a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
There's only one thing wrong with the Davis baby....
Heavily pregnant Lenore Davis tells her husband, Frank, that she is in labor. They leave their eleven year-old son Chris with their friend Charley and they head to the Community Hospital. Lenore feels that something is wrong and delivers a monster that kills the team in the delivery room and escapes through a skylight. Lieutenant Perkins comes to the hospital to investigate the murder and the press divulges the identity of the parents. Frank discovers a dark secret about Lenore and the baby.
Mae Young once gave birth to a hand so this was nothing
It appears Bernard Herrmann was not above B-level material when it came to choosing films to score. His final years were music on two DePalma films, Taxi Driver and Larry Cohen's It's Alive. Evidence also reveals a sense of humor in the master maestro when he titled the musical cue where the milkman meets his maker as "The Milkman Goeth". The film is short and feels long but Larry Cohen was still the frickin' man at injecting black, absurdist humor inside his horror films. I hear the sequels are buried for a reason but that they are off-the-wall zany so I will approach with both caution and excitement.
I had no idea what this was about going into it.
The title made me think it was some riff or adaptation of Frankenstein.
I had no idea I was walking into a movie about a 10lb killer mutant baby that's more in line with Rosemary's Baby or We Need To Talk About Kevin.
And yet it still fits with some major themes of Frankenstein. Plus it's genuinely creepy, suspenseful, and kind of terrifying. Terrifically written and acted too.
This movie is fucking awesome!
Schlocky effects and old-school monster movie sensibility is just the veneer. Underneath it's an incredibly smart and emotional script by Larry Cohen and he somehow pulls it off with what was probably a less-than-minuscule budget. There's a few overly obvious moments in the writing, mostly when Cohen initially pushes the pollution angle, but it gives way to a brutal study on how the "monster's" birth affects the father, who's suddenly a social leper. Played by John P. Ryan, the increasingly paranoid father at one point explains how as a kid he thought Frankenstein was the name of the monster, but was shocked to find out it was really the doctor and that the identities were "blurred" over time. Clearly, he knew this would be his own fate. That's the signature moment of Cohen's movie right there. Even if you're not looking for allegory, the "monster baby" scenes are fun and ridiculous, making for a great, bizarre horror movie.
Something about this movie makes me think PTA was studying Cohen in equal amounts with Altman and Scorsese when he made Magnolia.
MILK RUNS RED
So, so, so easy to imagine this premise (the definition of "high concept" if ever there was one) just sort of sitting on the screen, perfectly serviceable, perhaps even sporadically inspired entertainment, but nothing more. Larry Cohen gives it such an abundance of texture and subtexture that it never seems confined by the edges of the picture - its only limitation really is to the horror genre itself, and a few of the numerous scenes of the killer baby stalking its prey begin to seem just the slightest bit pedestrian by the time the movie reaches its climax.
Favorite little detail: Late-film shot of the back of an ice cream truck. It says, "STOP CHILDREN." Good luck with that.
Larry Cohen brings to life the fears of parenthood by making John Ryan and Sharon Farrell the parents of a literal monster.
I'm not sure if this wants to be a bonkers horror flick or an earnest character study of a couple's gradual degeneration in the aftermath of a real unfortunate event. Honestly, it kind of works both ways.
Larry Cohen, I gather - between this and God Told Me To - was a pretty damn ambitious filmmaker who couldn't quite get all the ideas bouncing around his films to work. Still, not films work on a purely visceral level and I'm glad I check them out.
Allegorically achieves the same fear and dread for expectant parents that Zulawski's POSSESSION did for impending divorce. Unsettling as it is heartbreaking, with the clinical coldness of various institutions being perhaps "the real monster".
And a real testament to Larry Cohen's achievement is that this tiny, wordless killing machine is more sympathetic than that horrible, evil child Mary from THE CHILDREN'S HOUR.
Significantly better than I expected. Cohen has a knack for populating his ludicrous exploitation flick premises with three-dimensional characters and naturalistic, black comic dialogue. Excellent performance by John Ryan, great Bernard Herrmann score, and some of the ugliest 70s fashions ever put on film.
Call me crazy, I just expected a killer-baby-on-the-loose picture by Larry Cohen to be more entertaining than this is.
Relatively accurate portrayal of becoming a new parent.
-This may be the most 70's looking movie ever, and God knows there are plenty of nominees for this dubious title. In case anyone wants to question that statement, know that the main character wears, at one point, a paisley-tiled leisure shirt.
-Bernard Herrmann does the music here, which isn't hard to recognize. There are times where cheap 70's wah-wah sounds intrude in it, but apart from that, it's very good.
-This movie gets off to an odd start by showing that everyone in the film buys into the idea that there is, in fact, a killer baby on the loose. Immediately after being born, it kills everyone in the delivery room, and busts out…
Can't write much, on my way to get a vasectomy.
For those who don't know, this is a film about a vicious mutant baby that goes on a killing spree as soon as it pops out of its mother's vagina. Despite the goofy premise, the film plays everything with a straight face. Part of me admires its desire to be taken seriously and I don't want it to be a full-on comedy like Hell Baby, but a few winks and nudges at the audience would've helped.
The director does a good job of limiting the baby's exposure and keeping it in the shadows so that those particular scenes are somewhat creepy instead of laughable. And there are some effective sequences, like the early scene in the hospital when we see…
All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…
USA Up All Night (also known as Up All Night and Up All Night with Rhonda Shear) is an American…