Warning----spoilers, but with an Andy Milligan film, who cares?
Okay, I'm no expert on Milligan films. I am an avid watcher of bad films, and Milligan's "Bloodthirsty Butchers" definitely fits into that category, with bad acting and sound, grainy hand-held photography (by Milligan) and a plot that rips on Sweeney Todd in all the right (or should I say, wrong) ways. There is a slant on violence to women, which I personally do not like watching but Milligan seems to revel in. It is interesting that even as far back as the late 1960's, this auteur from Minnesota (if I remember correct) was working out his sexual frustrations in such an "in your face" way that you can't help but to say, "Man, this guy really hates women."
This unfortunate misogynistic tone carried through to "Monstrosity" a fitting title for, to paraphrase the latter comment, possibly the worst movie ever. (Having seen so many terrible films, however, this is an issue of contention with me. Let's not forget "Manos: Hands of Fate".)
But, I'll get to "Monstrosity". The "plot" (wait, I can't believe I just used this word to imply that "Monstrosity" has a structure)...the plot is about revenge. A dumb (thirty year old actor playing a) teenager avenges his girlfriend is attacked, raped, and then killed in the hospital by sadistic "punks" (who look about as scary as the ones in William Lustig's "Vigilante" (hint-not too scary). The death of the girlfriend is stretched out so much (in a scene where one of the punks pulls her innards from her sliced stomach)that I began to wonder, 'Is the director getting his kick out of watching this poor woman go through all of this?' We, in the audience, sure aren't enjoying it. Well, I giggled a little during the gutting scene, but not because it was meant to be funny, it is because the scene is so overplayed, the gore so cheap and hokey, and the music so nauseating that I stopped taking the depressingly misogynistic first fifteen minutes seriously.
But wait, it gets worse! The dumb teen, and his two ridiculously excitable buddies, decides to build a Golem to avenge his girlfriend's murder. That's right, a Golem! (oh, man, I'm laughing already). No knowledge of science necessary in building this Golem, just a claustrophobic shed stocked with pseudo-lab equipment like something out of "Bride of the Monster". (No, I'm sorry, that equipment actually was more realistic.)Suddenly, "Monstrosity" turns into a stupid, not funny comedy in which the three build the "Golem" and try programming him to kill (by using action movie posters, a humorous idea in a sea of guffaws.) I will take a minute to comment on the acting: So bad that you will get whiplash shaking your head over and over, thinking, 'Who are these people and how did anyone think they were good actors?'
The women are, uniformly, better actors than the male leads, but Milligan makes the female characters vain, dumb, vile, and unlikable. Granted, the male characters are not any more likable, but geez, Milligan could have atleast given the better actors (the women) more to do than constantly complain.
And, as for Franky, the "Golem"...un-freakin'-believable! What were the filmmakers thinking? Okay, I saw the cover of the DVD, which lets you know right away the monster looks ludicrous, but nothing, I repeat, NOTHING will prepare you for the full onslaught of Franky. The orange wig, the Halloween-style "crazy teeth", the "bear" foot and claw (which is obviously a glove), and a gored right eye that looks like a fried egg with a bloody embryo. Milligan, probably due to budget (budget! this movie had a budget?) constraints, tries to make the best of one of the worst monsters ever by playing it for laughs. However, since the film isn't intentionally funny, these scenes of attempted humor are painful, forehead-smacking moments of your life that you will never get back. Not that I particularly cared, since I kept watching...
I suppose that's why I decided to comment on this masterpiece in bad moviedom. I couldn't stop watching the film, despite all its negatives...I was repulsed and drawn to "Monstrosity" all at the same time. What is it about bad films that causes my judgment in taste to lapse?
Anyway, Franky is essentially a baby-man (with the bear parts) who is also a methodical avenger. (Milligan, attempting to be more "commercial", alludes to Troma's "Toxic Avenger" in several ways, from Franky's attack scenes to using the same public-domain classical music which "Toxic" employs as a theme.) Franky's relationship with a crackhead punk girl goes nowhere (except when it figures into the finale, Franky's final nihilistic destruction spree). Franky's "creators" go power-mad and want Franky to continue "thrill-killing" for them. (There is very little explaination given for the character motivations in this film, so not much of the plotlines make logical sense.) Franky is (kind of) the only likable character in "Monstrosity", but the actor (Milligan regular Haal Borske) is so grating, so oblivious to his bad acting (and flubbed lines) that I couldn't find any way to relate to the "golem".
Man, oh man, I wish I could see a documentary on the production of "Monstrosity". Wow, imagine seeing the creative decisions of Andy Milligan in action..."no, not a blue wig, an orange one"..."just do the dialogue, don't worry about acting"...and maybe even an Ed Wood-inspired "That was great, print it." Did they shoot "Monstrosity" in 35mm? I'll bet they did, sparing no expense to ensure the film its "glossy", zoom lense glory. And, Haal Borske, what is your acting method? Talk like Red Skelton in a bad skit and read your lines off cue cards? Did Milligan do a second take of any scene in "Monstrosity?" Probably not unless the film broke...
I will finish my comment by stating that "Monstrosity" is definitely one of the worst films ever, no arguement there. Andy Milligan made many bad films (some people hate them with a passion), but this is jaw-droppingly, disorientatingly bad! The final "twist" ending is a desperate attempt at some sort of sense being made of the proceeding 90 minutes, but forget it, the "twist" doesn't work. The whole film doesn't work, but I suppose that is "Monstrosity"'s twisted "charm" (for lack of a better word). The viewer will not care about who lives and dies, whether Franky keeps the girl or not, or about what Milligan's message really is (because he muddles the ending so annoyingly). "MONSTROSITY" is BAD! BAD! DUMB! BAD! MISOGYNISTIC! BAD!
All right, I feel clean again...but I will surely never be the same...
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