BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Dungeon of Andy Milligan Collection (1968 - 1984)

The Dungeon of Andy Milligan Collection

Mention independent director Andy Milligan in the wrong company and - WOW - you might find yourself submerged in the River of Jordan or receiving an exorcist by Father Merrin himself.  He is that reviled by church-going folk, but then so is Rob Zombie, so maybe you should reconsider the people you hang out with.  I mean, if they can’t enjoy Zombie singing "Living Dead Girl" or the sex-gore shenanigans of Milligan’s demented mind then, really, what good are they for you?

"regardless of your taste - each and every one of the movies included in this set are a testament to the SHEER passion and BLIND determination of Milligan, who preferred to slide around the seamy underbelly of low-budget American cinema"


The answer?  Not at all.  Milligan, widely known for his Staten Island-set exploitation movies, which include Gutter Trash, Torture Dungeon, The Ghastly Ones, Seeds, Bloodthirsty Butchers, and Fleshpot on 42nd Street, was an American playwright, screenwriter, actor, and filmmaker who died in 1991 from AIDS and, because he had absolutely NO MONEY,  was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave in Los Angeles.  He was hated by many and loved by few, but the films he left behind are unforgettable for a number of reasons.  

The point is that Milligan is LONG OVERDUE for a collection celebration and, honestly, there is no better company out there than Severin Films to give this auteur the "Mad Monk" send-off he so earnestly deserves.  And, to be frank with you, if you don't have the GUTS then STAY AWAY from this BADASS collection of TRASH!

You see, for Andy Milligan - who could give a fuck for editing, sound design, and telling a logical story from beginning to end - the camera and all it could do when it came to recording the depravity of man was a goddamned WEAPON.  And with this weapon in his bloody hand, Milligan advanced  upon his audience with a medieval mindset as perversion is embraced and murder, mutilation and incest are absolutely HAMMERED into our BLEEDING skulls.

His was a take-no-prisoner type of cinematic world and his rough around the edges film offerings will stick with you long after each one is has ended.  That’s power, Ghouls and Boils.  And Milligan wielded this approach to filmmaking as if it were a double ball mace that he absolutely cleared the battlefield with.  In fact, these films are so BRUTAL that I recommend taking your time with each and every disc.  This world is NOT something that can be easily digested or appreciated.  It takes time.The Dungeon of Andy Milligan Collection

Sitting down?  You should be because The Dungeon of Andy Milligan Collection, which is FINALLY in my hands thanks to the goreffic efforts of Severin, is a nine-disc (eight Blu-rays plus a CD) boxed set of FOURTEEN trashtastic flicks which will literally knock you off your feet thanks to its DAZZLING artwork and its EXHAUSTIVE content, which includes brand new restorations of all the movies Milligan made while working in New York and London.

Stephen King roasted him.  Producer Richard Gordon dismissed him.  Yet, legions of cult film fanatics finally get their REDEMPTION with the release of this box set.  And, really, what is there to say?  These films - speak to the REAL and THRIVING PASSION that Milligan had when it came to making his films.  Yes, you can hear him directing his “actors” and “actresses”, and yes, these films are deranged and twisted.  For a damaged soul like his, Milligan’s work was only going to be populated with the worst of the worst, and, yeah, that includes bestiality-loving exhibitionists that HATE women because, well, you probably already guessed it!

These movies are awful.  There’s not a pretty one in the bunch, yet they are also a cult movie-goers wet dream thanks to their absolute shittiness.  Regardless of the plot, his films are NOT for the prudish or the faint of heart.  Maybe that’s just the nature of this guerrilla type of filmmaking, but - regardless of your taste - each and every one of the movies included in this set are a testament to the SHEER passion and BLIND determination of Milligan, who preferred to slide around the seamy underbelly of low-budget American cinema and was influential in the beginnings of New York's off-Broadway theater.

Now, to quote the Mad Monk himself, “go ahead and bark!”  Begin your journey into the Netherworld of Andy Milligan with this ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING collection of TRASHTASTIC flicks.

5/5 beers

 

The Dungeon of Andy Milligan Collection

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Severin
Available on Blu-ray
- August 20, 2019
Screen Formats: vary from 1.33:1 to 1.85:1
Subtitles
: various
Audio:
Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; nine-disc set
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

More than a quarter century after his death, Andy Milligan remains perhaps the most divisive name in genre history. Severin Films now presents the cranium-cleaving collection devoted to writer/actor/director Andy Milligan on 8 Blu-rays featuring 14 surviving films from his NYC and London years, 10+ hours of trailers, outtakes, interviews & audio commentaries, a bonus CD and an all-new 128-page book by Stephen Thrower that explores the profane madness behind it all. From his provocative underground work through his international scuzz-horror classics.

