|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|Index||35 reviews in total|
Well stone me, what a farce. I actually enjoyed this film.
It certainly is, as somebody a long time ago said, a game of three halves. The first half hour or so is laughably bad, and had me chuckling throughout. Then the tone shifts slightly and you find yourself actually getting vaguely interested into what on Earth's going on and where it could all possibly be leading. And then the last thirty minutes are genuinely disturbing, with some rather scary bits in there and a few set pieces that you won't have seen coming. All in all, rather absorbing.
The plot itself sounds like something cobbled together from "The Exorcist" and "The Omen" (despite the latter film being released the year after, but stay with me). Joan Collins (?!) plays a woman (good show) who's given birth to an "evil" child, who spends the film apparently viciously assaulting people whilst those of the religious faith find it all terribly intriguing. The scenes of the aforementioned child attacking people are usually quite laughable, usually comprising of somebody leaning close to it, recoiling in horror clutching their cheek and moaning "It bit me!", followed by a shot of a not particularly frightening little child looking frankly bewildered at the fact that he's in a film. Ah ha, but the baby has "Surprising strength for his age," we are told, so that's all right then.
The rationale for all this, given to us as a flashback about 10-15 minutes in, is one of the funniest bits of the film. Joan's character used to be a stripper, and performed her acts with a small dancing midget who apparently fancied her like mad. On her last day of work, the midget toddles along to her dressing room and tries to feel her up, whereupon she screams and a spiv wanders in and tells the midget to get lost. The midget toddles away again and Joan and the spiv (her old boyfriend, and manager of the strip club) begin to make out, Joan switching from "horror-struck and upset" to "giggly and horny" in the space of three seconds. The whole scene looks like it was shot in one take, and is played so languidly to defy belief. Later that evening, as Joan leaves the club, the midget leaps out at her from the shadows and rather improbably cries "You shall have a devil child!!!" before scampering off again.
Quite why Joan (recounting the story to a bored-witless Caroline Munro) should assume that this is the only explanation for why her child has anger-management problems I have no idea. And quite why she turns out to be right is even more startling. Soon she starts seeing the baby transform into the very same gurning midget in the blink of an eye, and most of the deaths are accompanied by such supremely seminal camera work depicting the hands of the midget (hmm, now there's a title for a Hammer... "Hands of the Midget") groping around and punching people.
And this is just the basic premise of the story, all given within the first twenty minutes. From then on it's a whirlwind of the good and the bad. For the former we have Donald Pleasence giving a superbly understated performance as the doctor whom everybody seems to be seeking advice from (he actually seems like a doctor, somebody the makers had hired out from a surgery to appear in the film rather than just an actor, and it works wonderfully). The spiv, though a complete bounder, has a few amusing lines - "Said you'd come to me so I could cheer you up. I've got another six Irish jokes since we last met." Joan Collins, despite being a bit wooden at the beginning, actually gets better as the film progresses. And I was positively delighted by a cameo from Stanley Lebor, better known as lovable Howard in "Ever Decreasing Circles" (and, hurrah, a sitcom actor who actually survives the film - that's a rarity in the 70s). And then there's Pleasence with "I thought today was going to be normal routine, I didn't think I'd be discussing mysticism with an Italian nun." And then there's the laughably bad bits, including the rather shaky ground surrounding the "Midgets are evil" thing, the most unconvincing birth scene ever, in which Joan looks more as though she's being orally pleasured than having a child, and the gratuitous stripper scenes peppered about every so often which don't serve to do anything much at all ("Am I boring you?") In fact, various scenes of steamy romance and general sauciness seem to be chucked in just to give the film a higher rating - that's the only reason I can think of for a rather touching courting scene between Joan and blank-faced husband Ralph Bates (nice accent, Ralph) being followed up by the two of them having sweaty, fumbling sex whilst the melodious seedy music that we've been subjected to throughout the entire duration reaches a new low. And eyebrows will raise when you glance at the credits and see that this entire musical travesty (it really just sounds like porn music, I'm sorry) was composed by Ron Grainer, the man who composed the "Doctor Who" theme tune. Go Ron. You do your funky thang.
