Monday, October 31, 2011
Ann Gentry is a social worker assigned to investigate the strange Wadsworth family after rumors surface about potential abuse. Arriving to the homestead she is introduced to “Baby”, a 22-year-old in diapers who is still being treated like an infant by his odd family. Additional family members include Baby’s suffocating mother and her two daughters from two different relationships. Neglecting her other cases, Ann becomes intrigued with Baby but is met with great resistance when she attempts to teach him to behave age-appropriately. After realizing that Baby's development is being held hostage by the family for their own perverted reasons, Ann concocts a plan to “rescue” him. This does not sit well with the Wadsworth clan and Ann soon finds herself in a fight for her life.
Like many movies I’ve watched this year I stumbled upon The Baby quite by accident while trolling around on You Tube. After a little research I learned that the film is considered a cult classic – go figure. I’m happy to report that The Baby deserves its cult status. It’s a sick, twisted compelling tale and despite the absurd premise you will get sucked into the bizarre story. With underlying tones of incest and sadism this is shocking stuff when you consider that this was released in 1973. For the first few minutes of Baby I had every intention to make fun of it but I was soon captivated by its dark themes and strong performances all around including the excellent Ruth Roman (Strangers on a Train), who plays the cruel Mama Wadsworth. Dubbing Baby’s cries with those of a real infant produces some unintentional laughs and a visit to a “special” school for mentally challenged kids is squirm-worthy in our PC world but these are minor quibbles. Watch it on You Tube!