Sunday, July 24, 2011

#352. The Baby (1973)

Directed By: Ted Post

Starring: Anjanette Comer, Ruth Roman, Marianna Hill

Tag line: "Horror is his formula!"

Trivia:  The producer's son played the part of the baby

A word of warning: The Baby is one weird-ass motion picture!

Released in 1973, The Baby tells the story of the Wadsworth family. Mrs. Wadsworth (Ruth Roman), whose husband walked out on her years earlier, has been raising three children on her own: two adult daughters, Germaine (Marianna Hill) and Alba (Susanne Zenor), and one baby (David Mooney). What makes this particular household so unusual is that “Baby” is actually 21 years old! 

Mrs. Wadsworth claims that Baby, who still wears diapers and sleeps in a crib, is mentally backwards, but the family's new social worker, Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer), is convinced he could lead a perfectly normal life if his mother and sisters would allow him to do so. 

Hoping to prove criminal negligence, Ann becomes a regular fixture at the Wadsworth home, and spends a great deal of time trying to teach Baby to walk and talk. But as Ann will learn, Mrs. Wadsworth is a very protective mother, and is willing to go to extreme lengths to defend her family and its secrets. 

Now, I did read up on The Baby before sitting down to watch it, and frankly, it all seemed very bizarre. So, if just reading about the movie left me scratching my head, imagine my shock the moment I saw Baby for the first time. No synopsis or description could have prepared me for the sight of a grown man in a diaper who spends his days in an over-sized playpen. Baby, played as well as can be expected by David Mooney, was a sight to behold, but like Ann, I got the sense there was more to this story than the Wadsworth family was letting on. 

Sure enough, when Ann experiences a breakthrough of sorts with Baby - getting him to stand for a short time on his own - Mrs. Wadsworth is none too pleased (staring at a terrified Baby, she quietly damns him for showing signs of progress). We then cut immediately to Baby's room, where Alba is torturing the "youngster" with a cattle prod, repeating over and over “Baby doesn't walk, Baby doesn't talk”. Mrs. Wadsworth's motherly instincts do eventually kick in and she puts a stop to the chaos... then turns to Germaine and tells her to lock Baby in the closet!

Despite The Baby's outlandish story, the filmmakers play it entirely straight, adding no superfluous humor whatsoever (the sight of a grown man in a diaper is unintentionally hilarious). But even if The Baby isn't the funniest film you've ever seen, I'll bet money it'll be one of the strangest.


Anonymous said...

Incredible horrorcast.

Maybe you can shed some insight to me- I added you on to my favorites on stitcher I listen to many shows on that ap and is good cause I never hook my phone up for the new casts until the weekend so now I can listen whenever nice.

I have been trying to get on stitcher for months I run 2 social podcasts and cant get approved on stitcher. Can you tell me how you got listed?

tyvm- Mitch Opielski

Anonymous said...

2moredays away dammit i keep forgetting about the tues. launch.

has it been recorded yet, if so, how is the show sir? will i be chopping at the bits 'til tues.?

i enjoy the oldies sir is it possible for you to cover more recent horror movies say within the last decade on the non podcast release days?

thx greatly sir. bb lee

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks for stopping by! It's appreciated.

@Mitch: So glad you're enjoying the podcast, and it's great that you're able to listen on Stitcher!

On the upcoming show, Billchete will be talking more about how Horror Jungle was able to connect with Stitcher. Unfortunately, I myself wasn't very much involved with the process, so I'm afraid I don't have the information you're looking for. But I'll pass your question on to Billchete, and will let you know what he says.

@bb lee: Yeah, I'm part of the show, and I STILL haven't gotten used to Tuesdays!

Episode #3 has been recorded, and will be available in 2 days time. There's some really good discussion on the two main films, and I think you'll enjoy it!

I've been trying to mix in some recent horror films on my Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday schedule (such as WRONG TURN and GINGER SNAPS: UNLEASHED), but I will make an effort to throw a few more into the rotation as well. I thank you for stopping back and checking the blog out on a regular basis. It is greatly appreciated.

Thanks to both of you for the comments, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

thx sir it is nice to know you consider the fans requests.

bb lee

DVD Infatuation said...

@bb lee: It's my pleasure. I'm always open to suggestions, and I really do appreciate you stopping back on a regular basis.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

love horrorjungle movie podcast ^
talented staff and much fun ^
i get all movies that sound scary ^
you are my favorite podcast ^
priyanka cyprus ^

DVD Infatuation said...

@Priyanka: Thanks so much for the comment, and we're glad you like the show!

Please be sure to let us know what you think of the movies when you get a chance to watch them.

Thanks again for the compliment, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Dr. wonderful morning it is humid and breezy. Love the Horror jungle pod, it is a treat for horror movies. Keep up the great work bringing horror movies to the mainstream. Yuki from Chicago

DVD Infatuation said...

Yuki: Good morning! Nice to hear you're getting some pleasant weather. We've been getting nothing but heat on this side of the U.S. (though, hopefully, it's going to break soon)

Thanks for the kind words regarding Horror Jungle. We're so glad you enjoy the podcast, and we really do appreciate the comment.

Thanks for stopping by the blog, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

thebaby sounds wierd dr maybe worth a try less than aday away for 3 yay!!

DVD Infatuation said...

Hello, and thanks for the comment!

THE BABY is, indeed weird! If you don't mind strange movies, then you'll like this one!

Ep. #3 is less than 24 hours away! Just spoke to Billchete, and he says it sounds great!

Thanks for stopping by, and for listening to Horror Jungle.