I Don't Want To Be Born


Dir: Peter Sasdy
Star: Joan Collins, Ralph Bates, Eileen Atkins, Caroline Munro

Nothing warms my heart in quite the same way as a taste of lurid British 70's horror. And, boy, this is a fine example: stripper Collins (albeit one who forgets the point of stripping i.e. taking off your clothes) spurns the advances of her local midget, so he curses her. Nine months later, she has a supersized baby, who immediately starts beating up on everyone in the neighbourhood. She decides, probably wisely, not to breast-feed it. Fortunately, her sister-in-law (Atkins) is a nun, so is somewhat more open to the idea of demonic possession than her doctor (Donald Pleasence).

Of course, while confirming my belief that all babies are instruments of Satan by default, this is still laughable and daft on just about every level. To start with, Atkins and husband Bates both affect very unconvincing Italian accents ("possessed by the day-vel") for no readily apparent reason. We are also apparently expected to believe either a baby or a dwarf - the film is unclear on this point - are capable of wielding a shovel for decapitative purposes. What did they do, stand on an orange box? I could go on, but was too busy sniggering to take many notes. This may also contain more drinking than any film up until Withnail + I, and poor Caroline Munro, playing another stripper, appears to have been dubbed. One can only wonder what someone like Argento might have done with this idea.

C-
December 2004


Problem child
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