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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:07 am 
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Michael wrote:
I haven't seen Seeds of Sin but based on your recommendation, I netflixed it. Better be good despite its overload of bad reviews.

Oh dear. I fear for the unprepared who just dive into Milliganland.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:18 pm 
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Thanks a lot for recommending Seeds of Sin. :roll: You gotta be joking. Every minute I felt tempted to fetch my remote to triple-FF this ridiculous movie. Not that I have issues with low-budget trash, John Waters' early films are among my faves. Seeds of Sin is dull and boring.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:27 pm 
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haha to your reaction to Seeds of Sin. I couldn't stand it either, but it was uniquely bad. The way every long assed rambling take ends with the camera spinning around and around, or was the camera always doing that?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:53 am 
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I think it's an unforgivable insult to Fists in the Pocket to celebrate Seeds of Sin on its very own thread! Half of Sin consists of dreadfully boring sex and the rest is basically ugly family members shouting at each other. Uninspiring, silly. I would take the shouting match between Divine and Mink Stole (i.e. Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble) and Polyester) and the uniqueness of Eraserhead anytime... and also the poetic beauty and gripping horror of Fists in the Pocket. The killings in Fists are incredibly believable while the killings in Sin are cartoonish and exagerrated. At least Fists treats each character with some sympathy (which I think make the killings even more effective) while Sin does the opposite.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:27 am 
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Michael wrote:
I think it's an unforgivable insult to Fists in the Pocket to celebrate Seeds of Sin on its very own thread! Half of Sin consists of dreadfully boring sex and the rest is basically ugly family members shouting at each other. Uninspiring, silly. I would take the shouting match between Divine and Mink Stole (i.e. Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble) and Polyester) and the uniqueness of Eraserhead anytime... and also the poetic beauty and gripping horror of Fists in the Pocket. The killings in Fists are incredibly believable while the killings in Sin are cartoonish and exagerrated. At least Fists treats each character with some sympathy (which I think make the killings even more effective) while Sin does the opposite.


Not to jump in here unannounced, as I haven't even seen Fists in the Pocket, but, ironically enough, that description has really piqued my interest in Seeds of Sin.

-Toilet Dcuk


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:39 am 
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If you don't mind watching one sleep-inducing hour worth of different couples humping and rubbing each other, then it's your movie.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:51 am 
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Michael wrote:
I think it's an unforgivable insult to Fists in the Pocket to celebrate Seeds of Sin on its very own thread! Half of Sin consists of dreadfully boring sex and the rest is basically ugly family members shouting at each other. Uninspiring, silly. I would take the shouting match between Divine and Mink Stole (i.e. Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble) and Polyester) and the uniqueness of Eraserhead anytime... and also the poetic beauty and gripping horror of Fists in the Pocket. The killings in Fists are incredibly believable while the killings in Sin are cartoonish and exagerrated. At least Fists treats each character with some sympathy (which I think make the killings even more effective) while Sin does the opposite.

See, I think you're missing the point of Seeds of Sin (inasmuch as it has one, being a compromised work). I think it's very much intentional that none of the characters are sympathetic, all of the sex is boring, and that much of it consists of family members shouting at each other. Milligan wasn't out to create a cute little black comedy, and he certainly wasn't out to "inspire" anyone (unless it was inspiring them to commit suicide).

If you're serious about wanting to compare the two films, it's almost necessary to perform the background research of reading the biography on Milligan and of watching the workprint of Seeds, Milligan's original version of the film. Watching Seeds of Sin completely out of context is kind of like if your only exposure to Terry Gilliam was the "Love Conquers All" cut of Brazil. You wouldn't think much of him as a filmmaker. Okay, now I know Andy Milligan is no Terry Gilliam, but you have to remember the milieu he's working in. He's making films for 42nd St. grindhouses and trying desperately to transcend the highly rigid strictures of that type of film. Seeds was the film he put everything into--it's his magnum opus.

Anyway, I'm sure everyone would agree that Fists and Seeds are dissimilar in every way except for certain plot and structural elements. I think what Jon (Narshty) might be saying (but don't let me put words in your mouth) and what I am definitely saying is that if you're going to watch a film about a fucked-up homicidal family, Seeds is the more interesting choice. Michael disagrees (which is his right), but I would caution that if you watch any film with the sole intent of comparing it to another, you do a disservice to both films.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:28 pm 
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Well I should've done my homework then.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:18 pm 
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Michael wrote:
Well I should've done my homework then.

