4.7/10
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21 user 7 critic

Dead Babies (2000)

Residents prime themselves for both a visit from three Americans and a weekend of copious decadence.

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(novel),
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Stars: Paul Bettany, Tilly Blackwood, Charlie Condou
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Quentin
Katy Carmichael ...
Lucy Littlejohn
...
Roxanne
...
Giles
...
Cecilia
William Marsh ...
Marvel
...
Skip
...
Keith
...
Andy
...
Diana
David Soloman ...
Doctor
Lane Lesley ...
Sister
Ashley Portland ...
Orderly
Ann Stewart ...
Nurse
Ambrose ...
Patient
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Storyline

A group of wealthy bohemians clash with each other as they're targeted by a gang of murderers. Upper class bohemian Giles (Charlie Condou), whose biggest worry in life seems to be the state of his teeth, has inherited a large estate from his family, and one weekend he invites large group of friends to join him for a weekend of drug-fueled debauchery. Ennui-stricken Cecilia (Olivia Williams), her hulking boyfriend Andy (Christian Solimeno), high-strung Quentin (Paul Bettany), his spouse Cecilia (Alexandra Gilbreath), hygiene-challenged Keith (Andy Nyman), unstable Skip (Kris Marshall), man-hungry Roxanne (Hayley Carr), drug-dealing Marvel (William Marsh), and Lucy (Katy Carmichael), who has been involved with most of the men in attendance, all settle in for a few days of conversation, free love, and good not-so-clean fun. But the revelers are unaware that the Conceptualists, a murderous terrorist organization, have staked out the mansion, and soon they're receiving messages from ... Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, drug content, language and violence | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 September 2000 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Mood Swingers  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on Martin Amis' novel "Dead Babies", understandably this went through a name change for its Stateside release, being called "Mood Swingers" instead. See more »

Goofs

When Keith is shown playing a video game (just prior to being the "drug tester"), he is holding a PlayStation 2 controller. However, the game clip shown is actually of the Nintendo 64 game "Perfect Dark". See more »

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User Reviews

Pointless, excessive, valueless and tiresomely grimy
29 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

A group of friends all met when they were in college. Quentin has since married a girl with money and enjoys his free life of drugs and sex; Keith has been in a mental institution and is not better now that he is out, Giles has an inheritance and a major drink problem while Andy and Diana are married but the drugs have significantly reduced their sex lives. Into their lives come two Americans and a messed up guy called Skip, bearing new powerful drugs and promoting their particular brand of bisexual group sex. As if things were going to be weird enough, someone called "Johnny" is leaving bloody threatening notes around the house.

The word on this film is that it is bad, really bad. With this knowledge I didn't have high hopes but watched it anyway and must say that I don't think it is bad as such, or at least it deserves a better description than that one word. Instead I came to think of it as more than one word and several that come to mind include pointless, dated, cheap, tiresome and excessive. If the plot seems pointless it is because it is; eventually it will get to something about a conceptualist group on the internet but by the time it does you will not care that even that is stupid and pointless. Instead the film spends most of its time trying to be shocking, whether it is sexually, violence-wise or just with the way it treats the characters. With so much pointlessness it is hard to care about or even be interested in the characters – just as well since they are cartoon wide-boys and clichés taken from other films.

The shock value is all here and what a shame it is that none of this stuff is that shocking any more – drugs are a norm for many people, sexual taboos are gradually vanishing and the idea of drunken parties full of excess will be known to many who went to university to get just that. Seeing them on screen allows things to be excessive but they are not shocking or interesting – eventually they just get tiresome and boring. The director has clearly seen Trainspotting and is trying to get as close to it as he can, but sadly he has forgotten that substance should come first – get the audience into the film, then they will care enough about the action to actually give you an emotional response of some sort. Sadly, without this it just seems stupid and the end of the film couldn't really come soon enough! The cast are a very strange mix, with some faces in there that are better than this and some I only know from sitcoms and made a strange find. Bettany is always interesting but here cannot do anything to raise the material. However he is head and shoulders above the rest of the cast who are pretty poor thanks to the material they are given, Condou gets the closest to an interesting and sympathetic character but the rest just go along with whatever nudity, shouting or excess they are required to do – none of them convince and none of them add anything.

Overall this is not a bad film if you are a teenager looking for something that is supposedly "edgy" and "different"; however the majority of us will just feel like it was a grind from start to finish with nothing of value along the way. Without a plot, script or even characters it is no wonder that it so totally failed to engage me and just ended up being tiresomely gory and excessive for no reason and providing nothing of value. A pretty terrible film but one that deserves more description than just being "bad".


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