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“The Baby” is crying out to become a major cult film

“The Baby” is crying out to become a major cult film (photo)

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A quick recommendation of a new DVD of an old cult film: 1973’s “The Baby,” from director Ted Post. The story is sort of “Cinderella” if instead of forcing Cinderella to do manual labor, the wicked stepmother and stepsisters brutalized her into pretending she was a giant overgrown baby so they could suckle off the government teat by collecting her welfare checks. There’s no Prince Charming in this version, but there is a charming social worker who believes the “baby” (whose name is, well, Baby) is being mistreated and abused and is capable of acting like the adult he physically is.

For the life of me I can’t figure out how this film came to exist. A world in which no one but a single social worker is concerned or even skeptical about the “Grey Gardens” nutjobs and their adult baby son? Even her bosses at the welfare offices tell her to look the other way (your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen!). I love how Post calls writer Abe Polsky’s story “abnormally dark” in his interview on the new “The Baby” DVD. What was Polsky thinking? More “baby horror” for the all the legions of “Rosemary’s Baby” fans out there? For whatever reason they did it, he certainly nailed his target: this thing has a baby, and it is supremely creepy.

Anjanette Comer stars as Ann, the caring case worker. Her nemesis is Baby’s suffocating mother Mrs. Wadsworth played by Ruth Roman in a performance that anticipates the psychotically over-protective, big-haired dementia of Faye Dunaway in “Mommie Dearest.” The step-sisters are technically half-sisters, Germaine (Marianna Hill) and Alba (Suzanne Zenor), but supremely unsettling. Baby is played by the truly infantile David Mooney. And I mean that as a compliment.

To talk about what makes the movie great is to spoil most of its charms, so I will make this brief. But in sum: this movie is weeeeeeird. It’s all shrill women playing mind games with one another, mentally or physically torturing each other, drugging each other, and attacking each other, all for the sake of this one, giant man-baby. And the ending is one of the great bat-shit crazy twists of all time. You have to be willing to go along for the ride. But if you are, man, what a ride this is.

“The Baby” is available now on a new DVD featuring a restored print of the film and interviews with the director and star. If you check it out, tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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