Sharon's Baby (1975) Poster


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LewisJForce9 February 2004
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.
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Ron Grainer does porn
The_Secretive_Bus7 March 2005
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
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I don't want to see this again!
joe_powell29 October 2004
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.
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Great title, shame about the movie!!
Libretio19 February 2005

(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...
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Wonderfully bad.
BA_Harrison16 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
If you've ever wanted to see Joan Collins have her breasts fondled by a randy dwarf, then I Don't Want To Be Born is the film for you. When Hercules (George Claydon), the diminutive fellow in question, is spurned by showgirl Lucy (Collins), he curses the brunette beauty for leading him on, telling her that she will give birth to a monster. Sure enough, nine months after her marriage to Italian businessman Gino Carlesi (Ralph Bates), Lucy becomes the frightened mother of a 12lb terror called Nicholas, who proceeds to menace those around him.

Let's be honest, if the man delivering your baby is creepy horror legend Donald Pleasance, something sinister is bound to happen, and it sure does for Mr & Mrs Carlesi: their new arrival wrecks his nursery, bumps off his nurse, and then sets his wicked sights on parents and doctor. And, yes, this British cross between The Exorcist and It's Alive is as hilariously bad as it sounds, director Peter Sasdy bringing us one uproariously daft moment after another, making it a delight for fans of bad movies.

Here's a quick rundown of some of the treats in store for viewers of this trash:

Play School's Floella Benjamin as a nurse in the hilarious opening scene in which it looks like Collins is having an orgasm, not a baby.

Bates' terrible Italian accent, which incredibly, is still better than that of Eileen Atkins, who plays his sister, Sister Albana ("Lucy believes that baby is possessed by the day-vil").

Some lousy parallel parking by Gino and strip club manager Tommy (John Steiner).

The attempted drowning of the nurse in the bath and her eventual demise in a lake.

The wide eyed gurgling baby transforming into the evil dwarf before Lucy's very eyes (poor George Claydon wearing a yellow baby-grow and grinning maniacally).

Grumpy housekeeper Mrs. Hyde (Hilary Mason) finding a dead mouse in her cup of tea.

The baby snickering like cartoon dog Muttley before dropping a noose around Gino's neck (hey, the kid can tie knots as well-not bad for a newborn).

Tommy getting a bunch of fives in the face from the baby.

Nicky lopping off Donald Pleasance's head with a spade.

And as if that wasn't enough to keep you entertained, we also get a considerable amount of T&A to help pass the time, with brief flashes of boobs and butt from Joan (who also sports sexy underwear), Hammer babe Caroline Munro in a basque, stockings and suspenders, and full frontal from a stripper auditioning for sleazebag Tommy.

7/10. It's really bad, but it sure is fun.
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Hilarious - should be a camp classic!
stacilayne8 January 2004
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.
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Trash at its funniest.
Hey_Sweden4 September 2014
Sex, scandal, strippers and more mix in this unintentionally funny horror flick that's an absolute must for people who treasure bad genre movies.

This one is in the vein of "Rosemary's Baby" and "It's Alive". Joan Collins plays Lucy Carlesi, a woman who comes to fear that her newborn is possessed. And she could be right: almost every person who comes into contact with this infant meets a horrible death.

You have to hand it to British actors: they can sell just about anything, and make this train wreck more entertaining than it has a right to be. Collins does a remarkably sincere job, and is well supported by Ralph Bates, as her husband Gino, Donald Pleasence, as Dr. Finch, Caroline Munro as her sister Mandy, Eileen Atkins, as her sister-in-law Albana, Hilary Mason, as the grumpy Mrs. Hyde, John Steiner, as sleazy Tommy Morris, and George Claydon, as malevolent dwarf Hercules. Although their performances are fine, the "accents" affected by Bates and Atkins - who are playing Italians - are downright hysterical. Just get a load of the way that Atkins says the word "devil".

The best moments in this thing have to be the kill scenes, which should inspire some pretty hearty chuckles. People get shoved into a river, decapitated with a shovel, and hung before this is over. There are some fleeting breast shots for voyeurs and a fairly decent dose of gore. The movie can boast *some* style, particularly in a nightmare sequence. The score by Ron Grainer is most amusing, sounding more like porno music than anything else.

Picked up by A.I.P. for distribution in North America, "I Don't Want to Be Born" is a real hoot and a half. It might not be "good", but it's fun schlock.

