This blog is a place for Me to review classic British films (in particular horror films) by Hammer, Amicus and the like. But I will occasionally branch out and review international films as these are the international counterpart to the British films, some of which will include works by American International Pictures, Mario Bava et al. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Pit and the Pendulum

Set in 16th Century Spain, after the mysterious death of his sister, Francis Barnard travels to his brother-in-law's castle to find out what really happened to her. He learns that she died of fear as she discovered in the castle's basement that Nicholas' father was a Spanish Inquisition torturer and she died upon witnessing his horrific torture and killing contraptions. After this, mysterious happenings begin at the castle, happenings that are believed to be that of Nicholas' dead wife's unresting soul or as Nicholas believes her living body as he fears he may have buried her alive.

The Pit and the Pendulum is a 1961 American International Pictures production. It was directed by Roger Corman and stars Vincent Price, John Kerr and Barbara Steele. This is one of several Edgar Allen Poe adaptations produced and directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent price.

For approximately the first 5 minutes there isn't a word spoken, just eerie music plays as we see Francis Barnard travelling to Nicholas' dark and creepy gothic castle which is located in the middle of nowhere. I felt this built up the intended sense of unease and tension brilliantly, preparing the audience from the very beginning.

There are some rather interesting visual effects used for the flashback sequences, not necessarily great but definitely an interesting choice nonetheless. The use of various colour tints I didn't mind so much, though I think it would have been equally as good to have just used the blurred outline of the screen and left the use of colour tints out. But they did seem to work, though I wasn't initially keen on them they did serve a purpose, they disorientated the viewer which I think worked rather well, especially when used in the sequence where we see the swinging pendulum from the victim's point of view. All in all I didn't particularly mind that visual effect, but I'm not to sure about the rectangle outlined with blackness moving in towards the eyes of the person who is thinking back, it was definitely an effect I hadn't seen used for that purpose before, and maybe it's just that it's different to what I would have expected. On another effects note, a very good and rather horrific model effect is that of Nicholas' dead wife, her body twisted and distorted in her tomb made for a really good piece of horror.

In fairness, for a film about a pit and a pendulum, there isn't a lot of pendulum. There's a good bit of pit but not a lot of pendulum, which I have to say the pendulum was the selling point for me, without knowing anything about the story I assumed it was about a guy killing people with his blade pendulum. But I have to say the actual story is better, some of the plot developments are very good especially near the end, and I even liked the use of the pendulum. It may have been a small use of it but very well built up to, it's just unfortunate that the surprise killing contraption wasn't particularly a surprise as it makes up one fifth of the title, and I imagine for anyone going to see this film at the time they would have went for the “surprise” pendulum killing method.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Pit and the Pendulum. It's the best Roger Corman/Vincent Price collaboration I've seen so far. It was creepy and atmospheric, even the use of colour tints which I wasn't initially keen on worked, as I mentioned earlier. Vincent Price hammed it up as usual which is always good. The story was interesting and kept my attention throughout, the ending I thought was perfect for the film but I would never spoil it, you have to watch the film.

Additionally, it has to be said. I love the tag line to this film, now call me easily pleased but this tag line just amuses me “Betrayal cuts both ways!”

The Pit and the Pendulum 4/5

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Lost Continent

The passengers of a tramp steamer are travelling from Africa to Venezuela. The captain is smuggling a dangerous cargo which explodes when in contact with water. So when a hole is put in the ship's side the surviving passengers must all abandon ship. They sail out into uncharted seas and come across descendants of previously marooned passengers, killer seaweed and giant killer sea monsters. In order to survive and hopefully get back home, they must do battle against the inhabitants of this lost continent.

The Lost Continent is a 1968 Science Fiction Hammer and Seven Arts Co-Production. It was directed by Michael Carreras, and stars Eric Porter, Hildegard Knef, Suzanna Leigh and Tony Beckley. It is an adaptation of Dennis Wheatley's novel, Uncharted Seas. The film's screenplay was actually written by Michael Carreras, but it's stated as being written by Michael Nash; a pseudonym of Carreras'.

