Movie Review: THE BABY (Special Edition) Blu-ray

THE BABY was directed by Ted Post from a screenplay by Abe Polsky and stars Anjanette Comer, Ruth Roman, Marianna Hill, Susanne Zenor, Michael Pataki, Tod Andrews and David Mooney. The score is by Gerald Fried.

Still traumatised by the loss of her husband, well-meaning social worker Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer) throws herself into her latest assignment: the case of “Baby”, a 21-year-old man with the mind of an infant – who crawls, cries and has yet to make it out of nappies. But Baby’s family – the tyrannical “Mama” Wadsworth (Ruth Roman) and her two demented daughters – aren’t the only ones with a warped conception of familial relations, and the full horror only begins when Ann sets her sights on liberating the drooling man-child… and in so doing unleashes the wrath of the Wadsworth women.

This 1973 psychological-thriller follows a social worker who pays a visit to this eccentric family that consists of a deranged mother, her two adult daughters, and her adult son who has a mind of a child, so much so, his family still treats and dresses him like a toddler. It’s said that the son’s condition is from the wild lifestyle the mother had chosen to live earlier in life. It doesn’t take long for the social worker to notice that something isn’t right about this family and the more time she spends with “Baby” the more she finds out about these sick people and their twisted ways.

One key thing she notices is that the mother and her two daughters have an unusual way of disciplining the innocent man child and this is where she comes up with a plan to get “Baby” away from his own messed up family members. What happens is, she gets a little too close for comfort and it doesn’t sit well with the overprotective family so they try to run her off but she’s determined to save “Baby” from his own sinister family members before something terrible happens to him. In the end, a new twisted is introduced about the social worker who ultimately gives “Baby” a safe new place he can call home and where his old family can’t hurt him anymore.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back include movie details, some images and list of special features. The reversible sleeve features some newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use as the front cover. There’s also a Collector’s booklet inside that features new writing by Kat Ellinger that will be available only on the first pressing. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. This high-definition release from Arrow Video is pristine. The picture and sound quality for this obscure horror title were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Baby was another first time watch for me and let me tell you, this movie is bat shit crazy but all in a crazy cool way. This 1973 psychological-thriller kind of feels like it has a distant kinship to other popular creepy baby movies from the 70’s like It’s Alive and Basket Case except this one is way more tame and the baby looks normal, except for the fact that it’s a grown ass man. It also has a little Texas Chainsaw going for it too, not because of any blood or gore, but because of how messed up this close knit family really is. The mother and two sisters have several screws loose! This is my personal opinion and you have the right to disagree. Anyway, I liked the story and thought the cast did a really good job with their interesting characters. I don’t know if David Mooney won any kind of awards for his role as The Baby but if he didn’t he should have. Director Ted Post captured everything he needed to make this early 70’s obscurity an unsettling horror drama that’s entertaining to the max and the most impressive thing about it is the fact that it clocks in with a tame PG rating. Arrow Video will release The Baby on a Special Edition Blu-ray on September 25th and it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you’ve never witnessed this bizarre slice of cinema before.

Distributor: Arrow Video

Run Time: 84 Minutes

Rated: PG

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition (1.85:1) and (1.33:1) versions of the feature

Blu-ray Audio: Original uncompressed PCM mono audio

Subtitles: Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include a new retrospective about the movie, interviews with some of the cast and crew, the original theatrical trailer and some new audio commentary.

  • Down Will Come Baby – a new retrospective with film professor Rebekah McKendry (12:01)
  • A Family Affair – An interview with actor Marianna Hill (05:43)
  • Nursery Crimes – An interview with nursery painting creator Stanley Dyrector (06:27)
  • Tales from the Crib – archival audio Interview with director Ted Post (20:00)
  • Baby Talk – archival audio Interview with Star David Mooney (14:41)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:45)
  • Brand new audio commentary by Travis Crawford

 

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