Director: Larry Cohen
USA - 1978
My, what a month for Crazy Baby movies. As weve seen so far, its not easy
to find the perfect Crazy Baby movie; so few of them are truly applicable, so few of them
really have a baby with the appropriate craziness, or a crazy with the appropriate
babyness. Therefore, when I found that my trusty local independent cult film video store
here in Chicago, Darkstar Video on North Lincoln (near Montrose) had not only the
exemplary (if serious) Crazy Baby movie Its
Alive, but also the sequel, It Lives Again. One can always rely on the
small independents to carry the films that the big chains dont bother with, and in
this line of work, thats where your golden opportunities are.
The sequel is interesting because it not only is written, produced, and directed
by Larry Cohen, the creative force behind the original, but it stars some of the same
people (not altogether a guaranteed occurrence in B-movies), and seems to feature many of
the same Crazy Mutant Baby effects they featured in the first one. We can presume this
will be quadrupedal babies with fangs and claws, who cannot walk but who can leap to neck
height and rip out arteries. They are further born with extensive knowledge of ninja
stealth techniques. There was only one in the first movie, but being a sequel, its
got to feature more babies this time around. It took five years to get this sequel
produced, and Im surprised it didnt take longer. I mean, its not like
the first one really warranted a re-hashing of the subject. But you could say the same
about Neverending Story II, and that got some nice money for effects and such, so I
guess Im not cut out to be a Hollywood executive.
So we rent the movie, and we pop it in. Again, as with the first, there are no previews
to pad the tape time or soften the blow of the film; it just plunges right into the story.
The opening credits are usually good indicators of what sort of movie youre going
to be seeing. In Star
Wars, they do the title and then plunge right into the story. Same thing with Aadams
Family Values. These are indications of rapid-fire movies that want to get right to
the business of entertaining us. Which is not to say that movies with normal credit
sequences arent fine; where would we be, as a culture, without the trippy and
exploitative openings to just about every Bond film? However, wretched credit sequences
are often hallmarks of wretched movies. Which is not to say that the movies should not be
watched. After all, isnt that what were doing here? I thought so.
In any case, as the first film opened with stylized flashlight lights, the second
starts off with water, lit so the ripples throw shadows, as surrealistic as the first, but
in a different way. I do believe they use the exact same music. Hmm. Im not sure if
thats a good thing or not. I mean, the music was bombastic and blatantly
manipulative, but it did fit the story well enough. Oh, well. After the initial few
credits, we cross-fade to a similar shot, with water and the shadow of a baby carriage.
Ooh, thats creepy, in its way
Hey, I just saw the credit of John P. Ryan as
Frank Davis! Frank Davis was the Peter Lorre looking guy in the first film. Turns out John Ryan was in such films as Five
Easy Pieces, Futureworld, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Cotton
Club, Three O'Clock High, Delta Force 2 & 3, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
(voice only), Tall Tale, and Bound.
Well, I cant call him Peter Lorre, since they put his name in the opening credits,
and besides, he's done so much else. So its Frank. What are the odds that there are
two Franks in this crazy, mixed-up Crazy Mutant Baby movie? Pretty slim, Id say. But then again,
thats the nature of these films; how often does James Bond meet another James, or
Earl Bassett from Tremors meet another Earl? Doesnt happen very often.
The actual narrative picks up in Tucson, which is a far cry from the L.A. locale of the
first one. It seems to be a baby shower, but its co-ed. When my sister got her baby
shower, it was a no-men-allowed thing, but this one seems to be much more liberated. Of
course, its clearly the 70s, from the clothing and the hairstyles. You can
tell its a horror movie, by the cut of the guests polyester vests and the
stringy wanna-be fro the soon-to-be-daddy is sporting. It gave me the shivers, just
like when I saw The Stepford Wives.
