Thursday, April 11, 2013

Don't Expect Any Child Support, Lady

Since this appears to be a week of classics, I thought I'd cover something a little more cerebral.  There's no gore, no on-screen kills, nothing that would satisfy your average gorehound AND it's an INCREDIBLY slow burn so I'm not even sure it would hold the attention of today's young audience.  And it's a personal favorite.

In 1968, Roman Polanski (pre-statutory rape) directed the sublime and waif-like Mia Farrow (pre-Woody Allen and HIS freaky Asian adopted daughter shit) and John Cassavetes in Rosemary's Baby.  An adaptation of Ira Levin's bestselling novel of the Anti-Christ. 

It starts with sweet, naive housewife Rosemary and her husband moving into the Bramford, an old but charming apartment building in New York (actually, the Dakota, which is infamous for being the location of John Lennon's murder).  Of course, the first people they meet are the Castevets (Ruth Gordon and Sydney Blackmer) who are nosey as fuck but seem nice.

She's watching you.
Always watching.

Rosemary makes another friend with a necklace that smells funny but she decides to take a nosedive off of the building which is all sad and shit.

So, then, the creepy, old people invite the couple to dinner.  Over Dessert, Rosemary passes out and then she has awful, awful sex dreams and wakes up naked and covered in scratches.  Her husband tells her "Oh, it's OK, honey.  I just raped you while you were unconscious because I REEEEEALLY want a baby." (I'm paraphrasing.)

Turns out it worked and her due date is June 6th, 1966.  Coinkeedink?  Not a fuckin' chance.
Call the police, bitch.  Yo' man done you wrong.

She chooses an obstetrician on a friend's recommendation but the creepy, old neighbors insist that she see THEIR guy, even though it's patently obvious that Minnie hasn't had the cobwebs swept from her cooch in a few decades.  And she listens to them.  Because she wants to be an all-natural hippie.  This drink the doc makes her take is better than vitamins, or so they say.  Tannis root...  That doesn't sound suspicious.  And for the first 3 months of pregnancy she drops a shitload of weight and craves raw meat.  Raw.  Meat.  I'd be getting a second opinion.  And she does.  Because she's naive but she's not stupid.  Well, mostly not stupid.

The second opinion doc decides to investigate and is about to release his findings to Rosemary when he slips into a coma.  Just before he dies, though, he gives a book to his secretary to give to Rosemary.

It's all about this guy.  YAY!

So, blah, blah, blah, things happen, Rosemary gets suspicious of her neighbors and her husband (something she probably should have done a while ago), she tries to fight back but they manage to get to her and deliver the baby on time.  They tell her it died but she can hear it crying.  She goes in all ready to find creepy people ready to kill her kid but then she looks at the kid and "His eyes... WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HIS EYES!?!"

Step away from my kid, bitches.

Like I said, this is an INTENSELY slow burn and that was kind of expected for any psychological thriller in the 60s.  Polanski was known for it, in particular.  This movie couldn't be made today and that's kind of awesome.

Oh, they've TRIED to do it.  The lackluster Blessed comes to mind immediately and it was OK but not great.  THIS is pretty much the penultimate "I Had Satan's Baby" movie.  The Omen was more about the kid after it was born.  This was about the hell the mother was put through.

Obviously, this movie shines a laser pointer on the general fears that women face during pregnancy.  "What if I'm doing something wrong?"  "What if I screw this child up for life?"  "Why am I bringing a child into an overpopulated world?"  "How do I get my hair to look that cute?"  "What if I'm giving birth to the next Hitler?"  And considering that this came out shortly after the Thalidomide deal, "What if I'm having a flipper baby?"  All valid questions and the reason why I suggest every pregnant lady, ever, watch this flick.  Not to make them question themselves but to realize that those fears are valid but not really to be dwelled upon, plus, there's always somebody that has it worse than you.

Because this is a classic, I LOVE watching it but because it's so slow-paced, I really have to be in the mood for it.  It's a long one, too, at 2 Hours 17 minutes.  I say make the popcorn in bucketfuls and settle in.  This is a bumpy ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment