Exhumed Films and Cinedelphia Film Festival Present
Dir. Andy Milligan / USA / 1970 / 35mm / 77 min.
If early-era John Waters had made a prequel to PINK FLAMINGOS that was set in the middle ages—and shot at a second rate renaissance faire—the result would probably look a lot like TORTURE DUNGEON. In the medieval kingdom of Tarragon (!), the warped, power-mad Duke of Norwich (Milligan regular Gerald Jacuzzo, looking like Christopher Guest in “The Princess Bride”) plots an unlikely scheme to take control of the throne through a combination of murder, torture, and forced insemination. The plot is beyond muddled, but the ample gore and outlandish sex scenes (including a “trisexual” threesome with a hunchback) are enough to make TORTURE DUNGEON one of Milligan’s most enjoyable undertakings.
Dir. Andy Milligan / USA / 1970 / 35mm / 79 min.
Andy Milligan tackled many classic horror tales and tropes in his movies, from vampires to werewolves to Frankensteinian monsters. Here, Andy takes on the legend of Sweeny Todd in this loose retelling of the “Demon Barber of Fleet Street” murders. You know the story: a barbarous barber (film and television bit player John Miranda in his only starring role) slaughters his clients and then teams up with a baker of meat pies to dispose of the bodies by converting the corpses into diabolical delicacies. The usual Milligan mixture of sex and sadism ensues, including the infamous “boob pie” scene which by itself makes BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS worth a look.
THE MAN WITH TWO HEADS
Dir. Andy Milligan / USA
/ 1972 / 35mm / 80 min
.Let’s be clear, just to prevent the inevitable disappointment: no one in this movie has two heads. Originally titled DR. JEKYLL AND MR. BLOOD, Andy Milligan’s adaptation of the famous Robert Louis Stevenson novel was likely re-named in order to capitalize on the success of films like THE INCREDIBLE TWO-HEADED TRANSPLANT and THE THING WITH TWO HEADS. Instead of Milligan’s take on multi-headed monsters (which, admittedly, would probably have been amazing), we get this relatively faithful version of the Jekyll/Hyde story where a noble doctor attempts to isolate and eliminate mankind’s capacity for evil through chemical means. However, when kindly Dr. Jekyll accidently drinks an altered version of his anti-evil serum, he transforms into the wicked Mr. Danny Blood (???), who unleashes his depraved lusts on a promiscuous young barmaid—and his violent rage against anyone standing in his path. While THE MAN WITH TWO HEADS may suffer from Milligan’s usual limitations (the “Mr. Hyde” makeup basically consists of some bushy eyebrows and messy hair), the film actually features one of the most competent casts in Andy’s oeuvre, and is an enjoyable (if low rent) take on a classic story.