The party is starting to wrap up, and we are treated to several glimpses of Frank,
doing his patented "standing around watching things" routine. Some blonde woman
tries to pick him up, but he gently puts her off. However, this draws attention to two
things: one, baby showers are second only to supermarkets as places to get dates, and two,
the hosts have no idea who he is. This, naturally, puts them in an odd situation. I mean,
this is before the advent of home invasions, before the national paranoia of strangers had
gotten as deep as it currently is, but its still not a normal occurrence to find
that a total stranger has been quietly sitting through your little party. Of course, all
successful party crashers try to make very few ripples; but then again, they usually bail
at the first sign that the party is breaking up, so that they wont have to talk to
anyone. Frank makes himself comfortable on the couch, and waits for the hosts to come to
I have to say that hes aged well. I know this is just five years later, but
hes got some gray streaks and a few more lines on his face. He doesnt look
enough like Peter Lorre anymore for me to continue calling him that, and besides, there
are other actors to make fun of. He seems calm,
it would be creepy, if he were a serial killer, but he gives off the
impression of a crusader of a different type, this time out.
Now the hosts: daddy-to-be resembles Gabe Kaplan, before he bulked up to teaching
weight; hes an attorney by the name of Eugene Scott (played by Fredric Forrest, who
was also in Falling Down, and was in Citizen Cohn as Dashiell Hammet).
Its unfortunate that he wasnt a doctor of some kind, because that would make
him Dr. Scott! Janet! Janet! Brad! Brad! Doctor Scott! Rocky! (Audience shouts
"Bullwinkle!") Anyway, mommy-to-be looks like That Girl with bad 70s hair
(i.e. comparatively normal 70s hair), and her name is Jody, though there is some
confusion about that later, as Eugene seems to call her something else entirely (played by
Kathleen Lloyd, who was in Best Seller and the T.V. movie and series Equal
So, anyway, they are remarkably nice when they confront him, certainly nicer than I
would be in that situation. But then Im a product of the modern age. He avoids
responding directly, asking about their baby, and theyre remarkably open. He brings
up the Crazy Baby plague that has been sweeping the country, striking every few couples
with a Crazy Mutant Baby. Thats when they recognize him from the cover of Time,
the special on CBS: hes the father of the first Crazy Mutant Baby, and has become an
activist in the couple of years since his own incident. Boy, when he changes his heart, as
he did at the end of the original, it stays changed, you know?
Hes actually there to deliver a warning. Turns out the Gummint is targeting the
Crazy Mutant Babies, making sure they get killed at birth, trying to protect the human
race from its evolutionary successor. Turns out the ringleader of this illegal Gummint
initiative is a guy named Mallory (John Marley, who was in the Godfather trilogy and a
whole bunch more TV and film before his death in 1984), who is ineptly watching their
house right now. Apparently, Franks been doing this sort of thing for some time now;
hes part of an extensive network of Crazy Mutant Baby supporters. Of course, most of
these supporters have probably never seen a Crazy Mutant Baby, and if theyre getting
killed by CIA doctors at birth, its unlikely any are parents who had a chance to
bond with their infants. But the point is, the U.S. Gummint is overstepping its bounds,
and in that context, Id probably be a sympathizer with the Crazy Mutant Baby cause,
They start getting down to the nitty-gritty, where Jody and Eugene cant imagine
that their baby is anything but beautiful and normal, and Frank is feeling a tremor in the
Force, telling him the truth of it. And I realize with a sick, jarring jerk that once
again, theyre going to play it straight. No goofy Crazy Mutant Baby antics, no
comedy killings, not even any one-liners or post-kill puns. Of course, a Crazy Mutant
Babys delivery of "Why dont you hang around for a while?" to the
impaled body of an enemy would come out like "Glah goo goo blagh!"
On a side note, when Frank is going over some of the other incidents of Crazy Mutant
Baby deaths, he mentions Evans Town, Illinois. Now, Im familiar with Evanston, that burg immediately to the north of
Chicago, close enough to be linked by the El trains, but I dont believe Ive
ever heard of Evans Town. Did the pronunciation of Evanston change between 1978 and now?
Or is it a situation where Hollywood writers have difficulty with non-Californian city
Throughout all this, Eugene proves himself to be overly loud and pretty much just a
schlub; perhaps his relatively small stature and mousy looks contribute to his being kind
of a jerk. Personally, I wonder how the relatively hot Jody ended up with him. Future
dialogue reveals that she really doesnt know much about him, which also kind of plays into the relaxed attitudes of the late
seventies. But still, its like a Pug with a Golden Retriever, or Billy Joel with
Christie Brinkley. What sort of voodoo magic did he use to get her to wed him, much less
bear his gigantic killer Crazy Mutant Baby?