Hey, at least you watched and (I'm assuming) finished it. That's a lot more of a chance than most people would give a Milligan film. I'm not trying to say, "Well, you obviously haven't studied enough to be able to appreciate the sheer artistry of Milligan." That would be ridiculous, and I'm normally resistant to the idea that the knowing the biography of the artist is important to appreciating his or her work. But for Milligan, it's almost essential. Seeds is so personal it's almost like a diary entry.

Honestly, I'm not surprised or disappointed you didn't like it and I don't mean that as a personal criticism. There are so many hurdles of viewership that are difficult to overcome in his films: the florid dialogue that's often inaudible, the total cheapness of the sets and costumes, the severe earnestness (unlike the films of the Kuchars, Milligan's films thoroughly resist camp), the complete lack of narrative signposts (often verging on simply a complete lack of narrative), and the jarring in-camera editing (to name but a few!)

Milligan's films are not "likeable" in the least and you probably started with the least likeable of all.

Michael wrote:
If you don't mind watching one sleep-inducing hour worth of different couples humping and rubbing each other, then it's your movie.

If it's one thing that Milligan can't be blamed for, it's the sex in the movie. He didn't want any at all, but his producer insisted. If I'm remembering correctly, Milligan could either shoot it himself or get stuck with inserts from other films. Kudos to Milligan for doing what he had to do to get his film released but doing it with such a "fuck you" attitude that the sex becomes the most anti-erotic thing you've ever seen.

If you're interested (and I don't see why you would be after the experience you've just had), Jimmy McDonough's biography of Milligan is truly essential reading. You don't have to have seen a Milligan film (or even be interested in seeing one) to read it and get a lot of enjoyment out of it. It's less the biography of a man and more a portrait of the kind of filmmaker who is almost supernaturally driven to tell stories and make movies, even if it means alienating everyone he knows and practically killing himself in the process. And it's pretty safe to say that if there was no Andy Milligan, there probably would never have been a John Waters. [Aside: the Amazon reviews of the book are almost as good as the book itself. One is from an actress in one of Milligan's last films, Monstrosity: "We could act -- but he directed us in a way that made us look and sound -- AWFUL -- and we were embarrassed when we saw the end result."]


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:44 pm 
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What John Waters said about the book: ""I devoured this book -- an appalling pocket of cinema history, delightfully explored and obsessively researched. Andy Milligan is one scary man."

I just ordered the book. There's a couple of scenes that I liked at least: a woman masterbating to muscle boy magazines and that same woman getting electocuted in the bathtub. That was funny though.

Most parts of Seeds of Sin was shaky, sort of like crumbled videotapes of old days. Is that normal for that movie? At moments I thought there was something wrong with the DVD.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:33 pm 
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Michael wrote:
Most parts of Seeds of Sin was shaky, sort of like crumbled videotapes of old days. Is that normal for that movie? At moments I thought there was something wrong with the DVD.

I'm gonna have to go back and look at this again (not least because this conversation has rekindled my interest). I'm sure there's nothing wrong with the DVD. It's probably inherent in the element Something Weird used for the transfer. I don't remember the specifics of this particular film, but a lot of grindhouse films were shot on reversal stock which was then used as the projection print. So it's probably just that SW used the best and only element available. Vertical shaking is very difficult and costly to compensate for digitally.

I hope you enjoy the book. If you don't, I'll happily reimburse you the purchase price. I'm appalled that the paperback appears to be out of print.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:42 pm 
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To be more specific, the non-sex scenes appeared to be very rough and shaky (yes in the vertical manner) while the sex scenes appeared like they came from a different movie. That left me wondering if the movie was filmed by two different guys. Anyway, I'm now looking forward to reading the book which I purchased for only four bucks. I love books about underground artists. I just finished reading Liz Renay's My Face For the World to See. Loved it! It instantly dissolved my summer doldrums.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:54 pm 
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Michael wrote:
To be more specific, the non-sex scenes appeared to be very rough and shaky (yes in the vertical manner) while the sex scenes appeared like they came from a different movie. That left me wondering if the movie was filmed by two different guys.

