’ (who had previously directed Astro-Zombies) bigger budgeted films. Though with a little more funding for special effects and extra time for shooting, Mikels could have had a winner. However, it was good enough for ABC to “borrow” the idea for their new series Charlie Angels. Or that is what Mikels claims and York wholeheartedly agrees with. “Ted went to the producers with the premise,” states Francine York emphatically. “They even asked me to audition for Charlie’s Angels and I would have been perfect for it. Charlie Grauman made a pass at me, I turned him down, and that was the end of that!

At a recent screening in LA, the still gorgeous Francine York introduced the movie. See below as the energetic York recalls the making of the film whilea disinterested audience barely acknowledges her presence. Shame on them!

 

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