Sitting in his cheap, sleazy motel room (chosen because its got a direct line, no
switchboard, which he doesnt trust), he dials up some friends. I get the same
feeling I did near the end of Desperado, when the Mariachi calls up Campa and
Quino, to come to town and bring their guitars. But in this case, its bring the
Mobile Commando Birthing Center, so we can deliver this baby on the move. Its a
smart idea, which Im sure Knight Rider
borrowed and adapted for use with an artificially intelligent car, rather than Crazy
Initially, I thought Franks role would be a cameo, a brief interlude to create a
link with the previous movie and then pass the torch to the new characters. The torch may
yet be passed, mind you, but it does seem like hell play a much larger role in the
film than I had initially expected. This is a good thing, as his quiet determination and
low-key acting style create a good counterpoint to the occasionally high-strung delivery
of the other leads. Frank projects the air of a man whos been through his personal
hell, and has managed to salvage a bit of peace out of it by trying to help others who may
be in the same situation he was in.
Dear God, Im buying into the seriousness of the movie. Save me, Crazy Zombie Baby
from Dead Alive!
Ah, merely thinking about him, my personal paradigm of what a Crazy Baby should be,
makes me feel better, all warm and homicidal inside
Frank stops by the hospital to gaze at the seventies-style rubber babies, and enjoy
some flashbacks of his last few moments with his own son. His conversation with the Scotts
has already sketched out the other parts of the movie, now we glimpse the climax of the
first, clueing us in on how difficult it was for him. I think this is supposed to be a
powerful moment, but Im just waiting to see the fanged, clawed infants. Get on with
After a rather disturbing conversation about infanticide, mostly of female children,
the Scotts go to turn in, but uh-oh! The baby is early! Where have we heard that one
before? Thats right, it was Franks wife. Unlike Mrs. Davis, Jody actually
seems to be in pain, which is what labors all about. Believe me, Im not
looking forward to when my lovely George and I begin to spawn. I have this
prediction that whatever pain she feels, Im going to end up feeling, eventually. It
makes me very sympathetic to the whole process.
They call Franks hotel room, as he asked them to. Unfortunately, hes out
looking over the Mobile Commando Birthing Center, built into the back of a Ryder truck, so
he misses the call. Thats the problem with bypassing the switchboard; even though
they might listen in, they can also take messages, and this is before answering machine
technology had really hit its stride, so youre basically out of luck, Frank ol
There is a very odd shot at one point, when Eugene is talking to Dr. Fairchild on the
telephone. This is the doctor who Frank
warned them was in cahoots with the Gummint to kill their baby. Hell probably bill
them for the procedure, as well. Anyway, they call him, and while Eugene is on the phone
with him, the shot takes in Eugenes head and the huge sword displayed above the
fireplace behind him. It wasnt a convenient shot; it would have been better to focus
more closely on Eugene, in order to convey the sense of urgency. Given the nature of how
the shot was composed, I cant help but think the director included the sword
intentionally. If so, what could it mean? Danger hangs over Eugene? Hes in a no-win
situation? Hes going to get killed? What? If youre going to try to use
symbolism, make it something an average person can understand with some thought. I
absolutely encourage as much intelligent symbolism as you can get (cheap symbolism is easy
to come by, as anyone can evoke a Christ image for quick shock value, but intelligent
symbolism is a bit tougher), as we need more thoughtful genre movies, but for symbolism to
be effective, it must be recognized, not mistaken for a goofy shot.
In any case, Frank somehow guesses that they tried to call, so he has a premonition
that the baby is due (maybe the disturbance in the Force tipped him off), and heads to the
hospital. In the meantime, the ringleader from the Gummint, Mallory, is organizing the
police, making sure its all going to go down as Mallory wants. The police turn out
for riot duty, and its reminiscent of The Blues Brothers. If it werent
set in Tucson, Id expect to see the river patrol turning out with their gunboats.