But yes, to sum it all up, "The Monster" (where "I Don't Want to be Born" comes from I have no idea, as it's not the title on the print) is at times a rather lopsided affair which manages to actually remain consistently entertaining throughout, whether by accident or by design. It's probably all a matter of taste, and maybe I just ended up liking it as it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it'd be, but it's a rather fun feature that does end on a few shocks. 7/10
Well now, this really is a sad effort falling between the enviable status of an honest-to-god bad movie watchable for laughs and a passable horror flick. Joan Collins is an ex-stripper who is cursed by a horny dwalf (little people are in league with the devil presumably) and goes on to have a baby with her Italian husband. Now there are rare treats to be had in this film to give it its due. First of them is seeing Joan Collins performing an erotic dance at her strip club. I've never actually been to such a club and its fairly obvious to the viewer that Joan hasn't either. Her dance is so entirely unerotic and daft as to serve as a warning that what is to follow will be of the lowest possible quality. Of course no strip club is complete without a sweaty dwalf dressed as a jester or in a top hat. The dwalf in question rants about her having a baby by the devil and lo and behold she does have a freaky child. The only problem is that the baby shown is entirely normal looking. All devilish action happening off screen and then cutting back to the decidedly unmenacing kid. Rosemarys baby and The Omen both showed that kids can be quite scary. This film though decides not to give the child ungodly mental powers, or spiritual domination as its forte instead relying on it having immense physical strength. That's right, this little tyke will push you into lakes, scratch your face etc. All of this is incredibly silly to start with but cutting from Collins leaning into the crib to her with a scratch on her face doesn't exactly create fear. The means by which the baby inflicts its reign of chubby terror on the cast is daft, nonsensical and entirely unscary. Except perhaps for the workman who gets a mouse put in his cup of tea because that was about the only act of terror that the child could conceivably achieve on its own. Especially silly is the suggestion that it keeps clawing people, since its tiny fingers are shown several times and its quite clear it has normal little fingers with no claws just tiny baby fingernails. There are more treats though, especially for anyone who lives in London where it is set. The curiosity value of seeing police on the streets, working telephone boxes, parking spaces and other symbols of the past might just be enough to keep you watching. I was also fascinated by Joans non-acting friend who seems unable to utter a single line without gesturing wildly and adding "darling" to it. In the finale an exorcism is performed by the husbands sister who happens to be a penguin (nun) however she seems to have forgotten several ingredients. A book, bell, candle, feasible latin and a priest would surely have helped. Luckily this doesn't seem to be a problem, even Satan seems keen to be out of the film, and all ends well. Unfortunately you may be thinking that this is a watchable if naff horror film but I've neglected to mention the bits that will put any sane viewer off. A good portion of the film has the same loud sound effect of a baby screaming and crying through it, rendering it extremely irritating. I personally ended up with a thumping headache after forcing myself to watch it to the bitter end. Added to this every sound effect, especially telephones, make twice as much noise as they should causing you to constantly adjust the sound. To cap it all the title doesn't even make sense and has no relevance to the story presented. Unless seeing Joan Collins groped by a dwalf is high on your must-see list then this film offers nothing other than a headache and a laugh at some totally inept scripting and a nun with all the Italian authenticity of the Mario brothers.
Good things about this picture:
Joan Collins at the height of her sexiness (confusingly playing a stripper who only disrobes in the dressing room, not on stage).
Caroline Munro, ditto (here 'amusingly' dubbed by Liz Fraser).
Ralph Bates as an Italian (says "Scusi" a lot).
Eileen Atkins, ditto ("He is possessed by a Day-ville").
Donald Pleasance ('Nuff said).
The appearance of Floella Benjamin as a nurse who helps deliver the possessed tyke.
Interesting music score by 'Dr.Who/Steptoe and Son' man Ron Grainer (Hawaiian guitars, synths and assorted percussion!).
John Steiner as a grinning Cocker-nee club owner who manages to bed both Joan and Caroline whilst exhibiting a mouthful of the most off-putting fangs this side of Austin Powers.
Lots of lovely shots of London landmarks with Capris and Minis whizzing round 'em.
'Shocking' flash-cuts of a scary dwarf in a crib.
Mr. Pleasance charming Eileen by demonstrating his bedside manner.
A complete lack of any 'subtext' whatsoever.
Bad thing: It only last 90 minutes.
I DON'T WANT TO BE BORN
(USA: The Devil Within Her)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Mono
A nightclub stripper (Joan Collins) is cursed by a dwarf (George Claydon) whose attentions she spurned, and she later gives birth to a murderous baby possessed by a demonic spirit.
