Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Weirdo, The (1989)

...aka Weirdo: The Beginning

Directed by:
Andy Milligan

Writer/Director/Editor/Cinematographer Andy Milligan has the right intentions... just like Ed Wood did with Glen or Glenda?! I didn't think THE RATS ARE COMING! THE WEREWOLVES ARE HERE! (1972) was that incompetent, but this, my second Milligan movie was, um, ridiculous to put it mildly. A shy, awkward young boy named Donnie (Steve Burlington) is the town outcast. A group of local thugs (one appropriately wearing a confederate jacket) beat him, humiliate him and walk him around like a dog, using his belt as a leash. Donnie lives in a shack, collects junk and works as an errand boy for Miss Martins (Naomi Sherwood). One day he meets Jenny (Jessica Straus), a friendly young girl in a leg brace. They eat danishes, go to a yard sale and pretend that water is fresh-squeezed orange juice (!) The two fall in love, but when Donnie is forced to go see his alcoholic mother (Lynne Caryl), she informs him that he is the bi-product of an incestuous relationship she had with her own brother! She then calls up a guy and tries to sell him to a slave ring in Mississippi! Donnie snaps, decapitates her and puts her severed head in a trash bag. When the slave owner shows up he sticks a pitchfork in his neck. He goes to a church, impales a woman with a cross and wraps Christmas lights around the reverend's neck and electrocutes him by sticking his head under a running faucet. He's finally beaten up by angry mob of townspeople armed with tree branches, but his body is missing at the end.

The dialogue is absolutely unbelievable (though amusing at times), the effects and editing are both horribly done and the acting is pretty awful, but I now see why Milligan movies have cult followings. Despite the sheer ineptness of this entire production, it's too filled with bitterness and pain not to come of as at least a little personal and sincere. Weirdo: The Beginning is the full onscreen title, so I'm guessing this was going to be a whole series of films (?) The movie was not released to video until 1989 and Milligan passed away in 1991, so that never got to happen. Too bad. FX wizard Rodd Matsui provided the prosthetics for the film.


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