So naturally, after being warned about this conspiracy, and driving through the police
cordon, Jody and Eugene go ahead and get out of the car. Theyre worried when Mallory
and the police separate them at the entrance, and wheel Jody away, but they dont
seem to match it up with what Frank told them. Boy, I hope the Crazy Mutant Baby eats
On the up side, Ive been watching this movie for three hours now, and its
finally getting to the Crazy Baby birthing scene. Im not so much saying the pacing
is slow as Im watching glaciers get to the point faster. But perhaps Im just
Stormtroopers take up guard positions all through the hospital. Lord Vader strides down
no, wait, wrong movie. The nurses are trying to be professional about it,
but the doctor, preparing his instruments, puts a revolver on the tray with the baby
pliers and all that other stuff. It seems they tried to smother the first baby, in the
first movie, and that made him go on his killing spree (its always something
so this time, its all about high-velocity lead.
Throughout the birthing room scenes, Jody repeats her mantra: my baby is going to be a
normal baby, my baby is going to be a beautiful baby. Since the birthing room scenes take
a really long time, this mantra gets a bit old. I find myself whispering
things like "you wish!" and "thats what you think!"
Frank just walks in. Turns out a lab coat and a clipboard work pretty much just like
Clark Kents glasses, preventing the stormtroopers from recognizing him. I want one
of those lab coats!
Mallory is in scrubs; apparently, hes not only the ringleader of the conspiracy,
he does his own dirty work on occasion. Jody asks him to please not kill her baby.
"Somebody informed her before she arrived. Ill have a word with her
Well, duh. You think they wouldnt figure it out anyway, Mallory, after the fact?
So, anyway, Mallory goes out to have words with Eugene, and Frank walks up
Mallory know each other, and seem to be friendly, but that doesnt stop Frank from
pulling a gun on him.
So begins the slowest escape from a hospital Ive ever seen committed to film.
Busting out the baby, they have to move her onto a stretcher, and damn it, woman, you
can stop your mantra now, its going to be born. Throughout the seven-hour breakout
sequence, Frank remains cool as a cucumber
his Jedi mind techniques are working
well. Gotta love it. Only in the 70s can we get away with such rampant terrorism as
getting out of a hospital at gunpoint with a huge number of police around. I particularly
love some of the things Frank yells to the cops as they go.
"Now, take it easy. No crime has been committed. You have no right to arrest us.
Were protecting this womans right to have a baby."
Lets just skip over that whole "holding the boss hostage at gunpoint"
thing, shall we?
Oh, no. I just looked at the VCR time counter. This full day of film seems to have
taken only a half-hour of real time. Whats up with that?
In the Mobile Commando Birthing Center, they have a lovely birthing table and a baby
incubator with heavy metal bars on it. Gotta love that. And as the baby is born, one of
the doctors reveals his doubts as to the wiseness of this procedure. Of course, as he
carries the Crazy Mutant Baby to the armored incubator, the baby makes the film speed up
so he can reach of the blanket and go ginsu on Dr. Doubting Thomass face. Ha! Never
beard a Crazy Baby in its own den, Doc! Thatll learn ya.
out that Babycam remains the same as in the last movie, simply out of focus. Youd
think that with that sort of trouble seeing, the babies wouldnt be able to do the
Flying Carotid Leap of Doom, but they do, anyway.
Frank and Mallory are in the front seat, and they drive into a tunnel. At a roadblock
at the other end of the tunnel, theres an exchange between a police captain and a
"This is the sheriffs jurisdiction; were stopping the truck, hostage
"Do what you God-damn please."
Well, that was easy. If only all jurisdictional conflicts were settled so easily.
"Germany claims Poland as a conquered territory." "Do what you God-damn
"We Communists claim Vietnam." "Do what you God-damn please."
"We here at Entertainment Weekly forbid Filmboy from stepping on our turf and reviewing current
releases." "Do what you God-damn please."
Of course, you can see the fallacy in that approach. Besides, Filmboy rocks.
