Seeds of Sin (1968)
Dir: Andy Milligan.
Carol Manning (Candy Hammond having lots of fun with her sexed up character) lives with and looks after her crippled Mother, Claris (Maggie Rogers, "The Ghastly Ones"), along with a handful of servants, including the mysterious Mortimer (Jesse Bigelow), who is always by Claris's side.
Carol decides to invite the rest of her Brothers and Sisters and their partners for Christmas, much to her Mother's rage who cannot stand any of her offspring.
So her Brother Michael (Robert Service) and his Wife Susan (Eileen Hayes), her Sister Margaret (Helena Velos) and her Husband Jonathan (Jerry Cortez) and her Military Academy Brother, Buster (Gene Connolly).
As the plot develops we learn that Carol has had an incestuous relationship with Michael, and wants to carry it on, Margaret despises Carol for being closer to her Mother (though that is not saying much!) and likes rough sex and that Buster is a blackmailing, psychotic, suicidal homosexual that was molested by his other Brother Matthew (who is 'seen' in the film but is not actually in this version...see below).
As this bizarre family gathers, as the servants scheme, and as the corrupt abortionist Doctor Kram (Paul Eden) gives the ailing Claris blood transfusions to keep her going .an insane murderer plots
This once lost Andy Milligan gem is simply a delight. Once again Milligan dishes out huge portions of camp, trash, perversion and ranting insanity.
And it is actually a tribute to his warped skills that "Seeds of Sin" survives the damage done to it by the Producers. The original title was simply "Seeds" and the film behind the name was even more warped then what we have in this re-titled print. Sadly a number of Milligan's scenes were removed, after a less than successful release, to put in longer and slightly more explicit sex sequences. Including the entire removal of one of Carol's Brothers (the aforementioned Mathew, played by Neal Flanagan) whom she is ALSO having sex with!
So lets get these inserts dealt with before we move on to the rest of the film.
The first is actually pretty good and welcome (though has nothing to do with
the actual film) as its orgy footage (including female full frontal scenes and
even a very brief penis shot) used as the title sequence.
The others are pretty much lame and annoying however.
Many hold up the plot just as it starts to liven up and get down to the murders and even more increased insanity. And I mean the plot simply stops dead.
A funky Mod/Jazz score (and noticeable picture improvement) accompanies these inserts complete with long drum solo's. Some of the sex is inserts are used to add more sex and nudity to Milligan's original sequences but some simply appears from nowhere with no relation to any of Milligan's original footage until the end where the original actors suddenly lurch onto the screen baring no resemblance at all to the insert actors we have just watched.
And given that the same 2/3 people are used, and that this was made in an era 'real' bodies were acceptable it's very obvious that the same insert people are used to double various different cast members.
What a tragedy though that these inserts were at the expense of so much original
And you crave to see what the original version was actually like and to have some of the briefly touched on subplots brought to some kind of fruition.
The excellent 'Something Weird' DVD provides a 40minute long work print, as an extra, of some of this lost footage, as does the early trailer. But what a shame SWV did not re-edit some of these into the actual film. The loss of the deliciously twisted sequences between her Priest Brother Mathew (including a great scene of Carol spitting in his mouth) and the resulting removal of his delightfully demented suicide by hanging. Are sad deletions indeed.
There is also a MUCH better, longer ending that has a great little twist which is missing from the actual version we are given, which sadly now has one of the most abrupt endings you will ever come across.
But enough of this negativity! On with the good stuff.
As always Milligan gives us some amazingly entertaining characters and some
The wheelchair bound Mother (a wonderful turn by Rogers) is an acid delight!
Her scene at dinner is a cruel highlight as Claris is delightfully rotten to her twisted offspring, calling them a bunch of "fat thieves" and making damn sure they know that they are in no way welcome!
"You've ruined my life, and now I've just ruined your dinner ha ha ha now go ahead and eat"!
She is actually the only moral character in the film as well but in true Milligan style she is also a complete, raving nut!
Showing there is no place for anything subtle in an Andy Milligan flick Mortimer is sporting the biggest black eye patch possible and everyone rants and raves at some point. The whole film is charged with a demented energy that not even the plodding inserts can deplete.
Dr Kram is also a briefly glimpsed treasure (with very David Lochary, "Pink Flamingos", type mannerisms) who, during a crazed abortion, has a sock to the jaw stand in for antiseptic!
Highlights are too many, but the rants are real gems of trashy entertainment and a monument to the sheer enjoyment that comes from hammy, but honest, amateur acting. Be it Carols insane topless mad cackling and nursery rhyme chanting or Busters insane childish explosion in his Mother's bedroom, all are just a joy to watch.
The script not only slams out shocking revelations with gusto (like Claris's
Husband Father is currently residing in a "home for the criminally insane"!)
but also some superb dialogue.
A conversation between Margaret and Jonathan goes thus:
"I was so sex starved, so desperate for physical love that you were just what I needed an animal".
Resulting in Jonathan's heartfelt reply; "I love you so much I could kill you".
Another gem is when we learn that their Mother is crippled due to a mysterious fall down the stairs:
"Nothing can kill a bitch like Mama".
More romantic words spill forth during the incest sex between Michael and Carol:
"You little bitch, you really want it don't you".
A sequence that culminates in Carol's increasingly crazed 'child like' lust:
"I'll ride on your train if you play in my house".
That Andy, he's an old romantic at heart!
Milligan's camera work is up to his normal low standards as he shakily zooms in too close at obscure angles, resulting in the viewer wondering just what they are actually looking at for the first few seconds, especially during the sex scenes.
And talking of sex, Milligan gives us his own plot stopping sequence involving Carol stripping off and taking a bath (scored with 'skipping through the meadows' tunes of whimsy), before checking out 'Muscle' mags and indulging in a spot of masturbation (which actually gets pretty strong during one of the more effective inserts). Mind you, it is nice to see the 'wanking off to porn' act turned around from a Man to a Woman. Good for you Milligan!
But even with all this sex, nudity and insanity Milligan still finds time to pile on the supremely cheesy murders. First is a bathroom electrocution via a radio with no mains lead! (Until that is it's pushed into the bath tub and the lead mysteriously appears!) and from then one we are treated to such tacky treats as a black comic knifing, acid mutilation and head bashing.
What we have here then is ragged, rough, amateurish film making of the most enjoyable sort. Demented, warped, crazed, cheesy, trashy and as unsubtle and just plain mad as you could wish for .And this is despite the clumsy inserts and extra warped fun we could have had with the missing Brother.
Terrific trash presented on one of 'Something Weird's' most enjoyable DVD's where it sits along side the equally crackpot "The Ghastly Ones". An essential purchase.