They were filmed separately. And perhaps I misremembered my Milligan history and the sex scenes were indeed shot by someone else. I'm fairly positive it was Milligan, though, because I remember him being very pissed off about it. The book will say for sure.

However, much of the primitive quality of Milligan's images comes from his insistence on using an Auricon camera. It was one of the first 16mm film cameras to capture synchronous sound on the film. It was developed primarily for use as a news camera, but somehow became the camera to have among the New York avant-garde. Most of Warhol's sound films were made using an Auricon. I think I remember reading that Milligan did not always get the film threaded properly and thus messed up the sprocket holes on many a reel of film. This no doubt would account for the shakiness.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:14 pm 

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Michael wrote:
To be more specific, the non-sex scenes appeared to be very rough and shaky (yes in the vertical manner) while the sex scenes appeared like they came from a different movie. That left me wondering if the movie was filmed by two different guys.

I know the shakiness you mean and it seems to be related to the original film elements. Either the lab printed it badly or Milligan threaded up the camera incorrectly during shooting. Neither would surprise me. [EDIT: Matt beat me to it]

As far as I know, Seeds of Sin's baffling insert sex scenes (thoughtfully indexed with separate chapter stops to be skipped past on SWV's DVD) were added in a few years later by another distributor (changing the title from the original Seeds in the process) and Milligan's original was thrown out.

The Milligan aesthetic is very jarring and frequently downright offputting - his main contribution to cinematic language seems to have been the swirl-camera (flailing the camera about wildly during scenes of mayhem). On the commentary for The Ghastly Ones, Frank Henenlotter talks about watching his films on the big screen and getting motion sickness.

Jimmy McDonough's biography is terrific - it's impossible to stop once you've started. The odd thing is reading about Andy Milligan is a lot more interesting and enjoyable than his films, and yet his films (especially the likes of Seeds) are, by all accounts, an entirely accurate representation of the man himself, if only the malignant spirit that drove him. The most salient point McDonough makes is how the majority of exploitation films in the 60s and 70s are all about bland, dreary non-characters padding time until the next requisite burst of sex and/or violence to liven things up. Milligan's films are the total opposite. His actors are perpetually either in full flip-out mode or barely tolerating each others' presence, and there's a continual atmosphere of mental and emotional decay that's way sleazier than any of the tits and gore insisted upon by his producers.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:22 pm 

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A Seeds of Sin fan compilation on YouTube that should carry a MAJOR SPOILER WARNING.

It's an interesting taster, but makes the film look a lot more campy and action-packed than it actually is, and ruins the ending to boot. It does features my favourite scene, though: the broken bottle suicide in the garden.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:25 am 
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That 5-minute "trailer" is absolutely more fun and effective than the full-length feature. Amazing what some editing work can do to a movie! It contains all the best parts (but missing one part that I actually liked - the woman masturbating to muscle boy magazines - complete with close-ups of her stretch-marked navel). I would love the movie so much if it carried as much vibrancy as the "trailer".


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:21 am 
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Faggot of Fear:

http://www.cinefear.com/andy.html

My face now sinks into the meat of Jimmy McDonough's The Ghastly One - the book that keeps me up till 5 am for the past couple of nights....with espresso brewing endlessly on my side. What a riveting, nightmarish ride! The portrait of not only Andy but also the underground world of New York artists during the '60s is so vividly detailed and illuminating... every time I pull out of the book, whereever I'm in doesn't look right. Andy's disturbing hatred of women (stemmed from his mother) gave me a new perspective on Seeds of Sin and the book also details his "homosexuality" theory which I find very hilarious.

Now I know what to get for some of my friends for Christmas - this book! It's too bad that it's out of print but it's still easy to find (not expensive) on ebay or Amazon. The Ghastly One is wholeheartedly recommended to every one of you..there's no need to be familiar with Andy or his works to enjoy this book.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:34 am 
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Another convert, HUZZAH!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:37 pm 
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Hold it, Matt! The book which I'm nearly done with is not turning me into a fan of Andy or his Seeds. The book is astonishing and JUICY in its way of examining the gritty underworld of sex, drugs and art before the boom of pornography and horror films in the 70s that most of us are already familiar with. It also examines a depressing but utterly fascinating world of what's like being gay in New York during that era. The book also helps me to gain a better understanding why Andy was so bitter about everything except his cats - the very brutal bitterness that fueled his art, that keeps turning off just about everyone to this day.

