Blu-ray Review: The Baby (1973)

September 2, 2018

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Ann (Anjanette Comer) has had a rough go; her husband recently bought the farm, and now her job as a social worker has presented to her a new challenge; the case of “Baby” (David Mooney in a performance that is both tragic and face punch inspiring) a 21 year-old with the mind of a baby (dude crawls, bawls, and shits his overalls if you catch my drift). Anyway, Baby’s momma (clever, right?) is none too pleased about Ann’s interference, and her two off-the-rails daughter feel much the same. Well, the sit well and truly hits the fan when Ann has designs on liberating the man-child from his wicked wardens which could lead to her demise!
Demented, bizarre, filled with mounting tension, and equal parts entertaining and annoying, The Baby is definitely unique that’s for sure. As mentioned, the main character of Baby definitel grates on the nerves at times, but the Wadsworth clan (as played by  Ruth Roman, Marianna Hill, and Susanne Zenor) are so deliciously over-the-top insane that you can’t take your eyes off from them! Adding to the pervasive sense of unease The Baby lies down is the physical abuse and incest the title character has to endure, nothing gets graphic, but man do you need a shower after watchin’ this one boils n’ ghouls! Special mention has to be made for the lurid lighting during the “birthday Party sequence”, that was some Bava level shit that was tight and outta sight! Oh one final thing, you will not see the ending of this film comin’…prepare for one hell of a twist creeps!
So the main event is one hell of a ride, but what else does Arrow Video have in store for us on this Blu-ray release? First up is an audio commentary from horror journalist Travis Crawford discussing the production of the film, as well as it’s place in ’70’s horror history…it’s an excellent listen, and comes off more conversational than scholarly, thought it is filled with information. Following that are interviews with actress Marianna Hill, set decorator Stanley Dyrector, director Ted Post (an audio archival piece), and actor Mooney (this too is an archival audio piece). After that comes a retrospective of the film by film professor Rebekah McKendry, and the film’s trailer.
Bizarre, off-putting, baffling…that’s The Baby in a nut shell. If you hold the most outrageous elements of grindhouse near and dear, then get The Baby into your creepy collection post-haste!



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