Five out of 10.
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Mio bambino e grosso! E molto grosso!
campblackfoot5 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
To this very day if a couple of old-fashioned horror fans meet over beers then sooner or later they'll start bemoaning the trajectory of Peter Sasdy's career. First "Taste the Blood of Dracula" (many folks' favourite Hammer sequel), then the highly creditable "Countess Dracula", and "Hands of the Ripper", which was maybe the best 70s Hammer release, and then... then... this ludicrous cash-in on Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, and It's Alive.

But in the right mood this is a whole a lot of fun. If you live in Britain, where this seems to show up on late night TV every few weeks, it's pretty near a statistical certainty that you'll end up sitting through this, so you may as well get ready to make the most of it. It kicks off with Lucy (Joan Collins) sweating and rolling her eyes as she gives birth to a baby that, as Donald Pleasance mumbles in his usual coasting fashion, doesn't want to be born. As soon as it pops out, the little tyke is raking his fingernails down Joan's face, and before long he's romping around his playroom ripping the heads off his dolls (unseen, but we hear sound effects that suggest a herd of bison), spitting at people (not so unusual for a baby, in fact), and dropping dead mice into teacups. Joan has a spooky notion of what's causing it - back when she was still a stripper (albeit the kind that's still fully dressed at the end of a routine, apparently), the club's comic relief, a hunchbacked dwarf in a jester suit called Hercules, had the hots for her. In fact she admits that she "egged him on a bit". One night matters came to a head when little Herc made a grab for her right breast - "I tried to pretend it wasn't happening... or maybe, for an instant, I was fascinated." Once the instant passed, though, she shook him off, and he cursed her: she'd have a monster baby "as big as I am small, and possessed by the Devil himself!" ***MILD SPOILERS**** Soon enough the rusk-muncher is killing people. How he pulls all this off is far from clear, especially as the killings involve such tasks as decapitating a standing, 6-foot tall man with a single shovel-blow and knotting a hangman's noose. The characters go on and on about how big baby Nicholas is (pretty much every other line, in fact), but while 12 pounds is indeed hefty for a new-born, it doesn't count for a whole lot when you're dangling out of a tree hoisting a fully-grown adult into the air. ***END OF SPOILERS*** Needless to say, we don't get to see the little dear doing any of this stuff, although there are plenty of pseudo-scary moments where his cute and not particularly interested face is intercut with the cackling dwarf's. As if the whole thing wasn't dumb enough, someone decided to make Ralph Bates play Italian, which primarily entails his endlessly repeating the words "bene" and "si" in a stereotyped pizza-slinging accent. But he's a veritable Meryl Streep compared to Eileen Atkins who, playing his nun sister Albana, veers wildly betwen traces of Italian, Spanish, German, and even Somerset accents as she delivers lines such as "Her bayee-bee is possessed.... by thee Day-velle!" There were so many gialli in the 70s where Italians tried to play Brits - couldn't a little exchange of labour have saved everyone some embarrassment here? Add endless travelogue footage of London shopping streets, a little gratuitous T&A in the strip club, Caroline Munro, plenty of absent-minded mumbling from Donald Pleasance and ***ARGUABLY A SPOILER*** a shot of Ralph Bates with green make-up and rolled-back eyes wearing a nun's habit and you have a film every bit as compelling as, say, Tower of Evil. 8 out of 10.
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The Omen 1 1/2
marbleann17 June 2004
Warning: 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 bad it was good.
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Dull, stupid "Rosemary's Baby" ripoff
preppy-37 December 2003
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 few ideas.

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.
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Off Beat Horror
ladymidath11 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I have always had a fondness for the old British horrors and this one is not too bad. A woman is cursed by a lecherous dwarf. The world's cutest evil baby is born and wreaks havoc on the couple. I do not understand why the critics panned it at the time. It is actually not too bad and there is a lot worse out there. Joan Collins is good as the distraught mother and Ralph Bates holds his own as her Italian husband. The standout though is Eileen Atkins as the no nonsense nun who is also Bate's onscreen sister. Of course Donald Pleasence always puts in a good performance and as the doctor, is really very good. Not a bad way to spend an evening all up if you like the old British horror films.
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I kind of love this movie
BandSAboutMovies10 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Also known as The Devil Within Her, The Monster and Sharon's Baby, this mid-70's film plays it so straight that it can't be anything but a parody of The Exorcist. Yet here it is - screaming in your face, full of bad accents and horrible sex scenes, so earnest that it makes you want to believe that you can't help but hold it tight and tell it that yes, everything will be OK.

