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I Don’t Want to Be Born

I Don’t Want to Be Born – 1975
Not Since “Rosemary’s Baby”…

Peter Sasdy

Nato De Angeles story
Stanley Price screenplay

Norma Corney producer
Nato De Angeles executive producer

Joan Collins – Lucy Carlesi
Eileen Atkins – Sister Albana
Ralph Bates – Gino Carlesi
Donald Pleasence – Dr. Finch
Caroline Munro – Mandy Gregory
Hilary Mason – Mrs. Hyde
John Steiner – Tommy Morris
Janet Key – Jill Fletcher
George Claydon – Hercules
Derek Benfield – Police Inspector
Stanley Lebor – Police Sergeant
Judy Buxton – Sheila
Andrew Secombe – Delivery Boy
Susan Richards – Old Lady
Phyllis MacMahon – Nun
John Moore – Priest
Floella Benjamin – 1st Nurse
Penny Darch – 2nd Nurse
López – Stripper
Susie Lightining – Stripper
Val Hoadley – Dancer
Janice Brett – Dancer

Review by Sven Soetemans

Abortion would have been a much better option,
I really hate saying this about 70’s Brit horror but…this is a very, very BAD film! Everything that could possibly go wrong actually features here in this lame horror vehicle. A really bad basic idea, for starters, handling about Joan Collins giving birth to an (unusually big) baby possessed by evil and controlled by a dwarf Collins once spurned.

This film ‘borrows’ style and script elements from Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, Don’t Look Now, It’s Alive and even tiny details from Hammer and Amicus successes. The screenplay is extremely poorly written and Peter Sasdy’s directing is the worst of all disasters. What happened to this guy? He was responsible for an endless amount of great TV-movies and a few downright classic Hammer titles (like ‘Countess Dracula’ and ‘Hands of the Ripper’) but, ever since Doomwatch, he just seems to make crap.

This production is very banal, not the least bit scary or atmospheric and the bloodshed is kept to a minimum. It looks like this film is blessed with a terrific all-star cast, but everybody is performing far below their normal acting skills. Donald Pleasance looks dead long before his character is actually slaughtered and Ralph Bates’ character is far too fake. Eileen Atkins triumphs as the worst cast-member though. She stars as an Italian nun (?) and speaks with the most atrocious accent I ever heard. The only one that gets a little sympathy is the beautiful Caroline Munro as the sexy cabaret dancer.

I don’t Want to be Born is a giant disappointment in every respect and better left unmentioned. Avoid!

Don’t Want to be Born (1975)
Review by Wayne Malin

Dull, stupid “Rosemary’s Baby” ripoff

Joan Collins plays a stripper named Lucy. At the club, a dwarf worker tries to sexually molest her. She spurns him and he curses her to have a baby possessed by the Devil. A few years later she’s out of the business, happily married to Gino (Ralph Bates!) and pregnant. The baby is born (after an extremely harsh delivery) and immediately starts acting violently. It scratches, spits, bites and starts killing people! What to do? It’s a good thing Gino’s sister is a nun, Sister Albana (Eileen Atkins), and has a few ideas.

This is reasonably well-directed, looks great, has some good acting…but that’s it. Collins is just fantastic in her role; Donald Pleasance equally good as the baby’s doctor and Atkins (wisely) doesn’t take her role too seriously. But who thought having Ralph Bates playing an Italian was a good idea? He looks miserable and his “accent” is hilarious. Atkins (who is also British) does a better job of it–but every time she says “devil” it sounds like “davel” and is (unintentionally?) hysterical. And Caroline Munro is on hand in a nothing part–but she looks just great.

The script is dull dull dull. There’s not enough material here for 90 minutes. It’s filled with people endlessly repeating the same lines (I heard “the baby is so big” so many times I was ready to scream!) and has tons of filler with people walking around. I got so bored after an hour I basically started to fast forward through this.

The baby’s attacks aren’t really shown (until the end)–we always see the aftermath and we NEVER see the baby doing it. Also, the film is relatively bloodless until the last 15 minutes which throws in a couple of nice gory murders–but it’s too little too late.

All that’s left about this movie is some very good acting and a VERY cute-looking baby. That aside–forget it.

Rent “Rosemary’s Baby” instead–you’ll be much better off.

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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