In the last few months of 2020, I was introduced to writer/director Andy Milligan by way of FLESHPOT ON 42ND STREET. I enjoyed this early 1970's look at New York City hustlers so much that I purchased a DVD from Greece via eBay. My 2021 was rang in with popcorn, chocolate, a sleeping cat on my lap and the X-rated cut of FLESHPOT glowing from the TV. It was the most bizarre and fascinating New Year's Eve I've ever experienced.
Friday, April 9, 2021
freakboy on film: THE GHASTLY ONES / SEEDS OF SIN (an Andy Milligan double feature)
In March, TCM UNDERGROUND aired the R-rated cut of FLESHPOT again, along with another Andy Milligan film called GURU THE MAD MONK. It's a crazy film about a demented monk, a hunchback and a vampire living together in a monastery. Think THREE'S COMPANY with a body count, well...sort of. GURU compelled me to look up other Andy Milligan classics on IMDb and SEEDS OF SIN caught my eye. Unfortunately, this particular film wasn't streaming anywhere and I could only find a clip on You Tube. The one clip convinced me to order a double feature DVD.
Let's start with...
THE GHASTLY ONES (1968)
screenplay by Hal Sherwood & Andy Milligan / directed by Andy Milligan
Three sisters, and their respective husbands, are called to their ancestral home for the reading of their father's will. Once there, the drinks start flowing and the bodies begin piling up. Is the killer one of the sisters, one of the husbands or one of the three unsettling servants? I thought I had it figured out, but I was wrong.
Overall, I was entertained by THE GHASTLY ONES, except for gruesome scenes involving a real rabbit. My only other complaint is I wish the plot would have focused a bit more on the characters. Certain emotional elements with the sisters and the husbands are introduced, but not fully explored. Still, if you are in the mood for low-budget crazy horror, you could do worse than THE GHASTLY ONES!
Now to the reason we are here...
SEEDS OF SIN (1968)
screenplay by John Borske & Andy Milligan / directed by Andy Milligan
Welcome to a house of family dysfunction, secrets and sin! A sickly, cantankerous matriarch lives with her one-eyed male caretaker, daughter Carol and two conniving servants. The matriarch has other grown children but wants nothing to do with them. Carol, going against her mother's wishes, invites the estranged family home for Christmas. Well, holiday cheer quickly turns to murderous fear as family members get bumped off one by one by someone in the house. Now do you understand why this one caught my eye?
What the hell did I just watch? was what I thought at the end of the film. Don't get me wrong, I loved the crazy dialogue and shocking character revelations, but the film was edited in a seriously confusing way. Some of the other grown children are not really properly introduced, so good luck keeping track of who is who. I even thought one character was killed and came back to life, but I had misidentified two similar looking characters. To top off the confusion, the deleted scenes in the DVD bonus features shows us the death of a character who is barely in the actual film. Sadly, there is a reason for the horrible editing.
According to the back of the DVD box, producers and distributers wanted more sex in the film. How much more? Well, SEEDS OF SIN begins with an orgy that does NOT appear to involve any character from the film. Same goes for some of the other endless sex scenes scattered throughout. (Who the hell is getting it on now?). However, there are a few actual plot-related sex scenes, but even they go on far too long. The only interesting thing in these soft-core moments is the harsh lighting often gives the men a ghostly glow, especially their posteriors. (Damn, that's a seriously white ass!)
Overall, I really enjoyed this film, I think. SEEDS OF SIN was everything I expected in the family dysfunction angle, but nothing like I expected in just about every other angle. So, if you are in the mood for a choppy, disturbing, occasionally hard to follow nudie-horror film, SEEDS OF SIN might float your filmic boat! Oh, when I watch it again, and I will, there will be a lot of fast-forwarding during the sex scenes, which should up the entertainment factor.
In conclusion, I am beginning to think FLESHPOT ON 42ND STREET is Andy Milligan's masterpiece, though SEEDS OF SIN could've came close if important scenes had not been replaced by extra sex. However, I've barely scratched the surface. Thanks to an extremely intriguing trailer in the DVD bonus features, the late Andy Milligan isn't done with me yet.
Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.
P.S. A recently reviewed film I stumbled upon while searching for Andy Milligan films...