Possibly not the best of starts but this is an odd one. Its a bit of a strange film for Hammer. It's sort of like two films in one, there's the plot at the start about the captain smuggling this highly volatile substance that when in contact with water explodes. Then after the crew have to abandon ship begins the second plot, that of killer sea weed and giant sea monsters, but bizarrely it works. This melding of two stories makes for an interesting piece of film. But I did find it to be a bit slow, especially the first part or as I'm going to call it the first story, the pre-sea monsters part. When there was action it was really entertaining, but any other times seemed to be a bit slow going.

I'm not sure whether it was intentional comedy or what, but there many moments that made me laugh though it might have just been some bad acting. One of which was the unusual laugh that Patrick the bartender had when he was drunk. I also liked when the Captain was attacked by killer seaweed, it binds his hands piercing the skin, and as he struggles to get them off the other passengers just sit and stare, to which after he has removed the seaweed and is caressing his cut and bleeding hands one of the passengers, who was previously just sitting and watching him struggle, says “You alright sir?”

Another funny aspect of the film was the alcoholic Harry Tyler, who was best in the earlier segment of the film before he decided to go teetotal, this being much to the disappointment of one of the female passengers who is trying to get him drunk by spiking his glass of orange juice with vodka. Upon his realisation of there being vodka in it she claims he was more interesting when he was drunk and storms off to find another male passenger who may be of more interest. She goes to the top deck and finds another man and they begin to chat, but they get attacked by a killer sea monster. Could this be a moral message; stick with your man, he may be dull and boring, but you won't get attacked by a killer sea monster when you're with him. Anyway, I liked Harry Tyler, he was instantly my favourite character, he wore a jacket lined with notes of money, and when he was in his drunken state he was so relaxed and chilled out about the whole ship sinking situation that he continued to drink and began playing the piano. Then after they escaped the sinking ship and were sailing on a lifeboat, he started a fight with one of the other passengers and knocked him off the boat, but not just leaving it at that he then jumped in after him to continue the fight. But this is cut short when a shark begins pursuit. Harry escapes but the other man is eaten by the shark. This must have been his turning point, the reason for his teetotalism.

I rather like the effects in this film, especially the various miniatures shots of ships and the misty seascapes of which they resided in. We all know they're miniatures when watching them, but I really liked them. I felt they must have had a lot of work put into them, as they looked to me to be some of the best Hammer miniatures I've seen. I just really enjoyed the many seascape shots of these miniatures. The effects on the battling giant sea monsters was a bit iffy mind, they were very sixties, as was the entire film. Very sixties being determined by the use of music, the effects and pretty much the entire feel of the film. This in no way is bad, I actually really liked this identifiable sixties feel and mood to the film. As well as the miniatures there are some pretty good other effects, the best one being when a guy gets shot in the stomach with a flare, quite a cool way to kill someone and put an end to a group battle, well done to the lady who fired the flare.

The Lost Continent is a strange one, but this doesn't make it bad, it's not great but it is worth a look if you're into odd sixties cult classics. If the pace of the film had been a bit faster then I would have enjoyed the film a whole lot more, but that aside I didn't mind it, I thought it was about average and I'd say it's one of those Hammer films that stands out, even if it is for being an odd ball amongst Hammer's other fine pieces of cinema.

The Lost Continent 3/5

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Carry On Screaming

As a change from the regular schedule I have decided to review Carry On Screaming, this being the Carry On series' take on Hammer Horror films.

