Saturday, August 29, 2015

BABY LOVE - Katch-22 (1968)

Greg Goodsell here after a lengthy absence ... What we have on deck here is BABY LOVE (1968) a slick and SICK bit of sexploitation with more than just a teaspoon of psychological horror added. It manages to cram in promiscuity, lesbianism, madness, murder and more than just a hint of incest to lather up the narrative. 

Eegah!! and Tabonga! like to keep the Dungeon squeaky clean, so be forewarned that this entry has plenty of strictly adult material!  You have been warned!

Here we go! BABY LOVE opens with a bang with the once-lovely DIANA DORS --  Britain's answer to Marilyn Monroe at one time, slits her wrists in a hot bath! The British public dearly loved Diana, and kept her around even when she packed on a few extra pounds! She's under-used here and has no lines to speak of! Dors plays the heroine's poor, working class mum -- 

 Luci, played by future Hammer horror great LINDA HAYDEN, is too busy giving her classmates lessons in French kissing that she's unaware of mom's final, fatal bubble bath!

 So, here is the situation: A former flame of Dors, wealthy doctor Robert (Keith Barron) feels a twinge of guilt after her suicide and decides to take Luci in. He vehemently denies being Luci's dad, but why do you suppose he feels all generous so long after the fact?
Ann Lynn, a very conflicted woman and the wife of Robert, vows to be the best stepmom to Luci imaginable, showering her with lots of love. Watch this space...
 Luci soon ingratiates herself into her new family's mansion, but is soon beset by all manner of night terrors! Luci is hiding a secret concerning herself, her mom and her mom's lover....

 Here is the part of the movie I don’t get: Luci takes to her stepbrother Nick (Derek Lamden) in a big way, but they appear to go on a series of what appear to be romantic “dates” that all end rather badly!
 For example, the two take in a movie preceded by a documentary short on Britain's meat industry. A greasy old perv fondles her in the theater! Bleah!
And ol' Nick likes to spy on Luci when she's naked! Is Luci the victim or the villainess?

In the meantime, Luci's stepmom makes moves on her that call to mind an ancient Greek island and a famed poetess who once wrote "A rose is a rose is a rose ..."

Luci dolls herself up for a night on the town!

 Nick and Luci take in a rather sophisticated nightclub (Luci is supposed to be only 15 at the time) with smoking, drinking, and a hot blues combo! Nick becomes infuriated when Luci talks and then sits next to a black man to stare blankly into space with him! Another sister-brother date ends terribly!

Luci grooves to the sounds of "Katch 22" immortalized in this sound clip here --

In a flashback, we see Luci confronting her mum and her burly lover in the sack! It appears that mom's lover took turns with daughter as well! Oh, the depravity!

Stanley Kubrick's timeless nymphet LOLITA (1962) is invoked in this sultry shot and Luci begins to make moves on the family's pathetic “Claire Quilty”-like friend.

Yes, the dusty old codger feeds Luci champagne. Liquor is quicker! Her step family expresses indifference at poolside!

All this stepmom bonding has to end sometime! Stop it at once!

In what is presumed to be the movie's climax, Nick and Luci come against a snotty rowing team whilst boating at a nearby park. Things get heated, and we think that BOTH Nick and Luci will wind up being raped  ... but nothing happens!

 Things start to go south over the course of a lazy afternoon. Stepdad attempts to rape Luci -- but she slashes his face with a fork!

 Stepbrother Nick likewise attempts some action with Luci --- but uh, winds up "all washed up."

We'll be honest with you -- BABY LOVE is a bit of a mess. One of the characters is killed at one point and the surviving characters are too wrapped up in going to a formal dinner party to pay it any mind! However, the story of an interloper breaking into a complacent middle-class family would be ridden to greater success by Pier Paolo Pasolini's TEORAMA the very same year in 1968! Hayden would later slap on some memorable eyebrows and major attitude and branch off into horror icon territory as the devil cult leader in BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW in 1971! This is Greg Goodsell -- over and out until next time!

1 comment:

iain said...

Diana Dors was a terrific woman - I knew her (not bosom buddies, so to speak, but she would come for dinner at our place, that kind of social acquaintance) and I can categorically state that she thought Baby Love was pretty dam' awful. She told me so. And indeed it was (I'd seen it when it was first released in the UK).
Her hunky lover in the flashback is pop singer Troy Dante, who wasn't known in the UK, let alone the US, altho' I recall he made a record or two and would turn up on TV shows singing and promoting them.

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