So the local law is ready to gun down the Crazy Mutant Baby liberators. But its
not that easy to capture a Crazy Baby; theyve switched cars, and the Scott baby is
on his way to L.A. Frank is actually looking for his day in court, so he can make all this
illegal nonsense public, but Mallory lets him go. Secrecy is more important than the
inconvenience that Frank gave him. Besides, Frank and Mallory are friendly. Theyre
on different sides, with Mallory wanting to protect humans, and Frank preaching acceptance
of the new breed of kid, but theyre more like gentleman duelists rather than bitter
While Jody stays at home with her mother, Eugene and the Kid get moved into this mansion, an old academy that was
closed after a fatal accident. Turns out the Kid is the third Crazy Mutant Baby
theyve been able to recruit. The other two are Adam and Eve. The scientist in charge
of the babies, the one who considers himself something of a father figure, is the same guy
from the first movie, the one that disapproved of Franks talk of Frankenstein! Wow,
bringing back the bit players, now thats dedication. Eugene isnt
whole-heartedly into the whole thing
and its agitating the other babies. Oh,
yes, hes going to be a problem, the big schlub. Im predicting hell be
baby food shortly.
We dont see much of the babies; mores the pity. We see a couple of glimpses
of the papier-mâché baby heads (better done than in the first movie), but thats
about it. We hear them from off-screen as well, but since we know theyre in cages,
its not so hard to imagine them pacing in their cages, snarling. Frank believes them
to be the next step in evolution, the one adapted to the poisonous hellhole that
were turning Earth into. Makes sense to me, and it backs up what The Mook said back
in the first movie.
Jody has been contacted by some local Resistance in Tucson. Theyre going to help
her sneak away, get to see her son, during a movie. So suddenly, we cut to Bruce Lee! This is probably not a good thing, as
its generally a bad idea to call into the minds of your audience the images of
better movies. Bad strategy. But its what theyre doing with this. I think
its the scene in Enter the Dragon
where Bruce is poking around in the underground complex, and comes upon the guards. I
didnt see the nunchaku, so I think its just before that
getting off point. This movie isnt supposed to be as exciting as Bruce Lee.
So, while a secret bus filled with Resistance sympathizers picks her up and rolls
toward L.A., we find out that her mother, who blames Eugene for the Crazy Mutant Baby, has
been working for Mallory. Not since the first few episodes of Kindred: The Embraced have we had duplicity on this level!
Well, maybe we have. Still.
Theres a tracking device in Jodys purse, and thats how the Gummint
forces find out the Crazy Babies are in L.A. They call up the detective from the first
movie, the one who claimed he just wasnt any good at hunting and killing babies, and
say hes got the best experience in dealing with these things. So I guess that even
if he isnt any good at it, hes still the best in the city. At least the best
on the force; Im certain there are others in L.A. who would be better at the job,
but not officially.
Back at the mansion, we spend a great deal of time with the degeneration of humans
under stress. Between Eugenes inappropriate actions and Jodys unwitting
tracking, things are just going downhill. Its also apparently quite hot, and the
mansion doesnt have air conditioning. The kids are all upset, and their current
nanny isnt all that compassionate. Must be the heat.
So theres about fourteen hours worth of people wandering through the house,
looking at the swimming pool in the back yard, and of the cops getting ready to invade.
Everybodys getting all relaxed, just as the tension is supposed to be mounting. Only
the Crazy Mutant Babies can sense it, and theyre all agitated. The old scientist
wants to help them work off some of their agitation, so he goes to get Adam and put him
through the maze (as if they were mice or something; that would be a Steinbeck novel
Id like to see: Of Mice And Crazy Babies). Unfortunately, Adams a
cranky Crazy Baby. For these tots, colic is fatal to bystanders, as Dr. Old finds out.
So the kids are in the hall, and then up the stairs
the Point of View cam is being
dragged all over the house. Now, I like POV in most instances, but its not as fun
when all you see are shots of dark shag carpet in disturbing seventies colors.
Crazy Mutant Babies climb like lemurs and swim like hairless otters. Dont believe
me? Witness the Crazy Mutant Baby entering the upper story window while his former
unsympathetic nanny is bathing. This scene is, by the way, one of the most horrible in the
movie, and nobody wants to see a fleshy, hairy guy dry himself off in front of the room
fan. Believe me, if I wanted to see that, Id set up a mirror in the bedroom.
Regardless, the scene is lit in red, so we know hes going to die. There is a
false start, which is almost as bad as a Spring-loaded Cat (for your newcomers,
thats the Jabootu crews term for the
fake-out scare, often supplied by a household pet that inexplicably leaps out from hiding
at the heroes or at the next sacrificial victim), but then we get baby murder. And by
that, I mean murder performed by baby, rather than murder of a baby. One is no challenge,
the other can be amusing, but as fits with the rest of the movie, its played
straight, which means its really no fun at all.