Set in Edwardian London, there have been six disappearances, all women, all vanished in Hocombe Woods and all in the space of a year. “Could there be a connection?” “Possibly.” is what Constable Slobotham and Sergeant Bung have to say on the matter. These are the two police men assigned to the case. Their investigations take them and the latest missing woman's boyfriend, Albert Potter, to an old house inhabited by a collection of typical monster movie baddies; a brother and sister; Dr Watt and Valeria, Dr Watt we know to be un-dead, Valeria is possibly also un-dead but this isn't confirmed, there's a Lurch-esque manservant, and two Neanderthal creatures, Oddbod and Oddbod Junior, that do as Dr Watt and Valeria tell them. It becomes apparent that Dr Watt and Valeria are kidnapping the young women, turning them into dummies and selling them to clothes shops, so it's up to Slobotham, Bung and Potter to stop the monsters and their evil doings.

Carry On Screaming
is a 1966 Peter Rogers Production. It is a parody of Hammer Horror films, which were also popular at the time. It was directed by Gerald Thomas and stars Harry H. Corbett as Sergeant Sidney Bung, Peter Butterworth as Constable Slobotham, Jim Dale as Albert Potter, Kenneth Williams as Dr Watt and Fenella Fielding as Valeria.

Just to let you know from the start, I love the Carry On films, yes there are some naff ones near the end of the Carry On's run, but the majority are gems. This is one of those gems. The comedy is top notch and I felt it captured the hammer horror feel brilliantly.

There are several homages to iconic cinema monsters and horror stories within the film. These include Dr Watt who is un-dead and as such would be considered a zombie, but he's far from the traditional kind. There is the inclusion of Dr Jekyll's potion which is used twice during the film. The resurrection of a mummy, King Rubatitti, also features. The biggest homage of them all is to the 1953 film House of Wax of which Carry On Screaming has a similar plot to, only instead of covering the bodies in wax, Dr Watt uses a similar process to that of frying fish, placing them in a giant dish of “batter” and then into a second dish to fry the “battered” person, to which Dr Watt always inappropriately yells with glee “Frying Tonight!”

The Carry On films had their own equivalent to Hammer Glamour, this easily transferred to Carry On Screaming and perfectly emulated Hammer's traditional usage of Hammer Glamour. For this film they used Fenella Fielding as the voluptuous Valeria and Angela Douglas as Albert Potter's girlfriend Doris Mann. The character of Valeria has a somewhat similar appearance to that of Vampira in Ed Wood's 1959 film Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Harry H. Corbett was perfect for the role of Sidney Bung, even though the part was originally wrote for Sid James, but he was unavailable as he already had stage commitments. The character's name was still left as Sidney, as Sid James' characters were usually named after him in both TV and film. But even though Sid James was always great in other Carry On films, I can't picture him being better than Harry H. Corbett in this one, he was that enjoyable to watch. Both he and Jim Dale captured the Hammer style of melodramatic acting perfectly, most notably in the transformation scenes both of them went through. It will have helped that the Carry On films were acted very over the top anyway so the Carry On cast will have already been used to that style of acting only more comically than that of Hammer.

Overall, I really enjoyed Carry on Screaming. It was funny not only to Hammer fans but to the already established Carry On fans, but I'd say there's a bit more to appreciate in the film for the fans of Hammer Horrors, the little homages are always fun. The acting is perfect for the film, over the top and hammy, just as we like it.

Carry On Screaming 4/5

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Wichfinder General

Set in 1645, during the English Civil War. Richard Marshall, a young soldier (Roundhead) visits Sara, his lover, and marries her promising to her uncle, the village priest, that he will take her away from the forthcoming dangers that the priest fears will be coming to the village. Marshall then returns to his duties as the end of his army leave is over. Whilst he's away, Matthew Hopkins rides into town. He is the witchfinder who abuses the current current legal system in order to punish anyone he feels to be a witch. This time he has decided that the priest is a witch and proceeds to torture a confession out of him, to which in the end he eventually kills him. When Marshall rides back into town and discovers what has happened he vows vengeance and seeks out to kill Matthew Hopkins and his gang of witch hunters.

