8. THE MONSTER MASH: Multiple monsters in one movie? That’s a graveyard smash!
Dr. Lawrence Orlofski (Allan Berendt) has just bought a new house and moved his wife Regina (Hope Stansbury, who wrote Vapors and also appears in Milligans’s Depraved!, The Degenerates and The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!) — “My wife doesn’t like the daylight hours. Rather, I should say daylight doesn’t agree with her.” — in along with their three servants, Orlando (Michael Fischetti), Carrie (Patricia Gaul) and Carlotta (Pichulina Hempi).
If this is your first Milligan movie, you may be wondering why everyone is screaming at one another. If you’re a fan of his work, you instantly get excited as soon as people start raising their voices.
Regina is a corpse but as soon as she’s injected with blood, she becomes young again. She’s angry that she can no longer be in the sunlight, all while the servants hold umbrellas over her and prepare her meals. She and the doctor seem to despise one another with her saying, “Go to hell,” and him answering, “We’re there already.”
Meanwhile, there are carniverous plants in the basement that need to be fed with blood from Carlotta’s brain. Also, the doctor’s name is really Lawrence Talbot, but this movie doesn’t need to explain that to you and you better get the reference yourself. Also also, Carrie’s brother visits, which allows her to give the audience at least some background: “There is an abnormal distribution of tissue and blood cells which makes up her physical structure. These plants which Dr. Orlofski and I have found are the only things that will bring a normal balance.” Then she makes a move on her brother, who runs right into Regina’s room and immediately gets a meat cleaver to the brain and acid poured all over himself. Also also also — this movie has a lot going on while also seeming glacial which is a totally Milligan balance — Dr. Orlofski is having an affair with Prudence (Pamela Adams), the secretary of Carl Root (John Wallowitch), the lawyer in charge of his father’s estate who is stealing money and oh I forgot to tell you, the doctor is also a werewolf.
Regina eats a mouse in one cut, I mean, literally chopping it in half and gulping it down as if this was made in Italy. And then there’s Petra, Keeper of Graves (Eve Crosby), an old woman who watches the doctor rut around with that secretary in her cemetery and fills in Regina on that secret; she’s was also the mistress of Orlofski’s father. Well, now she’s dealing with the daughter of Dracula.
Shot in Milligan’s St. George mansion located in Staten Island — I wonder how much that inspired the TV series version of What We Do In the Shadows — this movie is a period film and under seventy minutes and an abrupt marital fight into a flaming finale, capped by Dr. Frankenstein moving in next.
This movie is not of our world. It’s not of our reality. It did, however, play double features with Legacy of Blood and with Chinese Hercules under the alternate title Black Nightmare in Blood.
You can watch this on Tubi.