We find out a Crazy Mutant Babys aquatic capabilities because one goes after
Eugene when hes taking a cooling dip in the pool. Actually, given the way the Crazy
Mutant Baby arrows in for the kill on Eugenes neck, I should have said shark instead
of otter. I dont know too many otters with fangs quite that large
Underwater Baby! Aint you cute? Yes, you are! Yes, you are! On the other hand,
Ive rarely seen something as funny as Eugene splashing around with a baby on his
Jody is getting chased by another one of the babies
having to struggle to keep the
door closed on it. Either Jodys weak, or these babies are crazy strong. But
somehow, she still recognizes her own Crazy Mutant Baby, as it sits on her bed, going
through her purse. Yes, they are petty thieves, as well. Well, not really, as it was
simply sniffing out the transmitter. Turns out Frank, who comes in from
dont know how, seems to be able to communicate with them. Perhaps hes just
using receptive telepathy, an ability he gets through his attunement with the Force.
Anyway, he realizes that it blames its mother for leading the cops to their home, and
its all Frank can do to calm the Crazy Baby down.
While Jody and Eugene are captured, and Frank escapes with the remaining Scott child,
and the cops kill the other two, they also talk to each other on these huge
walkie-talkies. Mallory calls C & C on one, and I swear, its as large as his
blasted head! Thats one of the joys of watching older movies, not only to make fun
of the high tech gadgets they have, but if its science fiction that was created way
back when, its fun to see what they imagined as being state of the art, and when. I
cant remember when Outland, for example, was supposed to be set, but it
assumed a mining platform around, what, Jupiter, was it? Never happen in the time frame we
currently have. Just goes to show you how some predictions can be simultaneously
optimistic and depressing.
While the police begin to have doubts about their mission of destruction ("I could
have sworn it was trying to say something
" "Shut up and cover it
up."), Frank stumbles through the night for another three days. Finally, though,
hes surprised by a night watchman around the reservoir. What is this, Chinatown?
I do think Chinatown would have been a better movie if it had a couple of Crazy
Babies in it. Of course, there were babies and various offspring involved, but not the
same way. Regardless, the night watchman in the distance panics the Crazy Mutant Baby, and
it freaks out on Frank! Guess your Jedi calm and focus really didnt help you when
the Crazy Mutant Baby gave into his fear and anger and gave in to the Dark Side, did it?
Well, regardless, Frank goes down, and the Kid is free in the countryside!
Farewell, Frank. You were a good player in a sequel that gave you no greater laughs
than the original. Though the hams around you overacted, you kept your cool, and played
your part well. Without you, the Crazy Mutant Babies would have no protector. Now who will
step in to take up the torch? Perhaps when the Kid gets older, he will fight for his
people and think of you, the man who gave his life to protect you from the night watchman.
Wait, he killed you, didnt he, the Kid. So I guess he wont think of you much
at all, then.
Just like the last movie, there is the occasional side note that doesnt make all
that much sense, and just might be a joke, but its hard to determine why Mr. Cohen
would bother trying to introduce humor at this late date.
We peek in on a childs birthday party, one of those where the bratty older sister
is being cruel to the pathetic birthday girl. First a sucky present, and now theyre
ditching her, making her be "it" in their game of hide and seek. With a Crazy
Mutant Baby on the loose? Dont you kids know anything? You start doing that, next
thing you know, Crazy Mutant Babys going to want to play, and he dont play
well with others!
You just know the birthday girl is going to be
baby food when she thinks she hears one of her friends in a bush, but they wont come
out. Enraged, she starts beating on the bush with a stick, trying to drive them out
Im waiting for Crazy Mutant Baby to spring into action, but instead
She screams, but then a strong arm pulls her back, and the cop behind her shoots the
rattler dead. The whole place is swarming with cops, running the kids back to their homes.
We have a brief moment when the big sister, in tears, runs up and hugs the birthday girl;
they confess their sisterly love, and then run off. See, there we go. Crazy Mutant Babies,
promoting family well being and togetherness. Who says these kids is evil?