Witchfinder General is a 1968 Tigon British Film Productions and American International Pictures Co-Production. It was directed by Michael Reeves and stars Vincent Price as Matthew Hopkins, Ian Ogilvy as Richard Marshall and Hilary Dwyer as Sara. The film got cut considerably in the UK as the violence was considered too graphic as it depicts grisly torture methods. In a 2005 poll in the magazine Total Film, the film got ranked the 15th greatest horror film of all time. Since the director Michael Reeves' death due to a drug overdose at the age of 25, the film has gained a cult following.

Tigon British Film Productions was one of several film companies that made films in a similar style to that of which was already established by Hammer, they even used some of the same actors; Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Tigon produced several notably good films, the one that stands out in my mind is The Creeping Flesh which starred both Lee and Cushing. I haven't seen all of the Tigon productions but I'm pretty confident to say that Witchfinder General will rank up there with the company's best. It's nice to see a British film starring Vincent Price, this being due to the film being co-produced by American International who held an exclusive contract with him at them time, this being the reason he was unable to star in Amicus' The House That Dripped Blood.

Wilfrid Brambell makes a small appearance, and to my amusement it's notable that even when he's playing a 17th Century villager he is still cleaner and even just that little bit more presentable than when he plays 1970s Rag and Bone man Albert Steptoe.

The film itself I found rather entertaining, it kept me thrilled and interested. Although a lot of the graphic violence was removed from the final cut, I could still see how for the time, what remained could still provoke complaints. I personally felt the graphic violence was necessary as the film is depicting the horrific torture methods that real life witch hunters used in order to gain false confessions from their victims. I felt that Vincent Price gave a pretty good performance in this, better than in some of his other films in fact, I didn't feel he hammed it up as much. In fact I found him to be more sinister and creepy in this role, which worked perfectly. The film at times was rather beautifully shot, especially during the montages of Richard Marshall riding on horseback in search for Matthew Hopkins lit against the strong blue sky in one shot and against the setting sun in another. I rather enjoyed Witchfinder General and would recommend it to lovers of British Horror and of Vincent Price.

Witchfinder General 4/5

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Tomb of Ligeia

After the death of his wife; Ligeia, Verden Fell is both in a state of mourning and a state or concern for his life. Before Ligeia died, she appeared reluctant to die and made blasphemous claims towards God. Verden meets a young woman, Rowena Travenion, who resembles his Ligeia, he later marries her against the will of his dead wife, who's spirit haunts the abbey in which they live. They both witness strange goings on, Verden in particular; visions, loss of memory, violent outbursts, even the presence of a strange and sometimes violent cat, all of which he believes to be the doings of Ligeia's unresting soul. In the end Verden must face Ligeia in a bid to stop her cursed reign upon the abbey.

The Tomb of Ligeia is a 1964 American International Pictures film. It was directed by Roger Corman and starred Vincent Price as Verden Fell and Elizabeth Shepherd as Rowena Trevanion and Ligeia. This is one of several Edgar Allen Poe adaptations directed by Roger Cormen and starring Vincent Price.

All in all it wasn't bad, the pre-credits sequence caught my interest right away, which was where they were burying Ligeia's body and there was the telling of how her burial here will be against the will of God due to her blasphemous final words which then were engraved upon her tombstone. But after that I found I began to lose interest a little, obviously it picked up at various points, but it wasn't until part way through that it regained my full interest. I found that it got a lot better as it went along, from around about the mid way point right up until the climactic ending.