Directed by Peter Sasdy, who also brought us Taste the Blood of Dracula, the Ingrid Pitt starring Countess Dracula, Hands of the Ripper, Welcome to Blood City and, of course, The Lonely Lady, this is probably the only film you'll ever witness where Joan Collins and a little person engage in occult warfare.

Lucy (the lovely Ms. Collins) is a dancer and not the kind that does modern or ballet. Her stage act includes a routine with Hercules, played by George Claydon from Berserk!, a dwarf strongman. She invites him for a drink one evening but he declines, instead feeling like giving her a rubdown in the dressing room. Our heroine feels uncomfortable just as he goes for her breasts, making her scream and bringing in Tommy (John Steiner, Shock and, of course, The Overlord from Yor, Hunter from the Future), the stage manager, who kicks his butt out and then makes sweet, sweet love to Lucy. As she leaves the club that night, the dwarf curses her: "You will have a baby...a monster! An evil monster conceived inside your womb! As big as I am small and possessed by the devil himself!"

If you didn't say, "Holy William Peter Blatty, I am all in," after the above paragraph, you have no soul and no sense of what makes a horrible movie worth watching.

Months pass and Lucy has given up the exotic dancing lifestyle, settling down with wealthy Gino (Ralph Bates, The Horror of Frankenstein and Lust for a Vampire), who has set her up in a fancy townhouse. She has a long, arduous and painful delivery of her baby, who weighs in at 12 pounds (.86 stone for the British fans out there). Said baby is also fond of ripping at her with his nails, but Dr. Finch (Donald Pleasence, who never turned down a role ever) assures her that it will all be alright. Tell that to housekeeper Mrs. Hyde (Hilary Mason, Don't Look Now and Dolls) when the baby almost bites off her finger!

The baby just won't get along with anyone, a fact that Lucy relates to her galpal Mandy (Caroline Munro, livening up the proceedings) and Gino's sister Albana (Eileen Atkins, a British stage star who deserves way better), a nun. Despite a series of tests - both religious and medical - the baby will not be stopped, even smashing and drowning his nurse (Janet Key from The Vampire Lovers).

Lucy even tries to talk to Tommy, saying that he may be her son. The baby reacts by punching the gangster in the nose, which makes Lucy happy until her son gets the face of Hercules.

Her husband tries to take her mind off everything with a night of, as they said in the 1970's, sweet whoopie. After the most unsexual sex scene ever filmed, the baby lures him outside where he's lynched and stuffed down a storm drain. Oh no, Gino! It gets worse! The infant also beheads Pleasence and stabs Lucy in the heart! Don't let kids play with scissors, parents!

Albana finally realizes what she must do - rip off the ending of The Exorcist. As she goes through with the rite, Hercules is dancing on stage, but the moment she touches the baby's head with a crucifix, he dies in front of the audience.

This one is a real crowd pleaser. Seriously, it may be talky and boring in parts, but you have to admire its drive to do anything to shock and surprise you. It keeps trotting out attractive British genre stars only to off them in ludicrous ways, all while Joan Collins screams her head off. Writing about this movie only makes me want to watch it again.
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If you are down, this will instantly cheer you up.
cfisanick-551-29354429 July 2016
As just about everyone has pointed out, by normal measure, this is an absolutely dreadful horror film. But it will bring a smile to your face because it is so bat-crap crazy that you won't believe your eyes, but it will tickle your funny bone. The only downside is knowing that Peter Sasdy, a fine horror director, knew right from the get-go that this was a terrible screenplay. You can tell from even the opening scene with lots of zooming that he had given up and was desperately trying to get through the film. He interrupts the narrative to take us on a tour of London in the mid-70s, which is very interesting from a historical perspective. But then it's back to the ludicrous action with a demented dwarf, a cute but killer baby, sexy Joan Collins, Donald Pleasance maintaining his dignity, sexy but dubbed Caroline Munro, Ralph Bates with a pidgeon Italian accent, and best of all, Eileen Atkins intoning for the ages, "Your beh-bee az been pozessed by dee day-ville."

