Horror

When Faith is Misplaced – Guru, the Mad Monk (1970)


There are times more often than not that low-budget films turn out to be awful, especially when it comes to the horror and science-fiction genre. Guru, the Mad Monk which falls squarely in the former turns out to be pretty bad and yet there is enough present that it ends up being fairly absorbing and in a way, not as terrible as many would make it out to be.

Watching this, it is immediately apparent that the acting by those involved is not very good, the script not helping to make things any better nor the story which revolves around a woman named Nadja accused of murder and sentenced to death. Additionally, the film is also about the Mad Monk in question, Father Guru who doles out the punishments to those who stand accused. Factor in a woman Guru is sheltering at his church/prison who just so happens to be a vampire and a hunchback named Igor and things get a little more complicated for both Nadja and the man she loves who is trying to get her out of there. Neil Flanagan stars as Father Guru and the man is appropriately evil in all he does as well as having some sort of split personality which is revealed during one scene and then never touched upon again making it a complete waste of time, much like many of the scenes throughout the movie. Jacqueline Webb was spectacularly bad as vampiress Olga while Igor as a character added nothing except for atmosphere, though he would aid in dispensing with Guru during the last act of the picture.  One can see what director Andy Milligan was going for but there was obviously little effort put into the movie on any level.

With the music failing to add anything to the film, the editing being choppy and everything else about it failing on almost every level, somehow Milligan managed to piece it together to make it palatable enough that the audience could not help but watch it from start to finish. Thankfully, the movie ended up not being very long, the length perhaps being the only positive to what can only be called a disaster but a disaster that begs to be watched and even possibly, enjoyed.

2 out of 5

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