October 10, 2013

Horror-A-Day: The Devil Within Her

Today was the first day to have a chill from start to finish. Not cold exactly, but a certain temperature level that makes the wearing of shorts a little less like a good idea. Interestingly enough, this slightly frosted day follows my watching of a little horror film from the mid 1970s that I have seen listed under a few names, that continues my trend of watching movies I have never seen before. While I have certainly stumbled across a few stinkers, this was not one of them. I would not call this a great movie but it certainly has a certain undeniable charm.

The movie is called The Devil Within Her, but I have also seen it called Sharon's Baby (which doesn't make much sense) and I Don't Want to be Born. It is a movie that wants to play the respectable card yet retain some horror movie cred and deliver something that is a little bizarre. Seriously, the movie is an oddity that had big studio backing, so somebody thought they had something mainstream, or it was just a different time.

For an idea of just how strange this movie is, you need go no further than the Netflix description. Does this sound enticing? "A stripper regrets spurning the advances of a lecherous dwarf after he curses here unborn children. Months later, her newborn son is a vicious monster." If that doesn't pique your interest, I don't know what will. Well, how about a cast that includes Joan Collins and Donald Pleasance. Are you sold now?

As the movie begins, Lucy (Collins) is in the hospital. She is in labor and her doctor, Finch (Pleasance), is attending. All you see are his heady eyes over the surgical mask and you can just tell by his mere presence that something is not right about this scene. He mentions in hushed tones that the baby does not want to be born. Fortunately, if you apply some force things tend to go your way and the baby is born.

Well, as we learn in flashback, Lucy was hit on by a dwarf who served as host at the club she danced in. She thought it was a friendly thing, he didn't. So, he let loose the curse. Now, in the present this baby is the result of the curse. It is described as a large baby and then things start happening. The baby bites mom, punches pretty hard and even kills people.

Seriously, while most of this happens just off scene, the impression comes across as very real. It is very weird. Now, it is not a very strong plot or anything, there is a free flowing feel to the terror. Joan Collins certainly knows how to ramp up the terror and they actually got a good performance out of the baby. Plus, Pleasance is always a welcome presence. It is their work that makes this thin work, because if you think about it, it is a little silly.

This film has a foot in two worlds. It seems to have a bit of a mainstream appeal with Collins in the lead and the way it seems to shy away from overt sleaze and graphic gore or violence. On the other hand, there is Donald Pleasance and the fact the act that you have a murderous baby brought about by the curse of a lecherous dwarf, not to mention the nun who tries to perform an exorcism.

This is a really weird movie. It has a creepy edge, some good screaming, and a killer baby! Sure, if you cut the budget and cast unknowns you could have a full on exploitation flick, but instead we get a curious hybrid. Definitely worth your time.


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Post a Comment