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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Thriller > Mystery > Supernatural > Demons > Posession > Comedy > Canada > Killer > Slasher > Revenge > The Baby/Cannibal Girls/Poor Pretty Eddie/The Witch Who Came From The Sea (1972/Severin/1973/Shout! Factory/1975/Cultra Blu-ray + DVD Combo/1976/Subversive Cinema DVD)

The Baby/Cannibal Girls/Poor Pretty Eddie/The Witch Who Came From The Sea (1972/Severin/1973/Shout! Factory/1975/Cultra Blu-ray + DVD Combo/1976/Subversive Cinema DVD)


Picture: C+/C/C/C-     Sound: C     Extras: C+/C+/B-/B-     Films: B-/C-/C+/C-



Ted Post's 1972 oddity The Baby has again come to DVD – this time from Severin Films, and sporting a new widescreen transfer from the original negative.  There are few words to describe this movie, but the gist is that an adult man has been raised to have no more mind than an infant, and is forcibly kept that way by his mother and sisters.  The film has doubtlessly picked up its detractors over the years, but as off-putting as this story is, one needs to be see for themselves before passing judgment.  Even as you struggle with what's on screen, it's undeniably compelling.


The only extras for The Baby are two interviews and a trailer.  The first of these interviews is with Baby himself, David Mooney; the other one with director Ted Post is audio only, but that makes it no less vital.  The picture is presented in anamorphic widescreen, with an aspect ratio of 1.66:1, and the audio in mono.


Coming from director Ivan Reitman, I expected Cannibal Girls to be more comedy than horror. Unfortunately, the film doesn't do justice to either genre that well. Eugene Levy stars, fresh from his days on SCTV.  The film focuses on he and his wife (played by Andrea Martin) evading three cannibal women with a desire to eat them.  There are some tones of the film Bloodsucking Freaks, but while that movie made some sense, this sees very little rhyme or reason injected into its plot and robbing the viewer of anything resembling a good time.


The 1.78:1 image on Cannibal Girls is merely decent looking at best, though it's doubtful that we'll be seeing anything better than this unless there's some money poured into a restoration.  The audio is presented in a 2.0 mix, and is a little bit below par, owing largely to the limitations on the original recording.


There are one or two nice extras here – among them, the surprising inclusion of new interviews with director Ivan Reitman and Eugene Levy.  Other bonuses include a trailer, as well as the option to view the film with or without the original "warning bell” sounding whenever shocking scenes are about to occur.  While this is far from essential viewing even for Reitman fans, horror aficionados will want to count this curio as part of their DVD collection.


As if cinema in the 1970s couldn't get any stranger or more vile, Poor Pretty Eddie would come out in 1975 to kick things up a notch. The film revolves around the world of Eddie and his jealous (much) older girlfriend as his eye strays to the pretty black singer who is stranded in town. He sees her as the key to launching his singing career, but he and the rest of the redneck townspeople nonetheless put her through all sorts of hell, eventually resulting in her bloody retaliation. It's a better movie than it has a right to be – somewhere between Deliverance and I Spit on Your Grave. Fans of either of those films will want to get this now.


An audio commentary with cinematographer David Worth is included, as is a historical essay and a collection of a whopping two production stills.  The video quality is subpar, especially for a Blu-ray release.  It's presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with an unnecessary 5.1 surround sound mix upgrade.  There has been some restoration work done to the video, but at a loss of clarity. Hopefully a better print of this exists out there somewhere; until then, it is good to have this available, even if it's not the final word on how good it can be.


Lastly, in 1976's The Witch Who Came from the Sea, Molly has blocked out the sexual abuse suffered from her father, and so unwittingly begins entrap, castrate and kill various men as a way of confronting her buried memories.  The title was one of the original “Video Nasties” in the UK, due to the film's violent sexual content.  Despite some thought provoking ideas woven into the story, I was left feeling largely indifferent toward the movie.


Subversive Cinema has presented this film anamorphically enhanced, and restored to its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, with the soundtrack in 2.0 Mono.  While the transfer hasn't aged well over the past few years since the DVDs release, it looks miles better than any of the bootlegs that were floating around, taken from the old pan and scan VHS.


Extras include a commentary track with actress Millie Perkins, cinematographer Dean Cundey and director Matt Cimber; unfortunately it has been recorded rather poorly and makes for a rough listen.  A Maiden's Voyage is a featurette made for this release featuring the same participants from the commentary, but is of decent enough quality to be watchable.  Tracking down this title might not be such a bad idea – even if just to see where John Carpenter’s masterful co-conspirator Dean Cundey got his start.



-   David Milchick


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