This film should be a prescription for clinical depression. For no matter how melancholy you feel at the moment, when you watch this, you will feel better. Guaranteed.
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Corny But Fairly Interesting
Rainey-Dawn22 April 2015
This movie is known as 'Sharon's Baby', aka 'The Monster: I Don't Want to Be Born', and aka 'Devil Within Her'. Starring Joan Collins, Ralph Bates, Donald Pleasence and Eileen Atkins. Lucy Carlesi is played by Joan Collins. Lucy's baby is somehow possessed by the dwarf Hercules (George Claydon) that she once worked with. (The lead character is LUCY not Sharon... so why is this film aka 'Sharon's Baby'? Maybe they changed her name from Sharon to Lucy??? At any rate, the film is fairly interesting even though a bit corny.)

I liked this film better than I anticipated - I knew it was going to be a bit on the corny side (and it is) but not so cornball that I couldn't enjoy it. The movie grabbed me from the start - I had to suspend my beliefs in order to watch this movie but that is true with quite a few movies.

This movie is NOT the quality of Rosemary's Baby but it is entertaining.... kept me interested from start to finish. :D 6.5/10
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trashy fun
mukava99128 December 2010
This modest popcorn thriller from Britain boasts a solid performance from that fine actress and world-class beauty Joan Collins as a former stripper who marries Italian money and ends up on easy street, London style – or so she thinks. Unfortunately her firstborn turns out to be possessed by the spirit of a demonic nightclub clown whose advances she spurned shortly before her marriage. Even before the child is brought home from the hospital he has already drawn blood from an attack on his mother. The baby's diabolical screams are technically enhanced with reverb and echo effects, as are those of his victims. Toward the end there is a strong dream sequence in which Collins, under the influence of a sedative, makes her way through her house with space, time and the relationship of sounds to their source imaginatively distorted. Eileen Atkins plays, of all things, an Italian nun who also happens to be the leading lady's sister-in-law. She doesn't quite get the accent and in general seems ill-suited to the role. The English actor Ralph Bates as the Italian husband is equally out of place. Donald Pleasence does better in his supporting role as the doctor who attends to the troublesome infant as does Hilary Mason, so memorable as the blind psychic in "Don't Look Now," as the no-nonsense nanny. The actual baby looks ordinary and does nothing but smile or cry as all babies do, but through editing tricks and cleverly applied sound effects we believe he is indeed evil. Shot in vivid color and with an undertone of urban sleaziness, it's scary, sometimes silly and somewhat naughty fun.
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Even worse than Empire of the Ants
MartinHafer5 June 2005
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!!
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Not to be Missed By Camp Horror Fans
kevinp819231 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Absolutely hilarious. I'll bullet point for brevity why this is a "can't miss" film for those who love unintentionally funny horror movies:

**Spoilers Throughout**

* Joan's allegedly "sexy" dance in a strip club as Esmerelda with a dwarf playing "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

* Pre-"Political Correct" times film features a dwarf that curses a baby and a nun that does some sort of animal testing.

* Bar none the funniest exorcism I've seen on film (performed by a nun no less). The result affects a dwarf dancing on stage with showgirls. Must be seen to be believed.

* Joan gets naked in one late scene, and has a great camel toe in an earlier one.

* Like "The Love Boat" and lots of other 70's features, it shows how "sophisticated" the characters are by having them fix drinks for each other in almost every scene. Usually scotch.

* The possessed baby in question seems to be able to turn into a killer dwarf. At least that's what I think happens. Who knows?

Is there anything actually good in the film? Actually yes. There are some great shots of London, including one of Big Ben that was almost breathtaking. And there's a frustrated nanny who can't stand the baby and gets in some genuinely great lines.

Check it out!
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Abortion would have been a much better option
Coventry1 November 2004
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!
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Should Have Been Aborted At Script Stage
Theo Robertson28 October 2004
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
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Ey, issa me - Italian Ralph Bates!
sebpopcorn11 September 2008
Poor old Ralph Bates looks miserable in this movie and it's not hard to see why, it really stinks.

Joan Collins plays a stripper and proves she dances as well as she acts. It's really bizarre, I think it's supposed to be erotic but it looks like she is having some kind of slow-motion embolism. Correctly deciding that she isn't cut out for being a stripper she leaves to marry her Italian lover played with a comedy accent by long-suffering Ralph.

Before she goes though she gets cursed by a dwarf who she spurns. She promptly has a baby that has unusual powers. Oooer, spooky - you'd imagine they might give it demonic powers or something but no, it has sharp nails.

Time and time again we see actors stagger back from its cot screaming "it scratched me, with its sharp nails" - cue closeup to harmless baby without sharp finger nails.

