Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1974. Warner Bros., Larco Productions. Screenplay by Larry Cohen. Cinematography by Fenton Hamilton. Produced by Larry Cohen. Music by Bernard Herrmann. Production Design by Bob Biggart, Pat Somerset. Film Editing by Peter Honess.
A well to do couple are excited about the birth of their second child, so you can imagine their disappointment when she pops out a ravenous monster that cries like a baby but kills all the doctors in the delivery room. Escaping out of the hospital and cutting a murderous swathe through Los Angeles, the unholy terror becomes newsworthy almost immediately, forcing its parents to have to deal with the shame of this demented offspring. Dad gets himself fired from work, mom can’t leave the house, and the cops are out in full force trying to catch it as the bodies pile up in gory, campy style throughout this silly horror movie. The opportunity to really explore the trauma of childbirth through an imaginative tale of horror is not one that is fully explored, perhaps it’s wishful thinking that this would be more of a David Cronenberg film, but it’s not perpetually thrilling as a shallow creature feature either. The pulsing excitement of the opening sequence gives way to a lot of slow scenes of dialogue that don’t keep the ball in the air, but the makeup effects are terrific, and the villain of the piece truly is disturbing and gross.