Video:

With aspect ratios that vary from 1.33:1 to 1.85:1, these films - in spite of their visual upgrades thanks to Severin - still look like trash.  And that’s for a damn good reason, too.  Milligan had no money and it shows.  He paid his actors and bought furniture and that’s about it.  While colors don’t exactly pop, the subtleties in the black levels are palpable. Shadows run deep and remain engaging. Skin tones are fair and some of the blood effects – looking like a mixture of corn syrup and red paint – remain gooey and textured. Browns and blues carry more weight in this release.

Audio:

It’s Mono all the way to the bank, baby.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See Special Features for details.

Special Features:

In addition to these ghastly movies, fans get an all-new 128-page book that is housed inside this expansive and detailed set.  Entitled Andy Milligan’s Venom, author Stephen Thrower takes us inside the passionate and warped mind of Milligan and these movies.  

Disc 1: THE GHASTLY ONES (1968)

  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • Audio commentary by actor Hal Borske and filmmaker Frank Henenlotter
  • Audio commentary by CineFear’s Keith Crocker
  • Partial audio commentary by filmmaker Fred Olen Ray
  • Trailer
  • BLOOD RITES alternate title sequence
  • “Ghastly & Depraved”: Interview with marketing wiz Samuel M. Sherman
  • Trailer for lost Milligan film DEPRAVED!
  • “Talk of the Trade”: Interview with early Milligan actress Natalie Rogers
  • THE FILTHY FIVE: One German-language reel of lost Milligan Film

Disc 2: THE BODY BENEATH/NIGHTBIRDS (1970)

  • BODY BENEATH specs:
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • Audio commentary by film scholars Vic Pratt and Will Fowler
  • Trailer
  • NIGHTBIRDS specs:
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • Audio commentary by actor Berwick Kaler and author Stephen Thrower
  • Trailer

Disc 3: TORTURE DUNGEON/BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS (1970)

  • TORTURE DUNGEON (never-before-released director’s cut) specs:
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • Audio commentary by Milligan historian Alex DiSanto
  • Trailer
  • BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS (never-before-released director’s cut) specs:
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • Trailer

Disc 4: THE RATS ARE COMING! THE WEREWOLVES ARE HERE! (1971)/THE CURSE OF THE FULL MOON (never-before-released director’s cut)

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • Audio options:1. Dialogue only2. Cut down audio from THE RATS ARE COMING…
  • THE RATS ARE COMING! THE WEREWOLVES ARE HERE! (theatrical cut) specs:
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • “The World of Andy Milligan”: Locations featurette narrated by Temple of Schlock’s Chris Poggiali
  • Trailer

Disc 5: THE MAN WITH TWO HEADS (1971)/GURU THE MAD MONK (1970)

  • MAN WITH TWO HEADS (never-before-released director’s cut) specs:
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • Party sequence: alternate version
  • Trailer
  • GURU THE MAD MONK specs:
  • Aspect ratios: 1.85:1 and 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • Audio commentary by CineFear’s Keith Crocker
  • “Remembering Andy Milligan”: Interview with set photographer Tom Vozza
  • Trailer

Disc 6: LEGACY OF BLOOD/LEGACY OF HORROR (1978)

  • LEGACY OF BLOOD (never-before-released theatrical cut) specs:
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • “Legacy of Chris”: Interview with actor Chris Broderick
  • LEGACY OF HORROR (TV cut) specs:
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • “Blood or Horror”: Interview with executive producer Ken Lane
  • TV spot

Disc 7: FLESHPOT ON 42ND STREET (1973)/SEEDS OF SIN (1968)

  • FLESHPOT ON 42ND STREET specs:
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English Mono
  • SEEDS OF SIN specs:
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • VAPORS (1965, 32 min.)
  • Trailer

Disc 8: CARNAGE (1984)/BLOOD (1973)

  • CARNAGE Specs:
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • MONSTROSITY trailer
  • BLOOD specs:
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Audio: English mono
  • TOGA PARTY (1971, 84 min.): Feature film with inserts shot by Milligan

Disc 9: THE BEARDED LADY’S WAKE CD

  • Electronic music By frequent Milligan collaborator Hal Borske

 

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

 

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