PRINT February 2019



Andy Milligan, Guru, the Mad Monk, 1970, 35 mm, color, sound, 56 minutes 30 seconds.

“CAN A GENIUS BE UNTALENTED, TOO?” This, for John Waters, is the vital question posed by the films of Andy Milligan, the director behind a prolific streak of distinctively seedy exploitation vehicles. Over the past several years, a number of works by Milligan, the “Fassbinder of Forty-Second Street,” have come back into circulation via home-video distributors specializing in outré offerings—BFI Flipside, Vinegar Syndrome, and, most recently, the American Genre Film Archive, which has just released hi-res scans of Guru, the Mad Monk (1970) and Fleshpot on 42nd St. (1973). Preservation initiatives such as AGFA’s have a special urgency, since the idioms in which they traffic—skin flicks, sci-fi curios, spaghetti westerns, kung fu pictures—often have no stewards to consider their posterity. As for Milligan, he died, penniless, of AIDS-related complications in 1991, and many of his

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