As of this moment, I have seen very little of the Price/Croman adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe tales, so unfortunately I have very little to compare it to. The only other one I have seen is Tales of Terror, which I found to be rather disappointing, possibly due to it not being what I expected, but I'll go more into Tales of Terror when I come to reviewing it. So ignoring that adaptation, I have nothing to compare the quality of this one to in order to determine whether it was better or worse than previous works they had made. At the time, the American International Pictures films were somewhat an American counterpart to that of the British productions made by Hammer and the like, which to that end I much prefer the works of the British, I may be slightly bias being British and all, but from what I've seen so far, I find the British ones more entertaining and thrilling. Not to say I don't like the American films, because I very much do, but I favour the British equivalent that bit more, I find them more atmospheric and eerie, and I just very much like the style of Hammer, as in the ways they use pounding loud music, and most of all their no care in the world approach to using graphic violence of which they always progressed with, each time pushing the barrier that bit further, many a time too far resulting in scenes being cut down or even removed entirely.

All in all, The Tomb of Ligeia wasn't bad, I rather liked it, it's not the best Vincent Price film I've seen so far, but I'd say if you like Vincent Price films then it's worth a look. Vincent Price as ever in his films gives a good performance, hamming it up all the way of course but that's what we, the fans of Vincent Price, love about him and his films. And that's what keeps us wanting to see more and more of his work, I know it's what keeps me watching.

The Tomb of Ligeia 3/5

Saturday, 10 July 2010

The Brides of Dracula

Marianne Danielle, a young woman with nowhere to stay the night is invited by Baroness Meinster to stay at her castle. Whilst there she discovers that the Baroness has her son chained to a room unable to escape. Marianne releases him, but unbeknown to her he is a vampire, a disciple of Dracula, and now she has re-released his evil upon the world. After realising what she has done, Marianne gets away and is later discovered in the woods by Van Helsing who helps her and takes her to the local village, where he learns of the recent killings in which victims have been left with bites marks on their necks. Now Van Helsing must once again take up the task of fighting the vampiric un-dead.

The Brides of Dracula is a 1960 Hammer Production and sequel to 1958's Dracula. It is directed by Terence Fisher and stars Peter Cushing as Van Helsing, Yvonne Monlaur as Marianne Danielle, Martita Hunt as Baroness Meinster and David Peel as Baron Meinster (the disciple of Dracula).

This film isn't about Dracula, as you may or may not already know, it is instead about his disciples, well it's about one of his disciples who proceeds to acquire more vampires. So the film would have made more sense to have been called The Disciple of Dracula, but as it is The Brides of Dracula sounds that bit better, also audiences who have seen Dracula or read the novel will already be familiar with the characters of Dracula's brides; the three seductive vampires who prey upon the weak, generally male, population. So the fact that the film is more about a disciple of Dracula, Baron Meinster, and his brides aside, I generally liked it. Terence Fisher did what he does best, he creates a dark, eerie and highly entertaining piece of cinema. As always, Peter Cushing is a thrill to watch, he's entertaining and interesting at all times. Without spoiling the ending entirely, Van Helsing's method of vanquishing the vampire was rather ingenious, it's sort of silly, but very clever. It's not the best Dracula film in the series, but it's equally not the worst. I rather enjoyed it, and for a Dracula film that doesn't have Dracula at any point in it's running time, except the odd one or two name droppings, I thought it was pretty good.

The Brides of Dracula 4/5

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Hound of the Baskervilles

After being told of a legend that there is a curse upon Baskerville Hall in the form of a hell hound that terrorizes the Baskerville family; Sherlock Holmes is then told of a recent killing of one of the Baskerville heirs, killed in a manner similar to that of which the legend tells. Holmes then takes up the case in a bid to stop the killings and begin his investigation to discover what exactly the Hound of the Baskervilles legend is.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is a 1959 detective/mystery Hammer Production. It was directed by Terence Fisher and stars Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes, Andre Morell as Dr Watson and Christopher Lee as Sir Henry Baskerville. Originally Peter Cushing's portrayal was criticised, mainly due to Basil Rathbone, who had been the definitive Sherlock Holmes up until that point, not being in the role. But as the years went on audiences grew to like Cushing's portrayal. Peter Cushing reprised the role of the sleuth nine years later in a Sherlock Holmes BBC television series.

