Guru, the Mad Monk (1970)

GURU, THE MAD MONK (1970)
Article 2986 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-11-2009
Posting Date: 10-17-2009
Directed by Andy Milligan
Featuring Neil Flanagan, Jaqueline Webb, Judith Israel
Country: USA

A monk maintains a church on a small island used for the execution and punishment of criminals. The monk uses grave-robbing to supplement his income, keeps a hunchback as an assistant, and has a blood-drinking mistress who feeds on wanderers.

I’ve gone over Andy Milligan’s flaws before; the uneven acting, the bad sound, the unconvincing attempts at period trappings, cheap gore effects, lousy photography and the bad editing are all here. Nevertheless, this is one of Milligan’s better movies. At least part of this reason is that Neil Flanagan is a fairly decent actor, and he does what he can with the role of Father Guru, especially during a scene where his split personality comes out in a conversation with a mirror. Another reason is its short length; though it does get a bit confusing in the final reel, it isn’t long enough to lapse into complete incoherence, and you don’t end up wondering what just happened when the movie ends. Granted, I’ve only seen a cut 56-version of the movie; the longer version runs 62 minutes. It’s not good, by any means, but right now I do give it the award as the most watchable of Milligan’s movies.

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