Hello, zillions of loyal readers! I know you’ve been anxiously awaiting the newest installment of SCHLOCK FOOTAGE – sitting on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, sweating, drooling, YEARNING for a new movie recommendation about nuns, titties, vampires, or all the above.
WELL! I’ve got you covered. This time around, allow me to tell you the story of an adult baby. And no, it’s not a fetish thing…at least, I don’t think it is. We’re watching 1973’s cult classic, The Baby.
This movie is listed as a horror-thriller, but that doesn’t really do it justice. It’s more of a Lifetime movie gone wild. The Baby is about Anne, a social worker who develops a strong interest in the case of the Wadworths – Mrs. Wadworth, her two daughters, Germaine and Alba, and her seemingly mentally-disabled son, Baby. Yes, the adult baby’s name is just, “Baby” even like, that’s what’s listed on his legal forms and all. The social worker is a bit suspicious about Baby – after all, he seeeeeeeems like a regular adult man, so she wonders if there’s some sort of abuse going on. Not surprisingly – (record scratch) there is!
Baby himself isn’t even the wildest part of this movie. Like, yeah, it’s freaky that this twenty-one-year-old man is wearing a diaper and getting spanked, but the FACES this actor makes are so ridiculous that you just don’t believe that this is anything other than a theater performance. Also, I’m pretty sure that his scenes are dubbed over with actual baby whining noises. You’d expect a grown man to be going, “Wah, wah” in a deep baritone, but no, it’s actual baby sounds. He’s cartoonish, and honestly, this shtick gets old pretty fast. Everyone is so chill about this man that I started to just accept his status as a grown baby and didn’t really care about him that much after a while.
No, the REAL stars of the show here are the other Wadworths. First of all, their FASHION SENSE is on point. Germaine has the biggest 70’s hair I’ve ever seen, Mrs. Wadworth rocks these denim pantsuits complete with denim blazers, and Alba is dressed like an evil “Hit Me Baby, One More Time”-era Britney. They’re so hysterically evil – it’s strongly implied that they murdered their last social worker, they taser(!) Baby, and Germaine is horny for Baby because OF COURSE there had to be some incest on top of this whole thing.
Actually, now that I think about it, this movie is hornier than it needs to be. There’s a scene where a babysitter is watching Baby, and Baby gets hungry and tries to suck on her nips for milk. The babysitter protests, but then slips her shirt off and sexy saxophone music starts playing…I was like, hello? 911? I could feel the FBI agent assigned to me adding me to a watchlist as that scene played out.
Technically speaking, this movie is pretty booty. Not unwatchable levels of booty, but still booty. The makeup team really let Anne have shit in her teeth and dry, bleeding lips during her close-ups, and dialogue sequences will just blatantly have cars driving by or airplane noises. It’s also super exploitative – there’s a long, extremely unnecessary scene where actual disabled children are playing together, and it made me suuuuuuuper uncomfortable. Don’t let these real-life children be immortalized in a movie about people who are horny for adult babies!!!! That ain’t right!!!!!
Somehow, this movie maintains a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The director, Ted Post, also somehow managed to go from this to directing Clint Eastwood movies and episodes of The Twilight Zone. Meanwhile, writer Abe Polsky’s credits include doing story for a movie called The Gay Deceivers (1969) about pretending to be gay so they don’t get drafted into the army. Obviously, I’m going to have to watch that one soon.
Overall, The Baby is worth checking out! It’s not the most batshit movie I’ve ever seen, but it still held my attention throughout, mostly because the Wadsworths were so damn campy. If you can morally divorce yourself from the unfortunate and outdated “disability as shock” horror trope, you’ll have a grand ol’ time. This is the type of over-the-top, politically incorrect movie you can only get from the 70’s: the power of 70’s fashion and hair-dos alone make this worth watching.