Ten Violent Women (1982) Poster

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Not a "10", but who's counting?
madsagittarian16 October 2002
Flabbergasting is the word for this mighty entry in the canon of Ted V. Mikels, the Grade Z journeyman of 30-plus years of schlock. His films are so terrible, and not necessarily in an endearing kind of way, that you don't know whether to deify or damn the man for persistently, self-reliantly, churning out such endless truffle... his way or no way. Perhaps Mikels is the last of the true independents...

Anyway, this amusing piece of tedium concerns the exploits of some high-kicking gals (and there are eight, not ten, by the way) who, after they get even with some pervert slob at their job in a mine (in a real "Huh?" of an opening), decide to have some more adventure by plotting an intricate heist of a jewelry store and then rip off a "fence", which proves to be their undoing. As the picture lumbers along, the number of women in this club begin to dwindle. Finally, there are two left, who get sent to a tough women's prison (actually, a boiler room, but never mind) where they become at odds with a stereotypical butch lesbian warden (who probably has an 8mm copy of SEVEN BEAUTIES in her desk), and plot to escape.

I have not mentioned the names, nor any distinguishing traits of the girls. So -uh- "impressionistic" is this "uncompromising testament of women getting even in a male-dominated society" full of "dramatic irony" when they meet their retribution in the form of a woman (who is actually more male)... oh to hell with it. There is zero characterization; faint names are dropped here and there, but good luck matching them to the proper girl. In fact, the solely solid character in the entire piece is director Mikels himself, ironically, in his wonderful cameo as the fence whom the too-confident female mob attempts to rob.

But otherwise, this is yet another Ted Mikels home movie that actually got sold for release (if perhaps only on home video). The best attempts at artistry are the Neo-Realistic prison love scenes, which are so simply because they had no lights! That scene alone accounts for the dreariness that pervades this picture. The elusive tone of 10 VIOLENT WOMEN is interesting-- although it attempts to appease the R-rated audience with sex and violence, the movie is actually quite juvenile in its approach.

The completists of the wide wonderful world of Grade Z cinema will probably want to check this film out anyway. (Why else did I sit through Larry Buchanan's MISTRESS OF THE APES?) But for the sane viewer, their Ted Mikels fix will be abetted with THE DOLL SQUAD instead.
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Shot in 1978 and not released until 1987 AND it's by Ted Mikels....need I say more?!
MartinHafer4 December 2013
In the history of cinema, you'd have a tough time thinking of a worse filmmaker than Ted Mikels. Although Ed Wood Jr. has gotten a lot of attention by creating abominable (yet sadly funny) films like "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and "Glen or Glenda", Mikels' record of schlock films is far more impressive (is that the right word?)--with such notable crap films as "The Corpse Grinders", "The Worm Eaters", "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things", "The Astro-Zombies", "Girl in the Gold Boots" (currently on IMDb's Bottom 100 list) and "Apartheid Slave-Women's Justice" to his credit (or, discredit). And, this list is only a smattering of the sort of crap Mikels has created and continues to create to this day.

Oddly, however, although I admit that his films are horrible in every way, I make it a point to watch them whenever I can. This is because I am a glutton for punishment and occasionally like laughing at an inept and stupid film. Some of this is because I often watch and review art films, foreign movies and the like--and sometimes I just need a break (especially since some of these can be depressing or pretentious). And, Mikels films are sure a far cry from the norm!!! Eight lady miners (who look NOTHING like miners) decide that this sort of work isn't for them, so they decide to devote themselves to a life of crime. However, things don't go well and they are sent to prison--where there is, naturally, a sadistic girl-lovin' guard in charge (a standard cliché for bad movie makers during the 70s and early 80s). What happens next is for you to discover for yourself....if you can stomach it!

Like any of Mikels' masterpieces, this one features bad acting, an annoying and very invasive soundtrack, inept direction and nothing to recommend it. Unlike some of Mikels' earlier films, this one has a bit of nudity and rough language but unlike his most recent films, it at least appears to have been filmed with a real movie camera (he's taken to using what looks like an iPhone or super-cheap home movie camera for his more recent films). And, unless you like terrible films, there's nothing to recommend this one...nothing. A wonderful example of how bad Mikels can be but not a particularly fun movie to watch.

