Fleshpot On 42nd Street
Andy Warhol never hired a young John Waters to make a sex-fueled soap opera for $50. But if he had, it would have felt like FLESHPOT ON 42ND STREET. Dusty Cole (Laura Cannon) and Cherry Lane (Neil Flanagan, star of GURU THE MAD MONK) are streetwalkers with a mission: survival! After a potential hook-up goes bad, Dusty quits Cherry and the life and shacks up with new beau Bob. However, tragedy lurks just around the corner.
Fleshpot on 42nd Street
Most of his early exploitation movie fell into the genre of morality play. Milligan's plays and movies explored topics of transgression and punishment, dysfunctional family relationships, repressed sexuality, homosexuality and physical deformity, and include such titles as Depraved! (1967), The Naked Witch (1967), The Promiscuous Sex (1967), The Degenerates (1967), The Filthy Five (1969), Gutter Trash (1969), The Ghastly Ones (1968), Seeds of Sin (1968), Fleshpot on 42nd Street (1973), The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! (1973), and Guru, the Mad Monk (1970). Most of Milligan's early works are currently considered lost films.
Milligan's early movies were shot with a single hand-held 16-millimeter Auricon sound-on-film news camera. This technique was inspired by Andy Warhol and allowed Milligan to move the camera around at will, at times punctuating violent scenes with his "swirl camera" technique through which he would spin the camera and point it to the ground. Often working with budgets under $10,000, his movies feature very tight framing that helped cover his very low budgets, particularly in the case of the period pieces that were most of his horror movies. His ability to make movies with such low budgets is why Mishkin often hired him and Mishkin's influence on the 42nd Street grindhouse circuit meant that Milligan's pictures played there often. Milligan filmed all of his movies on short ends; using old and unused leftover film reels of 16 mm and later 35mm film that he acquired through various means from other film sets as a means to keep production costs down.
After directing the 1972 sexploitation drama Fleshpot on 42nd Street, Milligan's output was restricted mostly to gory horror movies as he moved to the southern tip of Staten Island in the Tottenville neighborhood where he lived in and owned and operated a dilapidated hotel located at the corner end of Main Street and Ellis Street right next to the southern end of Staten Island Railway (currently an Italian-themed restaurant named Vincent Angelina's Ristorante). On October 27, 1977, Milligan moved into 335 West 39th Street in Manhattan (a four-story building purchased for $50,000 by Milligan and stockholders), where he founded and ran the Troupe Theatre, an off-off Broadway venue above which he lived in a third-floor loft until he left New York City for good in March 1985. He moved to Los Angeles, where he briefly owned a dress shop on Highland Boulevard from late 1985 to early 1986. Milligan then directed three more independently produced horror movies in 1987 and 1988, which included Monstrosity, The Weirdo, and Surgikill as well as operated another theater and production company, called Troupe West, which ran until early 1990.
Dusty, a street smart, but desperately unhappy prostitute who works in Times Square, uses her body to survive; seducing, conning, and ripping off her johns. After moving in with Cherry, a cross-dressing male prostitute, Dusty hopes to find more solid financial footing and a stable future in the sex trade, that is, until she meets Bob, a young lawyer who lives on Staten Island, who falls in love with her, and she with him. With a chance to escape her miserable existence becoming a possibility, Dusty starts dreaming of a future she never thought possible. But can she escape her own destiny?
1973's "Fleshpot on 42nd Street" offers a sympathetic view of an unsympathetic character, asking audiences to go on a journey with an unpleasant woman as she experiences struggle for some level of normalcy and safety. In other hands, perhaps the movie could do something with the basic set- up of a lost soul trying to survive in the big city, but "Fleshpot on 42nd Street" is an Andy Milligan picture, with the prolific helmer (of such films as "Bloodthirsty Butchers," "Torture Dungeon," and "The Man with Two Heads") mostly interested in creating an awful environment for awful people, trying to touch bottom when it comes to depicting human behavior while still tending to hardcore material, some of it violent in nature. Read the rest at Blu-ray.com 041b061a72