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Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Suckling (1990) Horror Mutant Baby Monster

The Suckling (1990) - Continuing on with the theme of pregnancy and baby horror I chose this little known and not very good entry into the sub-genre. The suckling may have some unintentional messages about the need for legalized prostitution, protections of a woman's right to choose, toxic waste cleanup and the dangers of illegal force back room abortions. Okay the writer director may not actually been making any statements at all but like any good English class the more you see in it the higher your grade. This film is not an exact fit for the theme because the monster grows so fast and is not a baby when it is doing the horror, but because of the ending I feel obligated to include it. It is not every day that the woman's condition is the same at the end of a horror birth movie as it is in the end.
  The film is a story sandwiched between two scenes that chronologically after the events. Starting the film is a plot outline in text that scrolls up the screen and then at the end the outcome for the main character who survived the ordeal.
    " On April 1st 1973 the most bizarre and macabre event in all of Brooklyn's modern history occurred. Twelve people, inhabitants of a reputed house of prostitution and illegal abortion clinic were killed. Only one occupant survived.
    When found by police she told a story so fantastical and horrific, she was believed to be insane. Authorities immediately placed her in an asylum.
    The most brilliant investigators spent years trying to solve this gruesome mystery, but to this day are still baffled.
    Could the rantings of a girl supposedly insane be true? The makers of this film believe so."
 Starting with the Girl (Lisa Petruno) having a double dream sequence that is amazing not in an original way but a cliche one. We certainly get that she is off her rocker right away as she imagines being rolled through a hospital and as she moves her groggy headed views are of nurses topless in rooms of patients disposing of them with axes. She wakes from the dream and starts another where she plods sleepily into the bathroom to get something from the medicine cabinet. When she closes the mirrored door a doctor is behind her and slits her throat. She wakes again and then the story starts. It is a bit off putting to have all this stuff before we get to the meat of the story. An outline and then these two tangentially connected dreams all to get to the real nightmare that is the story.
   There is a lot wrong with this movie, lets start with the characters, so many really unlikable characters that it is difficult to connect as the plot unwinds. You have the boyfriend Phil (Gerald Preger) who bullies the girl into going to an illegal abortion room in a whore house. Not only that but lies to her about why they are there. While the girl thinks they are there to talk, and she has no inclination to go forward choosing adoption over ending the pregnancy, he has other plans for her. Then there is Big Mama (Janet Sovey) a make up covered hefty who is willing to drug the girl and perform the abortion without her consent. Her son Axel (Frank Rivera as Frank Reeves in what is his first film role) who with a small man inferiority complex acts tough and bossy but really isn't. Candice(Susan Brodsky) the hooker from room five who through out the film is just the worst kind of irritant, constantly verbally abusing those around her with the anger only a forty something prostitute could posses. Along with this group of hideous beings is Customer #1 who besides liking a rotating dildo up the ass is just a dick to everyone around him. So many really offensive people that  it is quite difficult to pull for their survival. So when the killing starts besides Petruno's character and maybe the black prostitute Dawn there is no one you are pulling for. On top of this neither of those two characters show any agency of their own making pulling for them tough as well.
  The story is a fight for your life story versus a monster. The monster is the fetus taken from the drugged girl and flushed down the toilet. We get the drainage pipe view as the toxic waste outside (labelled toxic waste) trickles down onto the fetus giving it life and deforming it into a vengeful monster. It quickly grows in size, teeth and claws to a critter to be reckoned with. It seals the group inside the house by somehow putting membranes over the windows and doors. It travels through the pipes and after it grows too big the walls to stalk and kill the people in the house.  While this is going on the people in the house are at odds all the while. Axel and his complex feels Sherman the only other alpha man is challenging him too much. Prostitutes are at odds with Johns and the girl is freaked by everyone's willingness to kill her baby without her consent. When she finds herself trapped with these people she is pretty useless offering nothing to help in the situation. Since we are sure that the girl is the survivor it is just these horrible people in their horrible interactions being killed off one by one until we get to the climax of Phil, the girl and the baby monster who recognizes its mother. None of this is very enjoyable and really the view will mostly wanting this film to end. I can't recommend this film but there are some unique moments in it.
  Odds and Ends
  •   There are some places where there was some humor in what is mostly a not so funny film. First there was the customer / prostitute interaction. They had him where a propeller cap that spins when he gets excited. She with her whip catching the dildo he is holding and snatching it away from him. Then the sound effects as she uses the dildo on him.
  • Big Mama picking the remains of the abortion from her bent up hanger and then reshaping the hanger to hang up her lab coat.
  • The death of one of the characters trying to get the creature but instead getting electrocuted until his head blows up is just great.
  • The creature running towards its mother making baby sounds as it moves forward. The end of this scene hilariously unique so I don't want to spoil it.
  • There are several places in the film where stop action animation was used but unfortunately never well done.
  • The addendum scene in the mental hospital was mean spirited and really offensive. Rape is never a good thing to have to suffer through even if the rapist gets this due. 

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