By the way, I actually found one Mikels film that was, inexplicably, pretty good. One of his earliest films, "Black Klansman", is actually well done and make you wonder how Mikels' films got progressively worse instead of progressively better!
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Lighting? Who Needs Lighting?
utgard144 December 2013
There's something liberating about watching a movie with many scenes so dark you can't tell what's happening. You get to make up your own movie. And brother let me tell you no matter how terrible your idea is, it's miles better than this trash. It's not all dark though. There are dimly lit scenes where you can tell what's going on. Savor these moments. Memorize each person's clothing as that will be the only way you can tell them apart when the darkness returns. The most well-lit scenes take place outside. Perhaps the sun should receive a lighting credit. As with every Ted Mikels movie, there's a little bit of cheesecake. But unless you're really hard up its nothing to get hot & bothered over. Avoid this crapper.
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"the story of 10 beautiful women who live in a castle"
mooree2113 April 2007
I had the pleasure, nay, the honor to watch Ted V. Mikels's "10 Violent Women" not once, but twice; the second time being with Mikel's own commentary sounding out like the voice of god. His opening commentary starts with his saying, "This is the story of 10 beautiful women who live in a castle" though there was never a castle and there were only 8 women throughout the movie. The entire movie serves to satisfy Mikel's own old man perversions. The scenes are too dark to tell what's going on, the acting makes Paris Hilton look like she deserves an Oscar for "House of Wax". summed up... One one of the greatest bad movies of all time, par only to "Show Girls".
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Exploitation Film (Without the Exploitation)
Michael_Elliott3 December 2013
Ten Violent Women (1982)

1/2 (out of 4)

Director Ted V. Mikels takes at least two different genres and throws them together but the end result is yet another deadly dull disaster. A group of women working in a dangerous mine grow tired of that so they decide to rob a jewelry store, which leads to an issue when a valuable jewel they stole is wanted by its crazed owner. Eventually the women get involved with a drug deal that soon leads them to prison where they're abused by the wicked female warden. TEN VIOLENT WOMEN is an utter disaster no matter how you look at it. I've said this countless times before but I really enjoy Mikels and his style and energy but sadly this very rarely transfers to the screen. If you've seen interviews with Mikels or even the documentary done on him then you know he's an interesting person and someone you'd love to hang out with. The problem is that the majority of his movies are deadly dull and that's certainly the case here. This thing mixes up several genres but sadly the result is just bad. The worse part is that this exploitation film contains very little exploitation and instead the director takes a fun genre (women in prison) and turns it into a kid's flick. I say this because of the lack of nudity and there's even a shower sequence here where the women wrestle but in their bra and panties. What the heck is that all about? There are simply way too many other women in prison films out there that offer much more than what we get here. The first portion of the film deals with the various robberies but these too are just boring and drag on forever. Obviously there's way too much filler going on here and with a running time of 96-minutes it feels longer than Roots. The performances are as bad as you'd expect but so is everything else here.
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If You Must Watch a Ted Mikels Film...
boblipton1 December 2013
Having watched several of Mr. Mikels' films over the years for no clear reason, the only thing I can say about most of them is that they are not as cluelessly inept as Edward D. Woods Jr. This, unfortunately omits the goggle factor as you stop and rewind to make sure that, yes, indeed, Mr. Woods did indeed do that. Mr. Mikels never astonishes in that way, which means there's usually absolutely no reason to watch them, except to wonder how he continued to raise money for the next one.

Nonetheless, you may feel the need to look at one of Mr. Mikels movies for yourself. That's all well and good with me; I'm not often here to tell you what to watch, but more about what you'll see if you watch attentively. On that basis, I'd like to make your experiment a little less painful, and this one actually has some decent underlit cinematography by Yuval Shousterman. Perhaps this was a means of coping with a budget so small that they couldn't afford any lights, but then, a good lighting man can make a virtue of necessity.
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'10 Violent Women' so Bad it's—Well, Really, it's Just Horrible
ascheland23 December 2013
There are plenty of directors who could make a crime comedy/women in prison movie as bad as "10 Violent Women," but only Ted V. Mikels could make it a chore to watch.

