director Ted Post
“Baby, baby, baby
Won’t you be my girl?”
– The Vibrators
I always think it’s a good thing when I watch a movie and think “Man, this would be fun movie to watch with John Waters!” And oddly enough I do think that from time to time. The Baby would be a blast to watch with him.
Interestingly, The Baby is all about the ladies. First and foremost, Ruth Roman as Mrs. Wadsworth. She is fantastic as the matron of the family, keeping her enfeebled adult son as infantilized man-baby. With sex-pot daughters Germaine (Marianna Hill) and Alba (Suzanne Zenor) ruling the roost with her, spiteful at times, manhandling and brutalizing or sexually exploiting him.
That is until seeming do-gooder Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer) shows up as a specialist from the state who has an all too keen interest in “Baby”.
I imagine you could tease out either a critique of women running a man’s life or even find some more positive lady power on display here. Which ever way you slice it, the women run the show and are total archetypes for camp appropriation. The film itself plays it straight, which makes it all the more bizarre and enjoyable.
Where is John Waters when I’m watching this stuff?