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Image Entertainment presents
The Girl in Gold Boots (1969)

"I used to have such a pretty mind."
- Joan (Bara Byrnes)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: November 16, 2001

Stars: Leslie McRae, Tom Pace, Jody Daniel
Other Stars: Mark Herron, Bara Byrnes
Director: Ted V. Mikels

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, nudity, drug use)
Run Time: 01h:30m:40s
Release Date: October 23, 2001
UPC: 014381083422
Genre: cult

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B+A+C+ B-

DVD Review

The Girl In Gold Boots marks an interesting turn for director Ted V. Mikels, one of the great trash kings of cinema, in that it isn't about ghouls or mad-scientist-like plans to take over the world. Rather, it's your garden variety "good girl goes to the bad city" exploitation story, done Mikels-style, complete with unforgettably bad dialogue, goofy characters, and the necessady sinister, sleazy showbiz types. Most importantly, though, Mikels makes it work and makes it entertaining; well worth watching. Now, as much as I'd like to talk about how this is some subtle masterpiece or an underrated gem of revolutionary technique, it isn't. It's just plain old sex, drugs, and rock-'n'-roll.

The story follows Michele (Leslie McRae), a waitress at a roadside diner (called "EAT") who dreams of becoming a professional dancer. One day, an interesting though criminal fellow named Buz (Tom Pace) shows up at the diner and offers her the chance to make it big in LA if she'll foot the bill to get him there unscathed. Little does she know Buz actually intends to rob her, until he figures out an easier way to get money out of her. Michele also meets a curious fellow named 'Critter' (Jody Daniel); a sort of wandering minstrel type who spouts philosophy about peace, love, and happiness (and looks like a young Kurt Russell). Eventually, all of them hook up together to get to California, but Buz grows resentful of Critter because Michele basically likes him more and he's mysteriously very wealthy. His dark secret, however, is that he's a draft dodger on the run.

Once in Los Angeles, Michele discovers the dark side of dancing at the Go-Go Revue club; soon learning how the owners deal drugs and dabble in other criminal enterprises. Once she's in too deep, she falls under the thumb of Buz and his superiors, and Critter winds up stuck as a janitor who's expected to help deal drugs. As you might imagine, things get ugly and downright violent when the world of crime meets the world of dancing. Mikels leaves little to the imagination as we see just about every depraved act possible by these poor victims of circumstance. Leslie also uncovers a sinister prostitution sideline that the Go-Go Revue owners have going, and she may have to become part of it or wind up homeless and broke on the streets of LA. Unlike most sleazy showbiz exploitation films, though, Ted Mikels manages to add a bit of charm here and there, and lightens the mood a little by shifting the plot tnear the end towards Leslie and Critter trying to reclaim control of their lives and get back at Buz and crew.

Girl In Gold Boots is mostly entertaining because it's such a fun film. A lot of that comes from portions that are laughable, especially the dialogue, but it comes down to how one defines a "bad" movie. Sure, technically there's a lot to ridicule in this horribly dated, skewed flick, but if it entertains you, it's basically done it's job. Hollywood has recently tried making similar films in the form of Showgirls and Coyote Ugly, but without the enthusiasm and willingness to get crazy, weird and potentially make a fool of yourself, there's no energy or passion. When, like Ted Mikels, you're so desperate to make a car in the distance LOOK like a police car by attaching tin cans to the top, you respect that desperation. That's what makes it fun and surely defines Mikels as an eccentric genius of sorts.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1:78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Image quality is very impressive, with the cleanest and most colorful print of the film I've ever seen. While there are a variety of source problems (scratches, tears, discolorations), the high bit-rate transfer eases their effect on the overall movie. Like previous home video versions of Gold Boots, there are quite a number of skips and frames missing, some of which add a level of unintentional humor to the movie. The color seems improved, though, with much of the fading gone, creating an amazingly vibrant picture with solid white/black level. Certainly the best this has ever looked.

Image Transfer Grade: A+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The mono soundtrack is in reasonable condition, but has some pops and hissing throughout. The source quality seems higher than expected, though, with no harshness or flatness; the constant musical score sounds amazingly good given the age.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director Ted V. Mikels
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Lobby Card Gallery
Extras Review: By far the best extra feature is a commentary track by director Ted V. Mikels. Although he's not quite as talkative and animated as some directors, he still manages to have fun with the commentary, often satirizing his own work while discussing trivia on how it got made. It makes a very good listen for any Mikels fan. A gallery of original lobby cards is also featured (shown in a reel format), as well as trailers for all of Image's Ted V. Mikels series (including The Doll Squad) There's some nice full-motion menus with some great quotes from the film, as well as a healthy 18 chapter stops.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

It's nice to see the films of Ted Mikels getting this kind of respect and treatment. Girl In Gold Boots might be just exploitation T&A, but it's far more entertaining than half its imitators.


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