This atrocious plot goes nowhere and throughout it all there's a soundtrack of a baby crying, for goodness sake. What were they thinking of? It's impossible to watch this movie without getting a blinding headache. It's almost worth it to hear Ralph Bates trying to be Italian though, it really is the worst accent I've ever heard in a movie.

Dreadful from start to finish and with a supporting cast that are just ludicrous thrown in for good measure. A final special mention to Caroline Monroe who plays her friend, her acting is so bad that I genuinely thought at first that her wild overacting and astonishingly funny dubbing was part of the plot and that she'd been possessed or something. You can see why they had to rename it about 50 times, I pity the person who was tricked into seeing this film twice.
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Not bad.
gridoon4 December 2001
Sure, there are scenes that are staged amateurishly, but undemanding horror fans should still find this OK viewing. It has a distinct London flavor (thanks to good location footage) and a quietly effective performance by a pre-"Halloween" Donald Pleasance in a good-guy role. Not half-bad, as "Rosemary's Baby" ripoffs go. (**)
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Not good
Steamcarrot23 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Lying uncomfortably between barely watchable and so-bad-it's-good comes The Monster aka I Don't Want To Be Born aka The Devil Within Her. A British rip-off of Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist and many others. This has a good cast with (a still looking good at 42) Joan Collins, Ralph Bates, Donald Pleasance and horror-eye-candy stalwart Caroline Munro. Collins plays an ex-stripper, now married to Italian Ralph Bates and the film starts with Collins going through a difficult child birth, or so we're meant to think. If that was meant to be bad, Mrs Steamcarrot must have been giving birth to Godzilla with our first born. Anyway, because of turning down a dwarf's advances the child is cursed to be possessed by the devil. In reality the ankle biter only has huge strength and a nasty attitude. All scenes of the 'demonic' brat hurting or killing people are off-screen. You see Collins recoiling in horror with scratch marks on her face, then cut to a picture of a very-undevilish baby looking all cutesy. Or a hand reaching out and shoving a nurse into a pond then cut back to cutesy kid, pram blankets unruffled. I don't mind a bit of suspension of disbelief, but this takes it too far. Anyway Ralph Bates' nun sister arrives, sporting silly accent and working at an animal testing laboratory (!), and thinks Collins' suspicions of possession is probably right. But she waits until everyone is killed to perform a simple exorcism that kills the cursing dwarf and returns the baby to normality. Why didn't she do that when she first arrived? No idea, it was only a bit of Latin and placing a cross on the forehead. This is a very silly film with hardly any redeeming features. Plus points include an unintentionally hilarious 'erotic' dance with said dwarf from Ms Collins, some nice shots of London and that's about it. Oh and the soundtrack to the lovemaking scene gave me a groaning chuckle. A disappointing 3. Director Peter Sasdy is capable of much better.
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Darling, adoption would have been your best bet.
lost-in-limbo6 June 2006
An ex-stripper who has now settled down with her husband gives birth to an uncontrollable, monster of a baby that's growing bigger and stronger everyday. This puts a lot stress on the mother and father, as strange occurrences and violent actions are caused by this baby. Making the mother believe that the baby is possessed by the devil, which a dwarf she used to work with - had cursed this evil spawn onto her.

This newborn has the strength of a thousand man, although looking at it; it probably doesn't know that. Most times it looks clueless, but that's just ploy to surprise it's victims with it's amazing abilities! Your probably bemused in what I've written so far, but that's how you're going to feel when watching this quite silly, out-of-control baby horror flick. But that's the best way to take this rib-tickling, exploitation mess. The serious temperament that's laid out doesn't do the aimless structure much favours and makes it even more unintentionally funny. As you won't be on the edge of the seat for this one, but you'll be cracking up at how poor it is, or maybe you'll be out like a light in your cosy chair. It can go either way. For me I found it poor, but kind of entertaining in certain purple patches. Although, it can be quite drawn out and you can call the disappointing ending rather anti-climatic.

The odd mixture found in this English horror is easily influenced by such films in the period like "Rosemary's Baby" and "It's Alive!". The groovy 70s holds a psychedelic awe here, especially with its snazzy and quite jerky music score. The pizazz of the bold score is just relentless! The empty story is simply a gallery of routine nasty shocks and not much else eventuates in this dismal vassal. Even the careless direction twaddles along with many shabby touches and the dour looking background of London paints an sordid product. But still in patches in delivered one or two eerily, hasty scenes involving a graphic decapitation and trippy dream sequence. There's also some scenes involving women being in the buff, because of the main character's ex-occupation. But more often you'll be waiting for something different to happen and the constant flashes of the dwarf's face on the baby when it's chucking a hissy fit and knocking off the unexpected victims it's just far from menacing. Ha.. Ha! Now that's more like it. Well that's what any sane person would do because you'll be struggling not to find this whole concept to be simply droll. This violent, tantrum wielding baby just strikes the fear in the hearts of people… that's if you can't stand cute looking babies, or (oh no, how terrifying) parenthood.