Clearly inspired by the contemporary vogue for satanic shockers, this slapdash concoction - memorably dismissed by UK journalist Nigel Burrell as a 'crapulous farrago'! - was thrown together by Hungarian director Peter Sasdy, previously responsible for such superior offerings as "Taste the Blood of Dracula" (1969), "Countess Dracula" (1970) and "Hands of the Ripper" (1971). Here, his contempt for the material is obvious in the weak storyline, feeble horror scenes and lackluster staging, and his concessions to the exploitation marketplace (strippers at work, a gory decapitation, etc.) are shoehorned into proceedings with reckless abandon.
Quite apart from its ridiculous premise (unlike the mutant creature in Larry Cohen's similarly-styled IT'S ALIVE, sweet little babies simply aren't frightening, no matter how much filmmakers try to make them seem otherwise!), the movie is further stymied by indifferent performances and half-baked characterizations: Collins runs the gamut from A to B and back again, Donald Pleasence provides little more than marquee value as Collins' doctor, and Ralph Bates (playing the heroine's husband) is a blank slate throughout. Hilary Mason - the blind lady in DON'T LOOK NOW (1973) - plays the wary housekeeper, and Eileen Atkins is Bates' sister, a nun who performs the commercially-dictated climactic exorcism. Support is offered by Caroline Munro as a fellow stripper (though she looks far too glamorous to be playing such a lowbrow Cockney strumpet!) and Euro-favorite John Steiner as one of Collins' former boyfriends. There's enough campery to entertain die-hard fans, but the sloppy production values and leaden pace will certainly limit the film's appeal to anyone else.
Oh, and watch out for abbreviated prints: If you don't see the head come off in the aforementioned decapitation sequence, you're viewing a censored version...
Joan Collins plays a stripper named Lucy. At the club, a dwarf worker tries
to sexually molest her. She spurns him and he curses her to have a baby
possessed by the Devil. A few years later she's out of the business,
happily married to Gino (Ralph Bates!) and pregnant. The baby is born
(after an extremely harsh delivery) and immediately starts acting violently.
It scratches, spits, bites and starts killing people! What to do? It's a
good thing Gino's sister is a nun, Sister Albana (Eileen Atkins), and has a
This is reasonably well-directed, looks great, has some good acting...but that's it. Collins is just fantastic in her role; Donald Pleasance equally good as the baby's doctor and Atkins (wisely) doesn't take her role too seriously. But who thought having Ralph Bates playing an Italian was a good idea? He looks miserable and his "accent" is hilarious. Atkins (who is also British) does a better job of it--but every time she says "devil" it sounds like "davel" and is (unintentionally?) hysterical. And Caroline Munro is on hand in a nothing part--but she looks just great.
The script is dull dull dull. There's not enough material here for 90 minutes. It's filled with people endlessly repeating the same lines (I heard "the baby is so big" so many times I was ready to scream!) and has tons of filler with people walking around. I got so bored after an hour I basically started to fast forward through this.
The baby's attacks aren't really shown (until the end)--we always see the aftermath and we NEVER see the baby doing it. Also, the film is relatively bloodless until the last 15 minutes which throws in a couple of nice gory murders--but it's too little too late.
All that's left about this movie is some very good acting and a VERY cute-looking baby. That aside--forget it.
Rent "Rosemary's Baby" instead--you'll be much better off.
It's funny how Joan Collins has obtained a certain amount of
respectability after having starred in MANY terrible films, such as The
Bitch, Empire of the Ants and I Don't Want to Be Born. Oh well, the
public is fickle.
So why did I hate this movie and yet took the trouble to review it?! Well, it's because it falls into the "it's so bad that it's funny" category. So, despite giving it a one, I strongly recommend you watch this crappy flick--then Plan 9 From Outer Space, The Apple, Roller Boogie and Jet Pilot. All are so bad and so amateurishly done that they can't help but illicit belly laughs! The plot all boils down to a tiny little baby who is possessed by an evil dwarf. So, as a result of a little black magic, the tot obtains magical powers to murder!! And, boy can he murder! The kid can run, fly and do almost anything EXCEPT kill the idiot who wrote this pile of drivel--this SHOULD have been the kid's FIRST victim!!