Matt, you wrote of Seeds as Andy's magnum opus. Reading the book sparked my curiousity in seeing his first movie - Vapors! - which was advertised as the first "homosexual" movie, something of that sort. Have you seen it? What else have you seen by him?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:55 pm 
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Michael wrote:
Matt, you wrote of Seeds as Andy's magnum opus. Reading the book sparked my curiousity in seeing his first movie - Vapors! - which was advertised as the first "homosexual" movie, something of that sort. Have you seen it?

Yes, I've seen it. It's a short film and it's included on the Something Weird DVD of The Ghastly Ones/Seeds of Sin. If you end up renting it again to see Vapors, I also recommend a listen to Haal Borske's commentary on The Ghastly Ones. It's great to hear one of Milligans favorite victims exact revenge.

Michael wrote:
What else have you seen by him?

Gee... Seeds of Sin/Seeds, The Ghastly Ones, Vapors, Monstrosity, Guru, the Mad Monk, The Body Beneath, The Rats are Coming! The Werewolves are Here!, Bloodthirsty Butchers, and I've got The Man With Two Heads on the way. I'm dying to see Fleshpot on 42nd Street and The Filty Five.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:41 pm 
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Brutallo.com has more Milligan on the way, if you're interested.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:49 pm 

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Matt wrote:
Yes, I've seen it. It's a short film and it's included on the Something Weird DVD of The Ghastly Ones/Seeds of Sin.

Not true! It's on The Body Beneath (though the Seeds disc does have a trailer for it).

Glad you loved the book Michael - I'm reading McDonough's Russ Meyer biography at the moment and it's not quite as good. It's still entertaining, often hilarious, and highly readable but Meyer just isn't as compelling a subject as Milligan and it's not as personal a book.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:17 pm 
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Narshty wrote:
Matt wrote:
Yes, I've seen it. It's a short film and it's included on the Something Weird DVD of The Ghastly Ones/Seeds of Sin.

Not true! It's on The Body Beneath (though the Seeds disc does have a trailer for it).

Ah, sorry! I knew it was on one of those Something Weird DVDs.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:00 pm 
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Quote:
I hope you enjoy the book. If you don't, I'll happily reimburse you the purchase price
.

No, I'm keeping this book and I'm even thinking about ordering a hardcover copy just for my library. It's really that good.

The author's letter to Andy in the epilogue is very moving.. yes, my eyes ended up watery. What shocked me the most about the book is not so much about Andy or his background.. it's how beautifully the book is written. I didn't want it to end.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:09 pm 
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Vinegar Syndrome's new Blu-ray/DVD combo of the 4K resto of Seeds is now in stock and shipping (though their site is down for maintenance at the moment). I ordered mine from DiabolikDVD and just got my shipping notice.

Quote:
In VAPORS (1965), Milligan’s debut film, a lonely young man named Thomas visits a public steam bath where he meets an enigmatic stranger named Mr. Jaffee. As the night unfolds, Thomas finds himself in a hellish and perverse world of sexual misery.

Vinegar Syndrome and Distribpix present SEEDS & VAPORS, newly restored in 4k from their negative elements, with SEEDS available in its original and director’s cut for the first time in nearly 50 years!

Directed by: Andy Milligan
1965-68 / 113 minutes / B&W / 1.33:1 OAR
Starring: Maggie Rogers, Gerald Jacuzzo, Candy Hammond

Features Include:
• Region free Blu-ray/DVD combo pack
• Newly scanned and restored in 4k from a mixture of 35mm & 16mm vault elements
• “SEEDS OF SIN” – alternate feature length sexploitation version
• “VAPORS” – short film directed by Andy Milligan
• Interview with John Borske (writer / SEEDS)
• Interview with Gerald Jacuzzo (lead actor / VAPORS)
• Q&A from the Quad Cinema NYC screening in 2017 with John Borske, Gerald Jacuzzo and Patricia Dillon (actress / SEEDS)
• Original theatrical trailer
• Still gallery
• English SDH Subtitles


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