Guru The Mad Monk (1970)

Spread the weird

RATING– ½

DIRECTOR– Andy Milligan

PLOT– A 15th-century priest is unhappy with the funds he receives from his order’s governing church. He decides to kidnap a young woman and blackmail her lover by making him procure recently deceased convicts so the priest can sell them to a medical college.

Oh… and he has an incestuous relationship with his vampire sister.

5 REASONS TO WATCH

  1. 15th-century mopeds
  2. Father Golem of the Mortavian shire
  3. hunch-backs who love cocks… and roosters
  4. death by lollipops in the eyes
  5. movies with a $13.49 budget for sets

REVIEW– Ed Wood is often considered the worst director Hollywood has ever produced.

I do not agree.

He is pretty terrible. Some of his movies are a chore to watch… especially the ones that seemed to be missing a microphone while filming resulting in scenes featuring a narrator telling you what’s happening rather than any dialogue actually being spoken.

However, just as many of his movies feature some idea so wild that the whole premise of the movie becomes the entertainment… even if the execution is haphazard.

I’ve seen many movies with directors far, far worse than Mr. Wood:

  • Richard Ashe, Track of the Moon Beast
  • Paul Maslak, Sworn to Justice
  • Jeff Werner, The Great American Girl Robbery
  • Raymond Martino, Skyscraper

That’s just a few.

Well, thanks to a recommendation from a fan of FaultyFlicks, we can add another name to the top of that heap… director Andy Milligan, a wayward off-Broadway writer, designer, and director.

At some point in his theatre-centric career, Mr. Milligan strayed far from his roots, met up with William Mishkin, and turned his “talents” towards the sexploitation scene born in the seedier parts of Times Square. Films were often thrown together over a 24-hour period, shown at a grindhouse the next few weekends, and promptly (& literally) thrown out in the trash.

Quite a few of Milligan’s films are presumed lost for eternity as the one and only print of the movie lay deep in a land-fill somewhere on Staten Island.

Today we screened Guru The Mad Monk… a Milligan film that did not end up in the garbage (although, many might suggest that it should have).

My argument for a director being terrible may be different than many… Boring, uncreative, and monotonous are my only criteria.

There are numerous directors that have that moniker hoisted upon them unfairly. Their films are often technically deficient… bad lighting or a visible boom mic… but the idea they are chasing is as imaginative and inspired as plenty of Hollywood big-budget extravaganzas (many times I find them to be superior in that regard).

Guru The Mad Monk does not fit that bill. It’s simply tiring. Dull dialogue, a boring story, and almost no discernible direction make the film nearly unwatchable.

However, Guru The Mad Monk contains one of the greatest moments ever to grace a B-movie… the 15th-century Vespa. In one 4-minute scene, quite clearly, and with no thought of obscuring it from the camera’s lens, a moped sits very prominently in the background as three priests converse in the year 1480… approximately 450 years before the moped was invented.

Yes, Mr. Milligan decided this scene was good enough for his film about the dark-ages and left it in.

That fact (and it’s mercifully short runtime of 56 minutes) are the only reason it gets half-of-a-star rating.

It’s a dreadful flick.


Every Saturday was date-night, so Eric made sure to bring himself flowers and to complement himself on his choice of hats.