I really hate saying this about 70's Brit horror but this is a very, very BAD film! Everything that could possibly go wrong actually features here in this lame horror vehicle. A really bad basic idea, for starters, handling about Joan Collins giving birth to an (unusually big) baby possessed by evil and controlled by a dwarf Collins once spurned. This film 'borrows' style and script elements from Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, Don't Look Now, It's Alive and even tiny details from Hammer and Amicus successes. The screenplay is extremely poorly written and Peter Sasdy's directing is the worst of all disasters. What happened to this guy? He was responsible for an endless amount of great TV-movies and a few downright classic Hammer titles (like 'Countess Dracula' and 'Hands of the Ripper') but, ever since Doomwatch, he just seems to make crap. This production is very banal, not the least bit scary or atmospheric and the bloodshed is kept to a minimum. It looks like this film is blessed with a terrific all-star cast, but everybody is performing far below their normal acting skills. Donald Pleasance looks dead long before his character is actually slaughtered and Ralph Bates' character is far too fake. Eileen Atkins triumphs as the worst cast-member though. She stars as an Italian nun (?) and speaks with the most atrocious accent I ever heard. The only one that gets a little sympathy is the beautiful Caroline Munro as the sexy cabaret dancer. I don't Want to be Born is a giant disappointment in every respect and better left unmentioned. Avoid!
I DON'T WANT TO BE BORN stars Joan Collins so right away you've got a
problem since Joan Collins is unable to play any character that isn't
Joan Collins . A lamb to the slaughter ? Mutton dressed as lamb more
like as the whole film seems to have been produced so that Joanie can
appear in a scene dressed in her underwear . Actually she was 42 when
this was produced and she's amazingly attractive for her age ,
unfortunately that's not a good enough reason for making this movie .
Caroline Munroe also appears in a supporting role but that's still not a good enough reason to make this movie . If the producer wanted to meet some fit woman perhaps he should have gone to the local disco ? You think I'm kidding about the producer's motivation ? I'm not because this is one of the most totally inept British movies from the 1970s . The script is abysmal with a vigilante nun and sundry other characters screaming " He's tha DEV-ILL " at every opportunity , some really crap acting with Ralph Bates playing an Italian with a Yiddish accent , and some dire directing with a dwarf lying in a pram . The worst aspect has got to be the editing especially the scene where a character hits their head on some rocks . Or at least I think that's what happened since the editing leaves us none the wiser .
Oh and I wish to correct what some people have claimed in their suggestions that this rips off THE OMEN or ROSEMARY'S BABY - It doesn't , it's more like a precursor to BASKET CASE . And it stars Joan Collins
How can you not love Joan Collins as the new mom of a baby boy possessed by the demonic spirit of a dancing dwarf? It's laugh out loud funny! I must add it to my collection of lovable, very bad horror movies. It's like Rosemary's Baby meets The Leprechaun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Joan Collins works in a strip where she does some type of Arabian Nights dance with a midget. She goes to Italy and meets a Italian played by Ralph Bates named Gino who sister happens to be a nun!! They get married and have a baby. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! The baby is suppose to be large for his age..but he looks like a normal sized baby to me. The tot actually is a real life Bamm Bamm. The baby can't even walk and you never see the tot even sitting up but somehow he manages to destroy things..including people. Joan Collins doesn't know what to do, her doctor keeps making these stupid remarks. Her best friend is well, useless. Her husband is clueless. Bamm Bamm manages to kill his nurse..she falls in a lake and hits her head. Mom and Daddy decide to put him in the hospital for observation. OH Oh they want blood test from Daddy. Joan confides to her friend that she slept with her old boyfriend Tommy right before she got married so he might be the dad. Now Tommy is a sleazy type of guy so he could have the devil in him, but no it it seems she was cursed by the midget she worked with when she rebuffed his advances. This makes no sense because according to her he was a real nice guy. Hey a lot of guys get upset when they are rebuffed not so strange. So why is she believing this midget has enough power to have a pipeline to Satan?? It would have been more feasible if Tommy had the pipeline to Satan. Well here comes the NUN. Turns out on page 210 in the book How to make a Movie..nuns have the power to perform exorcisms. It was the midget because he is still dancing but now he doing the dance of death. Every time the nun pulls out a cross the midget feels it..he eventually dies and the baby is normal. But we have another problem because now he is a orphan having dispatched his parents earlier in the film. This movie was a my type of movie..so bad it was good.
|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|