The Ghastly Ones Film Details
Overview: Three married couples are forced to spend the night in a Victorian-era house where they start getting killed off by a deranged psycho who’s bent on claiming an inheritance they are all entitled to.
Tagline: Mad creatures of the night existing only for sensual sadistic moments of human slaughter!
Review: Out of all the films I could have chosen, it had to be this. When I was last in New York I went into a Times Square store and out of the hundreds of DVD’s they had I chose Joel M. Reeds Bloodsucking Freaks (1976) and this, on a double feature DVD that also included Seeds of Sin (1968), did I regret it? Read on to find out. The film opens on an island (near Milligan’s Staten Island home) where two lovers are walking along with a massive parasol seemingly made from paper, at one point he gives her the top of a weed as a gift. Out of nowhere Colin (Hal Borske) a retarded hunchback pops up and kills both of them for no reason at all. After the opening credits which are joined by some of the worst headache inducing music I have ever heard, at least it got me used to it as it’s used constantly throughout the film, we are introduced to three couples. The wives are all sisters, Vicky (Ann Linden) and Ricard (Fib LaBlaque), Veronica (Eileen Hayes) and Bill (Don Williams) plus Elizabeth (Carol Vogel) and Donald (Richard Ramos). They each receive a letter from a lawyer, H. Dobbs (Neil Flanagan) that request a meeting so he can read their late father’s will. Dobbs informs them that they must spend three days in their childhood home ‘Crenshaw House’ and fill it with ‘sexual harmony and marital love’ that it had never known because of the strained relationship between their father and mother. He informs the couples that the will is highly irregular but legal. After three days the inheritance will be settled. The couples are also told about the servants, Martha (Veronica Radburn), Hattie (Maggie Rodgers) and the retarded Colin, who welcomes the couples by killing and biting chunks out of a rabbit in front of them. Later on that night whats left of the dead rabbit is found in one of the couples beds with a note that says ‘blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit’. This starts a series of events which end in gruesome murder and reveals dark family secrets. Co-written, photographed and directed by the talentless Andy Milligan. This is an absolutely horrible film in every way possible. Lets go through just some of it’s faults. The music, it’s awful and headache inducing. Sound, you can barely hear what characters are saying and certain scenes don’t have any sound effects plus at certain points you can hear Milligan shouting out orders to his actors, oh and there’s a constant hiss on the soundtrack throughout as well. The acting, probably among the worst I have ever witnessed. The very un-special effects, Colin pokes someones eye out in the opening sequence, it’s the size of a tennis ball, the part where someone is tied down and has his stomach opened up with a saw looks really awful as are the various hands and legs that are chopped off. Photography, Milligan has absolutely no idea how to stage or film a scene, he regularly cuts the top, bottom or sides of peoples heads and faces off the screen and his camera jerks and shakes around like it’s operated by someone who is constantly tripping over. There is also at least one scene so badly thought out and filmed that a crew member is seen. The film is often so dark you can’t see whats happening, too. Editing, again some of the worst I’ve ever sat through, he seems to cut scenes before they’ve finished, cutting away while characters are in the middle of a sentence. The script, if there was one, credited to both Milligan and Hal Sherwood (It took two people to write this!?) is all over the place and is incredibly stupid. There is one unbelievably bad sequence where the killer follows a victim down into the basement, the killer walks right behind him, at one point the potential victim turns around. What does the killer do to avoid being spotted? They duck down right in from of him, the killers close enough to give the guy oral sex yet he doesn’t notice them, right in front of him. You have to see this sequence to believe it, I still can’t believe what I saw. Bizarre sub plots just happen and then totally disappear, check the scene out when Richard has to borrow money from his brother Walter (producer and co-writer Hal Sherwood), who turns out to be a gay priest who has had an incestuous relationship with his brother before he was married! A strange scene that’s there for no reason at all. Martha the housekeepers reaction to the first murder, she’s more bothered by the fact that it’s thrown her dinner schedule out! There’s load of insane dialogue as well, Patty and Martha discuss Colin, Patty says “if only I didn’t beat him so hard” Martha sympathetically replies “you have to Patty, you have to!”, delivered totally straight faced. And don’t start me on how ugly the wallpaper looks throughout the house! The only good thing I can think of saying is that the costumes look reasonable, for the time period it’s meant to be set in. I could probably go on all day about how amateurish this is, but I think you get the idea. One to avoid unless your a serious masochist! I didn’t regret buying or watching it for a second, though!
Country: United States
Duration: 81 min
Also known as: The Ghastly Ones,Blood Orgy,Blood Rites,Apaisia terata…,Espectros