The Baby (Arrow Video) Blu-ray Review + Screenshots



Studio: Arrow Video

Release Date: March 1973 (theatrical) / September 25th, 2018 (blu-ray)

Run Time: 85 mins

Region Code: REGION FREE

Picture: 1080p (1.37:1 Aspect Ratio) (open matte) / 1080p (1.78:1 Aspect Ratio) (intended ratio)

Sound: English LPCM Mono

Subtitles: English SDH

Starring: Anjanette Comer, Ruth Roman, Marianna Hill

Written by Abe Polsky

Directed by Ted Post

Rating: PG (some language, brief sexual content, and some violence)


THE FILM
Still traumatised by the loss of her husband, well-meaning social worker Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer, The Loved One) throws herself into her latest assignment: the case of “Baby”, a 21-year-old man with the mind of an infant – who crawls, cries and has yet to make it out of nappies. But Baby’s family – the tyrannical “Mama” Wadsworth (Ruth Roman, Strangers on a Train) and her two demented daughters – aren’t the only ones with a warped conception of familial relations, and the full horror only begins when Ann sets her sights on liberating the drooling man-child… and in so doing unleashes the wrath of the Wadsworth women.

I really don’t know what to say about The Baby. I went into the film with an open mind. I honestly had no idea what this film was about. I thought that the film might be like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: dark humor, a memorable killer, interesting setting. What we got was so much worse than I could have ever imagined.

1.78:1 Intended version

1.33:1 open matte version

From the concept to execution, The Baby is a dud. The film is said to belong to the Extreme Exploitation subgenre, but I did not see anything that was remotely “extreme” or even shocking. The film did make me feel a bit uncomfortable with some of the scenes involving Baby (that’s his name) but outside of that, I was mostly bored. It is sad that a film that is supposed to be “extreme” ends up being dull and lifeless. And don’t get me started on the “twist” ending. Another thing that is meant to shock, the ending is just there. It did nothing for me but bring on a bit of joy knowing that the film was over.

The Baby has its fans, and I can’t really argue with someone’s taste in movies, but the film is just so dull. I feel like I wasted an hour and twenty-five minutes of my life watching this nothing of a film. So I say: bravo to everyone who likes this film. I am glad that you. I am not being sarcastic about this either. I feel that every film needs some love and I am glad that The Baby has found it’s.

1.78:1 intended version

1.33:1 open matte version

THE PICTURE AND THE SOUND

Arrow brings The Baby back to blu-ray (the first blu-ray was released by Severin Films) with two different aspect ratios. The first being an open matte version (1.33:1) of the film and the second being that intended aspect ratio (1.78:1, opened up a bit from the OAR of 1.85:1) of the film. These appear to be from two different masters. The OAR one is darker than the open matte version. It also has chunkier film grain and a more muted color palette. The open matte version is brighter and more colorful. It has a better grain structure. Which version to watch really depends on aspect ratio you like more as well as how the picture quality appeals to you. I liked the OAR version a bit better but I can see how the open matte version will be liked as well.

1.78:1 intended version
1.33:1 open matte version
The sound comes to us in the form of a LPCM mono track. It gets the job done. Dialogue is crisp and clear and there are no distortions to the track. The score comes through nicely as do the cries from Baby and the screams of some victims.

There are also English subtitles for those who need them.

1.78:1 intended version

1.33:1 open matte version
THE PACKAGING






A booklet is also included with writings on the film as well as information about the transfer and audio.

The disc is REGION FREE

THE FEATURES



Audio Commentary with Travis Crawford

A Family Affair (6m 27s, HD) New interview with actor Marianna Hill, recorded in July 2018

Nursery Crimes (6m 27s, HD) New interview with nursery painting creator Stanley Dyrector, filmed in July 2018.



Down Will Come Baby (12m 1s, HD) Retrospective on The Baby with film professor Rebekah McKendry

Tales from the Crib (20m, SD) Archival audio interview with director Ted Post



Baby Talk (14m 41s, SD) Archival audio interview with actor David Mooney

Original Trailer (2m 45s, HD)



Overall, this isn’t a bad selection of features. The interviews are informative and on point. The retrospective is nicely done and the trailer looks nice. The only problem that I had with any of the features was the audio interview with Ted Post. The audio is pretty bad which made the listening experience pretty difficult. Other than that I think that fans will appreciate the features found on the disc.

1.78:1 intended version

1.33:1 open matte version

OVERALL

The Baby is a terrible film. I get why it is well-liked, but I just couldn’t get into the film. Nothing really happens in the film until about an hour in and by that time I was pretty close to checking out. The film looks really good and the acting is excellent, but the film just didn’t do anything for me. The blu-ray for the film is nice and suits the film very well. The picture and sound quality are both good and the special features are worth it for fans. I really can’t recommend this blu-ray outside of fans and those who want to start with Extreme Exploitation.

MORE SCREENSHOTS

Top Screenshot is 1.78:1 intended version

Bottom Screenshot is 1.33:1 open matte version