Drama, Horror, Satire, Thriller

The Baby (1973)

0 Comments 12 July 2014

Baby blu

Studio: Severin
Theatrical Release: March 1973
Blu Ray Release: July 8, 2014
Director: Ted Post
Rated PG

Review by James Klein

The Baby is a film I have always admired and enjoyed. I reviewed the Severin DVD back in March of 2013. Here is my review:

Criminally under seen and a film that is rarely talked about, The Baby should be considered a cult classic. However, the film is just too weird, too hard to categorize that it seems that even with a new DVD release, the film has not stuck with many viewers which is a shame. The Baby is unlike any film you have ever seen and even after 40 years, it still remains as a creepy little horror/drama that must be seen to be believed.

Under the direction of Ted Post (Hang ‘Em High, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Magnum Force) The Baby is about social worker Ann with a dark secret who is brought in to look after a man-child, simply named Baby. Baby is kept in a crib, wears diapers, and fed from a bottle by his two evil sisters and his overbearing mother. Baby isn’t mentally retarded but was forced to stay a baby from birth by his family and is used for various reasons, some even being sexual (although only hinted in the film). As Ann grows fond of Baby and tries to teach him words and how to walk, the family doesn’t take too kindly to these matters and try to force Ann to leave, by any ways necessary.

While The Baby isn’t so much as a scary film, it is a creepy and disturbing little drama about an extremely fucked up family. Watching Baby being shocked by a cattle prong and forced to be breast fed by the baby sitter is just some of the scenes that make this film unforgettable and disturbing. I can see The Baby being doubled bill with that year’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as a great double feature at a drive-in, about two very messed up family members. As The Baby gets near its riveting climax, the movie begins to really push that PG rating with the amount of violence that takes place. The final image of The Baby is all the more shocking, thus adding a great twist to a strange film.

Under the direction of Post, The Baby doesn’t try to be funny or even hint that it knows its a silly and strange premise. This is what makes The Baby all the more disturbing. Post takes the film seriously, as do the amazing cast. There is no winking at the camera, as if the film makers are in on the joke. This would have ruined The Baby and thankfully this is not the case here.

Severin’s DVD of The Baby is excellent in every way. The picture has never looked this good, the sound perfectly fine. Severin was even able to unearth some audio interviews with director Post who is still alive at the ripe old age of 95 (Post has since died, passing away in August of 2013) and an audio interview with Baby himself, actor David Mooney. Although both interviews are very interesting, I couldn’t help but drift off and doze after awhile as I would have liked an actual interview. Personally, I always found audio interviews to be a bit of a bore. Still, this is a neat little special feature that shines a light on the making of this movie. The final special feature is the theatrical trailer that makes The Baby look like a straight up horror film which is not the case at all.

The Baby is not for everyone. I can see most people walking away, shaking their head at what they just saw. I can even see some of my friends get mad or offended at me if I recommend the picture to them, saying something like, “What’s wrong with you?” as if I made the movie myself. Proceed at your own risk. For those of you who enjoy strange films, The Baby takes the cake.

Now, since then, I re-watched the bly ray of The Baby and have noticed a few minor bits of print damage in the picture as well as noticing some bits of un-clarity as well as color fading. This may have been present on the DVD as well but it is all very minor complaints. The movie still holds up and my rating doesn’t change.

Movie Rating: ★★★★☆

Blu Ray Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

 

 

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