Having never seen any adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel I have nothing to compare this one to, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was filmed with elements established in horrors produced by Hammer, this is due to the film being directed by cult Hammer Horror director Terence Fisher, famous for such Hammer classics as Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, The Mummy and many more. The use of Hammer's atmospheric touch and loud, booming, fast paced music made it feel like a horror production all that was missing was the (for the time) shocking violence. I really enjoyed this horror feel that had been brought to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle favourite. Peter Cushing gives a brilliant performance as the intelligent and sometimes egotistical sleuth. While Christopher Lee also gives a good performance as the last of the Baskervilles who's life is at threat, of which it's nice to see Lee in a role that allows him to have frequent dialogue and for what must be one of the few times that he isn't the villain of the story. I wouldn't say this is great but I did find it to be a good film and generally a decent Hammer Production.

The Hound of the Baskervilles 3/5

Monday, 5 July 2010

The House That Dripped Blood

Inspector Holloway, of Scotland Yard, is investigating the disappearance of an actor. His investigation takes him to an old deserted house that the actor was renting prior to his disappearance. A member of the local police station tells the Sergeant four mysterious cases about past occupants of the old deserted house.

The House That Dripped Blood is a 1971 Anthology Amicus Production directed by Peter Duffell. It stars Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Jon Pertwee and Ingrid Pitt. The casting of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Ingrid pitt was pre-decided by the producers before the director was even attached to the film. The part of Paul Henderson was originally offered to Vincent Price, of which he was interested but American International Pictures held a contract with him for horror films so he had to decline, and the role was then given to Jon Pertwee.

As with all Amicus productions it consisted of entertaining, creative stories. But although I did like it, I still found it not to be the best representation of Amicus' work. It's definitely enjoyable and has a really good cast, a lot of which have previously been in horrors whether they be for Amicus or Hammer or even both. So the actors are already established to the audience, and in bringing these horror icons together makes the film an enjoyable experience especially to fans of this sub-genre of horror. As always with Amicus there is also their use of comedy, though this appears to just be in the final story about the missing actor. The use of comedy is best suited to this story than any of the others, as the missing actor is played by Jon Pertwee who is famous for his hammy acting which is perfect for his character; a smarmy horror actor who feels he is above his current film role as he feels that the film isn't good enough for him. When complaining about the film set he says “That's what's wrong with the present day horror films. There's no realism. Not like the old ones, the great ones. Frankenstein. Phantom of the Opera. Dracula - the one with Bela Lugosi of course, not this new fellow.” This being an in-joke referencing Christopher Lee's Dracula for Hammer Productions. I would still have loved to have seen Vincent Price's take on the role though, mainly because he could have associated with the character in the sense that he too had been in lots of horror films, plus he had a similar acting style to that of Pertwee's hammy melodramatic acting. Overall, I liked the film it was good, but I feel it could have been better. Its definitely not Amicus' best anthology horror film and not the best representation of their work, but it is worth a watch if you're considering it.

The House That Dripped Blood 3/5

Thursday, 1 July 2010

From Beyond The Grave

An antiques shop, Temptations Ltd, whose motto is “Offers You Cannot Resist” pays custom to four visitors, each either purchases or takes items from the store. These items include an eerie mirror, an unearned service medal, an incorrectly priced snuff box and a centuries old door. In getting these items they all seal themselves a nasty fate, in particular the ones who have cheated the shop keeper.

From Beyond The Grave is a 1973 Amicus Anthology film, it is made up of four short stories. It was Amicus' last anthology production. It was directed by Kevin Connor and stars Peter Cushing as the Shop Keeper, alongside David Warner, Diana Dors and Donald Pleasence.

