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)
C+/C/C/C- Sound: C Extras: C+/C+/B-/B- Films: B-/C-/C+/C-
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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