Ted V. Mikels’ 1973 movie The Doll Squad is a trashy low budget flick with a team of cat suited female assassins led by Francine York (The Nutty Professor) and including the remarkable Tura Satana (Faster Pussycat Kill Kill Kill) sent to thwart a madman attempting to launch a new strain of bubonic plague on an unsuspecting world. It’s also somewhat doubtfully touted as the inspiration for Charlie’s Angels. It’s trashy and ludicrous, highly camp with a typically far out groovy soundtrack from Nicholas Carras who treats proceedings like he is scoring the latest James Bond film, of which he’s clearly influenced.
Carras was predominantly known for his work conducting for television, including Lassie, The Fugitive, and Barnaby Jones. His film work includes Omega Syndrome, Dr Sex, The Astro-Zombies and Honeymoon of Terror. The Doll Squad fits right within this Z-grade oeuvre, with its funky 70’s aesthetic, cool organ grooves, funky wah and driving horns. There’s even a little bit of flute action. Actually the score is too good for the film, though it does elevate it or at the very least lend some much needed credibility to proceedings. The orchestration and arrangements are immaculate. This is a high level funk soundtrack and works well as a stand alone to the film, particularly as some of the more ludicrous dialogue appears between tracks.
Often soundtracks live or die by the film they are saddled with. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Doll Squad is every bit as inventive and interesting , but more importantly funky, as the work of John Barry or Lalo Schiffrin. Which makes you wonder how Carras would be remembered today if he worked on films of a similar calibre.