The Ghastly One: The Sex-Gore Netherworld of Filmmaker Andy Milligan

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9781556524950: The Ghastly One: The Sex-Gore Netherworld of Filmmaker Andy Milligan

From 1965 to 1988, Andy Milligan made an astounding 29 exploitation movies, including Gutter Trash, Torture Dungeon, The Ghastly Ones, Seeds, Bloodthirsty Butchers, and Fleshpot on 42nd Street. For most of the shlockmeisters, exploitation was a joke. But for Milligan-a sadist, a misogynist, a maniac-this was his own private reality. The Fassbinder of 42nd Street, Milligan brought a crazed intensity to his work, making films of the heart in a milieu where the only art was the con. Based on hundreds of interviews, excerpts from lost movies and plays, and ranting narratives from Milligan himself, this is a story of how one unrelenting soul attempted to escape his demons and create his own twisted universe, a universe peopled by abortion-clinic bombers, undercover transsexuals, disgruntled hustlers, and bestiality-loving exhibitionists. This is a tale of violence-physical, sexual, and psychological. Even the author himself got sucked in, appearing in one of Milligan's last gore-fests and nearly getting killed in the process. The sick secrets revealed in this book will unnerve even hard-core grind house fans. But The Ghastly One-profusely illustrated with rare and strange stills shot by Milligan himself-isn't just about a lone lunatic with a movie camera. It's a funny, unbelievable, and oddly moving history of exploitation films as well as a vivid portrait of New York's infamous Caffé Cino, the Warhol crowd, and the vibrant but malevolent place called Times Square and what got lost when it sold its soul to Mickey Mouse.

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About the Author:

Jimmy McDonough is the author of the Neil Young biography Shakey. He has also contributed to such publications as The Village Voice, Variety, Film Comment, Mojo, Spin, and Juggs. He lives in Amboy, Washington.

From Publishers Weekly:

Milligan's greatest films were The Orgy at Lil's Place, The Naked Witch, Fleshpot on 42nd Street and Monstrosity (a violent, bloody rape revenge fantasy that was a cross between Frankenstein and The Golem). Shooting on budgets that hovered around $10,000, Milligan who turned out 29 movies between 1965 and 1988 was infamous; his movies were appallingly shot, often ludicrously plotted shock films that played in 42nd Street grind houses, drive-ins and avant-garde film festivals. No easy subject for a biographer, Milligan, who died of AIDS in 1990 at the age of 61, was drawn to (in no particular order) drugs, violence, s&m sex, misogyny and general weirdness. McDonough's verbatim interviews, which form the spine of the book, reveal a man who could be alternately brutally honest, obstructionist, deceitful and quite kind. McDonough (who has written for the Village Voice and Spin) is careful to add well-researched, nuanced context. His portrait of Milligan's importance to the famous Caffe Cino, for example, considered to be the beginnings of Off-Broadway, are startling, notable additions to theater history. Although McDonough is a loyal fan he even worked with Milligan's production team as part of his research he maintains a critical eye and provides a worthy historical overview of both the aesthetics and business of exploitative cinema. Students of popular American culture, film, as well as of gender and gay and lesbian studies, will relish this intelligent portrait. 91 b&w photos. Agent, Jeff Posternak/Andrew Wylie.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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