I really enjoyed this film, it was Amicus' final anthology film and was a good one to end on. As with Amicus' usual theme, it's not a straight horror like Hammer films, it does have it's odd comical moments. A line that made me chuckle was when a man buys a snuff box that he has swapped the price of with another cheaper one. After paying for the snuff box for the new lower price, the shop keeper says “I hope you enjoy snuffing it.” I especially liked the way this film was different to other Amicus films, first of all it's set in a shop, as opposed to a creepy location like a vault or a crypt. I also liked the way it wasn't a person telling tales from the past or from the future, but instead took an almost linear narrative. Each customer who enters the shop and purchases an item has their tale told as a continuation from leaving the shop up until their nasty end, then the story returns to the shop ready for the next customer. My favourite character is the robber, whom each time he is about to enter the shop is interrupted by a customer going in to purchase an item, then when he eventually does get in there and attempts to rob the old man he gets more than he bargained for. There is some notably good performances from Peter Cushing, David Warner, Donald Pleasence and his daughter Angela Pleasence. But I especially liked the dark, creepy performances from Peter Cushing as the mysterious shop keeper and from Angela Pleasence who plays a woman who appears to have very little personality and just does as her father tells her. But as the story progresses we see that she's not what she seems and that she is an ominous, eerie character who practises Voodoo. This is a rather good Amicus production, it's well worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone interested in Amicus films or even just British horror cinema.

From Beyond The Grave 4/5

I Don't Want To Be Born

The film begins with Lucy Carlesi going through what appears to be a rather difficult child birth, as the doctor delivering the baby states “This one doesn't want to be born.”. Then cue the opening credits over the top of more footage of Lucy struggling to give birth, to the rather inappropriate funky 70s music that doesn't particularly set the mood. Then after the opening credits, she gives birth and is holding her child, the new born baby boy bites her on the face. From the start we know this is no ordinary baby boy. A while after having her baby she confides in a friend, and tells her that she believes that the baby hates her. She tells of a tale from her past when she was a striptease performer, when a dwarf who was part of her act came on to her after a performance and she turned him down, later that night the dwarf told her she would have a monster of a child who will be possessed by the devil. The day of the child's baptism he attacks the priest. There after a number of attacks befall people who come into contact with the child including the baby sitter whom the baby tries to drown by pulling her head into the bath she is bathing him in, and on another occasion he pushes her into the river in which she hits her head on a rock and dies. Lucy's sister-in-law, a nun, believes Lucy's claims that the baby is possessed and brings this to the attention of the medical staff, to which she is scoffed at. But it later gets to the point where the baby's attacks get worse and it's only the nun and her beliefs that have any chance of saving the baby and everyone around him.

I Don't Want To Be Born is a 1975 Unicapital Production and Presented by The Rank Organisation. It is directed by Peter Sasdy, and stars Joan Collins, Ralph Bates and Donald Pleasence. This film goes by so many title that I'm not at all certain which one it is most known for, these titles range from I Don't Want To Be Born and The Monster to Evil Baby and Sharon's Baby (although this title confuses me, as there's no one in the film called Sharon.)

For a film compared to Rosemary's Baby I was rather disappointed. Fair enough, it is like a cross between Rosemary's Baby and The Omen, but done badly. For a film about a killer baby, I just didn't find it that interesting. Some bits made me laugh, but these weren't intentionally comical moments, I just found some elements of the film amusing, these include the funky 70s music used to set the mood of the film about a baby who “doesn't want to be born” though it doesn't set the mood at all, in fact it has more chance of getting you up and dancing to the beat. Another funny element was that of Ralph Bates, now I like Ralph Bates when he's in good films, but in this film he is playing an Italian man therefore he has to have an Italian accent. Why the character had to be Italian at all I don't know, he could easily have been an Englishman from London or another part there of, but for whatever reason the writers decided to write in to the script that Lucy meets him in Italy. But on the plus side there are a couple entertaining attacks/deaths that the baby performs. One in particular, where he uses a spade as his weapon of choice. Overall, it's watchable but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, and by all means if you want to watch a film like Rosemary's Baby or The Omen then watch Rosemary's Baby and The Omen as you will enjoy them much more than this.

I Don't Want To Be Born 1/5