Director: Andy Milligan
Starring: Allan Berendt, Hope Stansbury, Patricia Gaul, Michael Fischetti . USA. 1h 9m
This bloodfest has everything in it, monsters, romance, carnivorous plants, a host of deformed servants, affairs, crooked solicitors and a batshit crazy old woman, and all in just over an hour, Andy Milligan really knew how to make a thrilling movie on no budget but with a bucket of originality and a touch of lowbrow comedy.
A stuffy estate agent takes a doctor to view a new property, there he attempts to make his excuses about the state of the property and show the man around but before he can lay on the bullshit he’s given a hefty cheque and forced out the house with reasoning not to return, the second his foot is out the door screaming shrouded figure is rushed in the back door by two crippled servants and a crazy freakish woman. The ghoulish melting corpse they uncover is one of the more gross scenes in the movie and it’s legendary that it’s done so early in the production, it turns out this vile thing is really the beautiful wife of Doctor Orlovsky, a brilliant scientist who’s returned home to claim his family fortune to further fund his experiments.
For the most part, the film is a gothic styled drama, the twisted servants tend to some crazy carnivorous plants, the bubbling and stretching creatures are like a cross between Audrey II and Triffids, these plants help keep the Countess alive but are the reasoning behind the deformities of the attendants, who for some reason are incredibly loyal to the Doctor and take a lot of verbal abuse from his spoilt jealous wife. Most of these tantrums are carried out in a cramped house that car barely fit two cast members and you can clearly see their discomfort but due to funding this was all acted out in the directors home.
Doctor Orlovsky battles his families crooked solicitor whose not forthcoming with the money and becomes attached to his beautiful assistant, his father’s old flame works out who he is and comes calling for some pay off money and then things start to heat up as the full moon rises and a strange howling creature is seen in town for the first time.
It’s easy to spot all the flaws in the movie but it’s impossible to hate it for them, B movies are just this, a labour of love; directors give up their homes and much more to get them made. Out of his extensive back catalogue this is one of the most Gothic in nature and really does spread itself over all aspects, both visually and from the traditional gothic novel set up of characters, the only thing missing is a castle but to be honest Mrs Orlovsky does seem to act as if she’s in one.
Somewhere between terrible costumes, entry level make up and cramped spaces there is a lot to appreciate, the ability to make a decent murder scene is limited but when a sailor turns up at the door and is beguiled by the Mistress of the house, he’s soon cleavered in the head, it’s actually pretty awesome and gory, it’s a shame there aren’t more attempts at killings but with the addition of the creepy spaced out assistant who has to be on acid, and a glorious flaming ending I strangely enjoyed the effort put into this rare gem that won’t scare you but will entertain and give you a laugh or two, but jokes aside I think there is scope here for an actually beautiful horror, with it’s gothic and creature nature it would rival Crimson Peaks (2015) for sure.. but alas this is all we have to date.
R: Addams Family (1991), Castle Freak (1995), The Body Beneath (1970)
L:The Ruby of their Luscious Lips, Bad Moon Rising, killer plants, Igor forever,