director Andy Milligan
The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! is an Andy Milligan movie up and down but it’s also producer William Mishkin’s masterpiece of titling. You get rats coming and werewolves going when you ask your auteur to shoot an additional 20 or so minutes of footage to a picture already in the can for some time. Apparently, inspired by the success of Willard, Mishkin had Milligan add in a killer rats subplot. Not only did this give us that title but more interestingly, it gave us Andy Milligan himself.
“Well, when one brings as many little creatures of the night into the world as I, one forgets a little sex now and then.” Is this Andy Milligan getting all self-reflexive on us?
Because this is Andy Milligan, in character as Mr. Micawber, a rat-looking dude, selling flesh-eating rats, who ate both his left arm and half his face off, to Monica Mooney (Hope Stansbury). We also have Andy Milligan in another guise as an unnamed gunsmith selling a pistol and homemade silver bullets to a Miss Diana (Jackie Skarvellis). Both of these sequences were shot in New York, supplementing the werewolf movie Milligan had previously filmed in Britain.
But how fascinating it is to see Andy Milligan himself on camera! Albeit in deep character and make-up, hamming it up with apparently glee. As disjointed as these additional sequences are, I found them most enjoyable, especially the Mr. Micawber one.
Milligan is such an enigma. Lost as he is to life and time, save for his extant films and their utterly uniquely Milligan-esque character. The Milligan we know today is pieced together from his work and subsequent lore for present day fans he probably never imagined that he would ever have.
The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! is Milligan does Milligan. And I love it!