The Ghastly Ones (1968)

aka BLOOD RITES


Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Andy Milligan
Written by: Andy Milligan/Hal Sherwood

Three daughters are sent to their parents’ home to live “in marital bliss that the house never knew” so that they can collect their inheritance. (They are always naked when they get the letter calling them back home. Funny, that.) What they don’t know is that there’s a killer on the loose at the house.

That’s all there is. Honestly. That’s the whole plot.

There’s more to the story of the writer/director Andy Milligan. He was a regular at the 42nd St. theatres in Mid-Town Manhattan. He was also a regular at the St. Mark’s bathhouse in the East Village. In fact, his first film, Vapors, was all about that particular gay hangout.

But Andy’s films were typically gore-filled sex-fests. Vapors was kind of an anomaly. They were usually filmed in or around his Staten Island Victorian mansion. How he afforded this mansion, I have no idea. He was always broke and his movies were shot on ultra-low, home-movie budgets. In fact, they were ALWAYS home-movies. Stephen King called The Ghastly Ones “the work of morons with cameras” in his study of the horror genre, Danse Macabre. I concur. It’s pretty awful.

Here’s just a bit of the lunacy in this rather boring trash:

The girls never figured out that there was no love in their parents’ marriage…even though the couple only saw each other five times in their entire marriage.

The opening kill scene is so shaky and so dark that you can’t tell what the fuck is going on. Is it a mannequin that he’s hacking up? Or is it a dog? Or is it a tree? There doesn’t seem to be any blood at all.

There’s a really bizarre rape scene between a husband and wife. What makes it especially bizarre is the fact that they had just found the body of one of the other husbands!

The sound is so bad that you can hardly hear anything that’s going on.

The final kill scene would have been good had it been shot by anyone with even an ounce of talent. Unfortunately, it was inept and stupid. It looked like the guy was reaching into a body-shaped cake and pulling sausages out.

Bloody awful from beginning to end, but it’s almost captivating…ALMOST. Which means that it’s ALMOST the worst move ever made, too.

The Something Weird Video DVD has one of Milligan’s other opuses, Seeds Of Sin. This is basically a black and white softcore flick with some murders thrown in for bad measure. The sex is badly shot and the blood is even worse. There are a few attractive people, but it seems like most of the shots are of dudes’ pimpled asses…go figure. (The most attractive people are actually in the credits sequence orgy…then they are never seen again.)

The movie has something to do with a crazy family (again) that all gather around their drunk-ass mother. Some of them want her to die just to get her money. Then again, I wanted her to die. She was an annoying bitch.

How inept is THIS one? The girl who lives with mommy undresses, gets dressed again, rubs a muscle mag all over her clothed boobs (and not in a sexy way…she just kind of moves it across her breasts), undresses and fubs herself to the magazine. What the fuck?!

Neither movie is really worth it. Not unless you’re some kind of Andy Milligan fetishist, which there are some out there.

LOW POINT of Ghastly Ones:

Woman: “Precisely.”

Man: “Where did you pick up that word?”

‘Cause you’re a woman and you’re too stupid to know a word over two syllables long!