Date(s) - Thu. Sep. 17, 2020
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Philosophical Research Society

Jimmy McDonough

$12 advance / $15 door / $100 including the book

Hello everyone –

Back in the spring when we rescheduled our COVID-cancelled events for the fall, we had every hope that things would be under control and we could proceed with in-person events. However this is far from the case, and so Miskatonic will be offering an entirely online program for fall semester 2020, which will be announced in the next few weeks.

However, some of our scheduled instructors (understandably) wish to wait to present their classes to an in-person audience, Jimmy McDonough being one of them. So for now, we will be processing refunds for the GHASTLY ONE class, and will reschedule for an in-person event as soon as it is safe to do so – and we hope you will join us again then!


There are two ticket levels, one of which comes with the new massive hardcover edition of Jimmy McDonough’s book, The Ghastly One! A no-holds-barred, beautifully written biography of perhaps the most underground (and maybe most depraved) filmmaker of all time, presented by Nicolas Winding Refn and FAB Press in a lavish luxury edition of just 1000 copies.

Andy Milligan is one of the most compelling, contentious lone wolfs in cinema history. A dressmaker, actor and puppeteer, Milligan cranked out titles like Bloodthirsty Butchers, The Body Beneath, and The Rats are Coming! The Werewolves are Here! on threadbare budgets. He made sexploitation movies, period horror films (elaborately costumed by Milligan himself) and even a landmark gay short. Unlike most exploitation filmmakers, he came out of a rarified NYC arts scene and started his directing career doing shocking productions at the legendary Caffe Cino. His films were deeply personal statements, despite limitations which made him the laughingstock of the 42nd street distributors who cashed in on his work. Ever the outsider, Milligan was homosexual, a sadist and an avowed misogynist, and all of this is quite present in his creations.

“Am I sadistic?” Milligan once said to me.  “Not really. No more than anybody else, hee hee. Everybody’s a bit sadistic at times—and masochistic. Look at the sex act alone. The male part is sadistic, the female is masochistic. The whole act of sex is sadism and masochism, basically. Penetration—an act of violence.” This sort of attitude permeates every frame of Milligan’s work, and it sets him apart from most of his contemporaries. Andy had a lot to say, and none of it was pretty.Life makes you bitter and cynical,” he maintained. “I’m an injustice collector, babe. I never get over it. You can’t stay nice in life.”

And yet I loved Andy. Hell, I even thought he was…nice. Not only was I his biographer, I worked on his last pictures (even briefly appearing in one) and took care of him as he died of AIDS. We had a rich –if complex – relationship, and I will share my personal experiences to hopefully illuminate why I think Milligan is a fabulous, if deeply flawed filmmaker. To further that understanding I’ll show some of my favorite clips from his movies and unlock the secrets that lie within. I’ll also answer any audience questions about my time with Andy and talk about why I feel biography is also kind of an illness. By the end of this lecture, I promise you will feel something, even if it’s just the desire to kill Andy Milligan. Or me.

– Jimmy McDonough


Jimmy McDonough will have copies of the new revised edition of THE GHASTLY ONE: THE 42nd STREET NETHERWORLD OF ANDY MILLIGAN for sale at the event for $100.00 USD (you can also pre-purchase it combined with your ticket for a slightly discounted price – which is best to make sure you get one before they sell out!) and will be signing books prior to the class.
More info at

About the book:
332 pages, printed in colour throughout, with 1,075 illustrations

“I devoured this book – an appalling pocket of cinematic history, delightfully explored and obsessively researched. Andy Milligan is one scary man.” –– John Waters (who has repeatedly named THE GHASTLY ONE as one of his favorite books)

“What a movie it would make! What a book it already is! Obsessively researched, written with wit and vinegar, brimful of bizarre tales, unflinching of both its subject and its author — and not a word too long — this is a showbiz biography to place on the shelf with Nick Tosches’ great Dino.” –– Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine

Andy Milligan, perhaps the most compelling lone wolf in cinema history, gets his due in this definitive work. A dressmaker, actor and puppeteer, Milligan cranked out titles like Bloodthirsty Butchers, The Body Beneath, and The Rats are Coming! The Werewolves are Here! on threadbare budgets. Due to their many limitations, his movies made Milligan the laughingstock of the film industry. Author Jimmy McDonough changed all that by providing the necessary context and pathos, allowing these chaotic yet highly personal movies (and their creator) to be seen in a new and sympathetic light.

This book serves as a history of not only the shadowy New York City sexploitation business, but also of the Caffe Cino — a tiny, explosive storefront café many consider to be the beginning of Off-Off Broadway theatre in America. Starring a cast of unforgettable, elusive characters, the gripping narrative of THE GHASTLY ONE turns grimly personal, and it’s told with unflinching honesty by biographer and journalist Jimmy McDonough. Jimmy has revised the text for this extraordinary new coffee table art book edition, which is packed full of rare images and memorabilia.

THE GHASTLY ONE finally gets the presentation it deserves in this lavish production, which has been overseen by Nicolas Winding Refn and is done in the same oversized format as his stunning poster book, THE ACT OF SEEING. Destined to be hailed as one of the most beautiful film books ever created, THE GHASTLY ONE is an event not to be missed.

Hilarious at times, deeply unsettling, and ultimately heartbreaking, THE GHASTLY ONE will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

“Nearly 20 years after first being published, Jimmy McDonough’s THE GHASTLY ONE: The 42nd Street Netherworld of Director Andy Milligan remains a classic study of the cinematic demimonde. A compelling, deeply personal portrait of an almost unfathomable figure, it’s a book that could have only been brought to life by the fearless McDonough – an obsessive chronicler of combative, creative iconoclasts from Neil Young to Russ Meyer, Tammy Wynette to Al Green. Now in this lavish, newly illustrated edition, we are plunged even further into the dark recesses of Milligan’s mind, madness and many contradictions. Brilliantly researched, powerfully written, and suffused with a deep humanity, this is exploitation as art, art as exploitation. Magnificent and strangely moving.” –– Bob Mehr, author of the New York Times bestseller Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements

“You can’t put it down! The question now is…what will the nice people be doing while you’re reading THE GHASTLY ONE?” –– Lux Interior, The Cramps