Back at home, we see the birthday party has been trashed, and a Crazy Baby handprint is
in the cake! Ooh, scary! Or not. Mmm
Babycam shows hes moving well, evading the police cordon like a pro. Then he hops
into his white Bronco
no, hes not that famous. Still, a high-speed chase could
only help things at this point.
Eugene and Jody are now cooperating with the police, acting as bait for the Crazy
Mutant Baby. Theyre taken to a safe house, and left alone, as the Kid will be able
to find them, but would not enter unless he knew they were alone. Theyre still
fighting, the Scotts, because theres nothing like a Crazy Baby experience to test a
marriage. The Davises grew stronger, while it seems the Scotts are self-destructing. Still, it brought the sisters closer.
This is, by the way, the first movie I can recall having seen where they show us
someones nibbled fingernails. Im not saying its a good thing,
necessarily, but I am saying its a first, so at least you have to give it that.
Theres still a cop with a conscience wandering around behind Mallory and the
detective with baby experience, Perkins. "Wed be better off finding the cause
instead of just killing it." Yeah, well.
Youre speaking to the guy who has a personal grudge against the Crazy Mutant
better off saving your breath, buddy.
We do have much better shots of the baby puppet this time. Fake baby technology has
come a long, long way in the intervening five years. However, its still taken us two
months of watching this film to get to this point, so perhaps the technology involved in
pacing the film was not developing equally well.
The Scotts hear a noise in the crawlspace, the attic
Jody is supposed to call the
cops, but cant. Meanwhile, Eugene, being the man, goes up there
without a flashlight
bite his hand off, Kid! Bite him! No, wait,
its just a bird! Flying around like it got dumped on a set suddenly
bird, dont you know theres a Crazy Baby around here? Get away! Yeah, through
the window! But whats that through the broken window? Its the Crazy Baby! Yay! The
end is soon!
As this is a sequel, you should know that parental instincts are always a strong theme
in these kinds of serious Crazy Baby movies. Parents rarely want to kill their babies, but
even when theyre monstrous murderers, it seems that in Hollywood (and Tucson),
theyll love and accept them anyway, and set a big plate of raw meat down on the
floor for them. Im all in favor of accepting those children who are different, for
no fault of their own, but Im not particularly sold on the whole "killer"
thing. And dont get me started on the raw meat.
So how does this end? Again, like with the first movie, its not as flashy as it
would be if it were made today. The body count is noticeably small, and there arent
any clear-cut villains that you can cheer about getting impaled, crushed, and blown up
simultaneously. No, wait, thats a 90s action movie convention. Still, there
are some good touches, and it does require a bit of fast action. The giant killer Crazy Mutant Baby works its
relationship magic, and then, right at the end, we see a reversal of roles and can rewind
the tape knowing that the song remains the same, and Im not talking about the music
over the credits.
It took a whole year, but Im done with this movie.
We do have far too few moments of comedy in this film, just like its predecessor. Memo
to movie executives: when your main villain crawls and makes yowling/crying noises, it
does not pay to treat it as a serious threat. Tortured psychological dramas over ludicrous
health developments dont go over well these days, if they ever did. Im not saying you should stop making
Crazy Mutant Baby pictures, but put some levity into it! Booby-trapped baby carriages!
Police decoys made up of nannies and raw meat! Something, at least!
I did like the continuity with the first film, and done only with a single flashback
that I can recall. So much was built on the first, and at the events hinted at right at
the end of the first, it was refreshing to see that attention was paid to what came
before. Too many films (hello, Darkman series, hello, Robocop series, hello,
Men In Black cartoon) reinvent their history to suit the needs of whatever flimsy
plot theyve gotten the room full of monkeys to hammer out. This took the previous
movie as gospel.
I also like the way they alluded to Franks notoriety right at the beginning. Like
in Tremors 2, that little bit of authenticity (interpreted here as "I could
believe that would happen") was rewarding.
- Ultra-cool Frank chills in the Scott home as Eugene and Jody try to figure out who
the hell he is.
- The Kid goes Speedy Gonzales with his good right claw! Go, Kid, go! Rip up that
Crazy Aquatic Baby!
- The reunion of the sisters. Never has the arrival of a baby brought a family so
close, particularly a Crazy Baby.
- Eugenes tearful reunion with his creepy bigheaded killer mutant son.
-- Copyright © 2000 by E. Mark Mitchell