The performances by a decent looking cast are pretty much middling stuff. It's suspiciously campy with many awkward and REALLY repetitive lines of dialogues. No one entirely looks that comfortable with the farcical material. There's a special guest appearance by Donald Pleasence who gives a collected performance as Dr. Finch. An over-the-top Joan Collins does her best (yep, she tries real hard) in the emotionally, wayward lead role of Lucy Carlesi. Ralph Bates is dead as wood as the husband Gino Carlesi. Eileen Atkins plays the concerned Sister Albana. Caroline Munro has a small part as Lucy's friend. John Steiner is fitting as the sleazy ex-boss / boyfriend and Hilary Mason as the disgruntled housekeeper.

Horribly poor and it's lulls about in spots, but there are certain aspects within the film that makes it watchable.
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Slightly acceptable and tepid, slow, but almost Omen-like
VisionExile9 July 2019
This title is a fairly slow watch, with too little backstory to enhance the characters. Slightly bizarre soundtrack (mouth harp?). Many good 1970s elements sort of evince urban, dreary, swinging London. Donald Pleasance adds about 1/2 star to any horror film for those who like him from Halloween. Joan Collins is pretty good, but unconvincing as a former nightclub dancer who has suddenly gotten middle-class religion. Good, spot-on portrayals of the nun and older housekeeper. None of these elements add to anything more than an indifferent movie. Not intense enough, or really at all.

Some creativity would have added an extra star to the rating. Boring, simple sets and costumes that could have added sinister depth with only a bit of horrific study (candles, capes, random pentagram, etc...). If only the images of the baby in the crib were more evil.... at least focused eyes or malevolent gestures would help. Additionally, a few disturbing seconds of flashbacks/whatever would have helped the dwarf's mystical and menacing agenda.....which then would hang like a fearful possession over the whole movie. Same with the nun- if only her persona and holy-warrior strengths were fleshed out a bit better. And why not a shot of the dwarf's lair, replete with books on curses and spells and amulets and The Dark Arts?! It can't be easy to inhabit a new body. Shallow.

Definitely this movie holds some nice, random elements. But very few of which stitch together into any great scary movie fabric. Cool old cars, fashions, and household technology/decoration of the era are all nice to see. Nightclub scenery has sleaze appeal, too.
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Trashy British horror veers into so-bad-it's-good territory
Leofwine_draca4 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A ridiculous, flawed possession film dealing with a demonic baby who happily kills anyone around him. The main inspiration here comes from two films; THE EXORCIST and ROSEMARY'S BABY. Instead of slowly building an atmosphere of subtle suspense and terror, though, I DON'T WANT TO BE BORN opts for exploitation and cheap, shoddy, tepid thrills which aren't really worth the film they're imprinted upon. The material is stretched out over the ninety minutes running time, there are long shots of people walking around for no reason to make it last longer. Perhaps it if was shorter it would have been better but at this length it's tiring.

With a good cast this film deserved to be better than it was, but director Peter Sasdy, who has done well in the past, just doesn't pull it off. The characters are all two dimensional, we don't feel anything for any of them. Ralph Bates has an Italian accent, but it keeps on slipping back to British in just one of the film's many flaws. Joan Collins adds some heavyweight power to the film but she isn't enough to make it any good. Donald Pleasance doesn't really have much to do while Caroline Munro is simply thrown in for some cheap glamour.

In some ways the film is distasteful, too - the dwarf being the evil one behind it all (dwarves being a standard ploy to draw in the crowds. THE MUTATIONS, made in 1974, at least treated them sensibly). The box proclaims "Great horror with a high death rate." And four people get killed. Can we say hyperbole? For a much better killer baby film check out Larry Cohen's IT'S ALIVE. We do get to see a lot of the '70s though, meaning this film is badly dated, which can be a plus or a minus depending on whether you like that sort of thing. Also the sheer badness adds a sense of awe to things but any way you look at it, this film was dead on arrival.
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