director Andy Milligan
Considered by some to be Andy Milligan’s best film, Fleshpot on 42nd Street is sleazy sexploitation and a bitter bit of social realism. I’m totally new to Andy Milligan, having just watched and read up on The Body Beneath (1970), I was intrigued.
Milligan worked mostly in either sexploitation or horror, and Fleshpot was his final flick in the former genre. It’s less titillating than some other sexploitation and more outright depressing.
Dusty (played by Diane Lewis) isn’t an overly sympathetic character. She’s a young woman functioning as a prostitute, but really kind of scamming her way through life, using anyone who comes her way: johns, strangers, friends. And life uses her right back. And so does essentially anyone else in her little orbit on the grim streets of 1970’s New York. Neil Flanagan plays Cherry Lane, a transvestite prostitute, friend, and roommate to Dusty in the film’s finest performance.
As I’m new to Milligan, I can’t draw too many conclusions. As opposed to his horror films, it lacks the cheap costumes, bad FX, and weird fantasy elements, but maintains his other characteristics, many more idiosyncratic than necessarily qualitative. But it’s interesting, and I found Fleshpot on 42nd Street quite compelling in its way, in its ruthless vision of life that is downright misanthropic.
I am totally intrigued. More to come.