ANOTHER TAKE ON: Guru the Mad Monk (1970)

The Church of Mortavia needs cash, so Father Guru does what he can, which means getting dead bodies for medical students to experiment on. This may mean stabbing churchgoers in the eyeball or working with vampires and hunchbacks. And while this is all supposedly set in the Middle Ages, it was really shot in New York City’s St. Peter’s Church, which means that you just may hear the sounds of modern traffic.

Shot for $11,000, this is yet another Milligan film where the director Milligan wrote, directed, built sets and sewed costumes for a film made up of mainly off-off Broadway actors and Staten Island locals. How else would you populate a prison colony of Catholic sinners who were all waiting to be served sentences that are all being wiped out by an insane priest?

This was made as part of a double bill with another of Milligan’s movies, The Body Beneath. It’s around 55 minutes long and has some gore, but in no way does it have as inventive of a title as Milligan’s best-named film, The Rats are Coming! The Werewolves are Here!

Milligan is a fascinating character study, probably moreso than his films to be perfectly honest. He was considered one of the worst directors of all time until his movie Fleshpot on 42nd Street was rediscovered by Something Weird Video and his theatrical efforts were unearthed. In some strange universe, his work as a queer filmmaker found a better audience than maniacs like me who watched his movies like The Ghastly Ones.

You can watch this for free on Tubi and Amazon Prime if you don’t have the Pure Terror box set.

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