The Baby (1973)
Another cult classic that I kept passing over 'cause let's face it - it looks boring as hell. Of course we're kind of jaded when it comes to 'alternate lifestyles' and that can include what is known as paraphilic infantilism - also known as adult baby syndrome. Some set up quite spendy 'playrooms' that include cribs, toys, and yes, even bottles and diapers. They either have a family member care for them or a paid nanny. Their reasons range from a wish to be nurtured to a type of sexual fetish. But that's not what this film is about. Not quite.
This is about a social worker visiting an unorthodox family consisting of a middle-aged mother, two grown daughters, and, of course, Baby. Baby is his name, and he's cute, cuddly, coos, drinks his bottle in his PJ's and crawls. Problem is, he's in his 20's. And, for all anyone knows, it's not an act. Because of his, err, condition, he's visited regularly by social workers, given a cursory examination, and passed on to the next worker. In other words, he's stuck, nothing is being done for him and he's a prisoner of his family.
His two sisters are in control also - seems that mother had each kid with a different man who left her and so neither girl is particularly fond of their brother. Umm, that is except for the one who sneaks into his room and strips and gets in his crib. Brrrr... The other gleefully takes part of his 'punishment' which he receives if he tries anything past what they want for him - talking, standing up, etc. She chases him around the room with a cattle prod. Nice. But less... ooky than what the other sister does I guess.
Ann Gentry is an overachieving social worker who is determined to change Baby's life. She has immersed herself in her career, fighting guilt because of a car accident that left her husband disabled. So she's determined to change Baby's life - despite the strong objections of the family. We get the distinct idea that all three women have more than a few screws loose and Baby doesn't stand a chance. But Ann is determined and not going to give up, despite her supervisor giving her grief about 'badgering' the family.
And so we get 85 minutes of wince inducing behavior as the women throw Baby a birthday party, intent on capturing Ann and staging an 'accident'. Ann proves stronger than they thought however, and gets free, taking Baby home to her huge home (thanks to a rich architect husband) and her mother-in-law. The family goes after her and we get a plot twist. Both Ann and her mother-in-law have set 'traps' for the three women, killing the sisters and breaking the mother's legs. Out back, a large pool has been excavated and the two women have put a large hole in the center - just enough room for three bodies. They bury the three, the mother still being alive.
And why did Ann have to have Baby so badly? To reform him? To make him a man? Well, remember the husband injured in the car accident? No? Pay attention kiddies, I had to watch this stuff. Anywho, apparently in this horrible accident, her husband was brain damaged to the point of having the intelligence of an infant. So Baby's not going to be reformed, Baby's going to be his new playmate. How sweet. <Gag>