Date(s) - Thu. Apr. 9, 2020
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Philosophical Research Society

Jimmy McDonough

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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 and will be signing books prior to the class.
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