The titular women (initially eight, not 10) are working as gold miners (seriously) at the movie's opening, but when the one man on the crew detonates some dynamite and almost kills one of the women, they decide, naturally, to turn to crime—"with class"—for easy money. So they rob a jewelry store, though for all their talk of wanting easy money their plan is unnecessarily complex, involving decoys, disguises and one working on the inside (I think; the storytelling is only slightly less murky than the lighting). Usually when robberies have such elaborate set-ups the goal is to make off with the loot without the victim realizing she or he has been ripped off until the thieves are long gone. But apparently that's too stealthy for our violent women, so they end up holding the store owner up at gunpoint anyway, taking his "assistant" (who may—or may not—be one of the violent women) hostage. They ditch their wigs and stolen limo in an alley then, after stopping in a park for a lame water gun fight, our women head for Vegas to fence the stolen goods. Sheila (Sally Alice Gamble) is the one who seems to have some connections, in that she knows a guy who sorta knows another guy, so she arranges to sell the stolen jewels to Leo (Mr. Mikels himself, making a much better impression as an actor than director). When Leo tries to pay the women in bags of cocaine, they attack him and leave with the jewels and cocaine—but not before Sheila finishes him off by stomping her high heeled shoe into his chest.

Besides being the movie's high point, the death by high heels scene is the demarcation line when "10 Violent Women" goes from "so bad it might actually be kind of fun" to "Oh, God, when will this thing be over?" Sheila is the older one of the group (one online reviewer accurately described her as looking like Mrs. Roper on "Three's Company") but she's not the smartest. After getting blitzed on tequila, she approaches two men in a bar and asks if they'd be interested in buying the coke, even though it's so obvious they're cops they might as well be in uniform. In short order: Sheila is killed when resisting arrest, three more girls escape and the remaining four end up in prison, where they join forces with two inmates (so I guess it does add up to 10 violent women after all). The prison sequence should be where we find the movie's moneyshots. But in "10 Violent Women," it's when it becomes a tedious bore, skimping on all the WIP staples: nudity, sex and violence. Only Georgia Morgan as the obligatory sadistic lesbian warden makes much of an impression. A mature woman with a blond pompadour, dragon lady nails and a cigarette-cured rasp, Morgan delivers the movie's best performance and would have been a perfect addition to John Waters' stable of actors. Unfortunately for her, "10 Violent Women" is Morgan's only movie.

Predictably the girls escape, their plan so easily executed you kind of wonder why no one tried breaking out sooner. The movie ends as stupidly as it began, with a twist that's only slightly less ludicrous than a group of women dressed as "Charlie's Angels" rejects working as gold miners in the 1970s.

It wouldn't have taken much to make "10 Violent Women" watchable: replacing a few members of the cast, if not for acting ability then for physical attributes (most of the women are fairly average looking); better lighting (or even just lighting); and more—a lot more—sex, nudity and violence. Some character development and imaginative storytelling would be a nice touch, too. Instead, "10 Violent Women" is a slog, its primary redeeming feature being retroactively making Mikels' earlier work ("Girl in Gold Boots," "The Doll Squad") seem artfully crafted by comparison.
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Grubby film from an inept filmmaker
Leofwine_draca4 August 2016
TEN VIOLENT WOMEN is a film that starts off as an all-female action movie before turning into a women-in-prison flick around the halfway mark. Whichever way you look at it, it's an awful film, which seems to be the norm for cult director Ted V. Mikels whose terrible BLOOD ORGY OF THE SHE-DEVILS I had the misfortune to sit through just last week. It's poorly shot throughout on cheap-looking cameras which shoot footage that is far too dark for the most part.

In any case, TEN VIOLENT WOMEN is an inane film with little plot and some truly terrible acting to behold. A group of women go around committing various robberies and the like before they're busted and sent to a sleazy prison. At this point all of the prison film clichés come out, like the cat fights, the butch guards, and the sadistic warden. Mikels throws a handful of grubby underwear and later topless scenes into his film in a bid to draw in the exploitation crowd, but as with BLOOD ORGY, this is surprisingly tame viewing. It's also a rubbish film with practically no redeeming values whatsoever.
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