The Minnesota-born Milligan began his film career in earnest with gay-themed, arty shorts like VAPORS (1965) and THE GAY LIFE (1967). He hit pay dirt in the late ‘60s when distributor William Mishkin appeared in the role of financier/benefactor on THE PROMISCUOUS SEX (1968). Together the two men made eight films in the sexploitation and horror genres from 1968-1973. Surprisingly, for such a prolific filmmaker, CARNAGE was Milligan’s first film of the 1980s, when horror was booming again. There was a five year gap between production of this in 1983 and his previous feature, the deliciously titled LEGACY OF BLOOD (1978). It seems the success of housebound paranormal films like THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979) and POLTERGEIST (1982) got Milligan in the director’s chair (folding, no doubt) once more and this time he was working for Lew Mishkin, son of William. Yes, it may have been a new decade, but Milligan was up to his old Staten Island tricks.
like ropes with no blood on them, but its shoddiness contributes to the overall grossness. A couple o’ corpses ain’t gonna stop this house warming though and soon Dan and Carol are joined by Ann and Walter and heretofore unmentioned Tony and Margaret. Those pesky ghosts aren’t going to stand for this and they give house warming a new meaning by electrocuting Walter in the bathtub. This tragedy finally prompts Carol to look into the history of the house. She meets an old man at city hall and he tells her the previous occupants were Mark (Chris Georges) and Susan Webb (Deeann Veeder). They were dead set on restoring this house to its original condition, but got sidetracked by a miscarriage and Susan getting terminal cancer. They opted out of life, hence the opening suicides. Carol figures the only way to end this mess is to get a priest involved and soon we have bootleg Max Von Sydow showing up (in a white turtleneck to mimic a priest’s collar). Can he successfully combat the household items flinging around on monofilament line? Don’t find out.
problem except, uh, sell the house”
a very nice price on your house. Here’s his card.”
It is a shame this is all so bad as the house used in the film (it was Milligan’s own home) is a cool looking place. Apparently the house burned down right after the filming of CARNAGE, as if it just couldn’t take being associated with being in a Milligan flick. You know your movie is bad when the main location commits suicide. If you still have any desire to see this after my review (and I know you do, you insane horror fans), just check out this trailer and be done with it. Milligan in a minute is plenty.