Thursday, 27 October 2011



Yet another of those hideous independent abominations that still have some kind of unfathomable currency padding out imported box sets of cheapo obscurities. I am not familiar with the works of Andy Milligan; I can only assume that this nonsensical sleaze quickie is unrepresentative of his career, as it's surely unlikely that a 24-year filmography of 26 feature titles cannot contain anything better than this. You cannot possibly have a directorial career that extensive when every title is incompetent garbage. (Or can you?)

First off, Guru The Mad Monk isn't a monk at all, he's a Catholic priest, although he is mad. Sometime in the 15th century (at least according to the IMDb's synopsis), Father Guru (along with his deformed hunchback servant Igor!) assists a lovelorn lad by saving his beloved from a wrongful execution, but the price is the young man's assistance in Guru's secret body-snatching racket: an operation with which he supplements his meagre income (and also provides a source of nutrition for his vampire mistress).

This could have had some appeal as a full-blown trash epic, but not when you're working with the production values of bestiality porn loops, amateur dramatic-level performances and laughable gore effects (which are only briefly glimpsed anyway). Truly, the money's all on the screen - all $20 of it - and if it took more than an afternoon to write it's only because they're very slow typists. Even though the damned thing only runs for 56 minutes (thereby raising the question of whether it's actually a feature film rather than a long short), it feels about twice as long thanks to the endless swamps of banal, badly delivered dialogue. Milligan goes for talk rather than action, probably because talk is cheap: he really doesn't have anything to show us, and what he does have is so ineptly realised.

Representative or not, Guru The Mad Monk hasn't sold me on Millgan and I've now no real interest in tracking down his other work, even the more attractively lurid-looking stuff like Bloodthirsty Butchers, The Ghastly Ones or The Man With Two Heads (most of which doesn't appear to available in this country anyway). Life is too short, and this, even at under an hour, isn't. Hopeless.


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