What arguments do you use to recommend "The Baby" to any fan of peculiar cult & horror cinema who's convinced that she/he has already seen everything before? Well, let's try this: "The Baby" is horrific without reverting to gory massacres or nauseating make-up effects, it's extremely disturbing even though the premise is far-fetched and totally implausible and last but definitely not least there's an unpredictable twist at the end that you simply have to see in order to believe it! This is one of the most original low-budget exploitation movies of the 70's, and it's truly remarkable how writer/director Ted Post managed to make such a fascinating film out of such a demented basic premise! "The Baby" starts out as the portrait of a dysfunctional family, but it gradually transforms into an atypical and thematic horror film with an uncanny atmosphere and frighteningly insane characters. Ann Gentry, a professional social worker in her mid-30's, takes an interest in the odd family situation of the Wadsworths. The mother lives alone with her two adult daughters and
Baby! Baby is a fully-grown 21-year-old male, but his mother and sisters treat him as an infant and claim that he's mentally unable to function as a mature human being. Ann is convinced that the crazy women deliberately prevent Baby from developing normally, presumably because they don't want him to grow like the careless and obnoxious men who abandoned them in the past. She quickly reverts to unorthodox methods in her attempts to rescue Baby and risks losing both her job and her life. Especially considering the cinematic era "The Baby" was made, and also the low-budget production values, the basic concept of the film easily could have resulted in a trashy and ultimately perverted B-movie. Imagine; a grown man in a diaper surrounded by overly protective and deranged women! In the hands of certain other directors, say, Doris Wishman or Russ Meyer, "The Baby" unquestionably would have been a non-stop series of sleazy images and shocking sex-rites, but Ted Post approaches the unusual subject matter very professionally and tasteful. There are only two controversially uncomfortable sequences, one involving a teenage babysitter and the other one being the fabulous climax. Ted Post maintains an ominous atmosphere, the Wadsworth women are downright creepy characters and the whole thing is just delightfully man-unfriendly! Fans of graphic bloodshed and gore may be a bit disappointed, but the horrific themes of the film are definitely unique enough to compensate. Literally ALL the acting performances are splendid, but David Mooney deserves extra praise for his credible and undoubtedly complex depiction of Baby. It may not be Citizen Kane, but I guarantee that The Baby will be one of the most unforgettable and curiously engaging films you'll ever see.