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Revisiting Old Haunts: Milligan's Monstrosity Locations by Rodd Matsui
I know why I havenít gone back to Andy Milliganís Monstrosity locations for such a long time (itís been since 1987 or so, about fifteen years). Although they are in tremendously accessible parts of Hollywood and Silver Lake, these places are in areas that were somewhat frightening to walk around in at the time, and still are now. Though buildings have been repainted, and some have been torn down and replaced with newer structures, these areas are much the same as they were back then. Are you ready to see the real places where this enigmatic artist lived and worked? My own memories of these places revolve around a lot of rubber prosthetics being glued, Karo syrup blood being pumped, and greasepaint being smeared. Although the red food coloring has long since washed away, a bit of the old atmosphere definitely remains.


Photo #1 is of the alleyway on Sunset Blvd. used in the opening scenes featuring some thugs attacking an old man. At the time, this gate opened to cement steps that led up to one of Andyís houses (he owned two, apparently), so he had a fair amount of control here, and could shoot without much trouble. The house at the top of the steps (not visible here) was where Audra Marie Ribieroís hospital scene was shot. Even more interesting, however, is what is directly to the right of the gate in this picture.


Photo #2 is of the building directly to the right of the gate. This is the famous "haunted studio" that Andy was renting. The interior of this building was used as the "gangís hideout" for a number of scenes. The clutter and chaos visible in those scenes, all the peeling paint and piles of broken furniture, were not set dressing; it was the then-current state of the building. I imagine it still looks that way in there now, although the place is locked up rather securely, so I was not able to look inside. Yes, this place is the one Andyís assistant claimed was haunted by a glowing vapor cloud that appeared in the main room very late at night. There was a tiny room the size of a walk-in closet where Andy had set up a moviola; there he edited Monstrosity's footage. I believe this building has been empty ever since Andy stopped renting it in the late 80ís.


Photo #3 is of the famous car wash where a number of young punks meet their demise at the hands of the evil gang. The entire scene was shot there, as I recall, in about half an hour (Iíve never seen anyone shoot as quickly as Andy), blood effects and all. This car wash is located more or less across the street from the haunted studio.


Photo #4 is of Andyís old house on Orange Street in Hollywood. The garage you see at the left was used as the "lab" where the deranged college students build "Frankie," the monster. The area between the garage and the house was where Andy snaked electrical cords one very rainy day. The interior of the house (of course) was used as well, for scenes inside one of the college studentsí homes. I remember very vividly that the house was completely devoid of real coffee--all there was was decaf, which is like a wooden nickel to real coffee drinkers.

Going back to these places and photographing them is something Iíve wanted to do for quite a while, and this Halloween season of 2002 seemed like the right time to do it. I was a little concerned about walking around alone with a camera in these decidedly creepy areas, but I just couldnít stay away. Happy Halloween, Andy.

Memories of a Mishkin