DVD Review: The Monster (aka I Don't Want To Be Born) (1975)
'Starring Joan Collins as the stripper cursed by a dwarf to give birth to a demonic child...'
So reads the packaging for The Monster, a truly bizarre mid-70s shocker from the hand of Peter Sasdy. Collins (then aged 42) is ex-stripper Lucy Carlesi, married to successful Italian businessman Gino Carlesi (played inexplicably by Ralph Bates, armed with the worst accent ever committed to film). She gives birth to their child - but this is no ordinary child. The child is growing fast and inflicting injury on all that go near him.
So, why is this child so evil? Well, it seems that Lucy fell foul of an infatuated dwarf called Hercules towards the end of her stripping career. And there's nothing so evil as a dwarf spurned, with Hercules planting a curse on poor Lucy, damning her to have a child 'as big as I am small' and possessed by the devil.
Idle threats? Well, doctors are certainly baffled by the child's growth and bad behaviour, but no-one is buying that angry dwarf story. Well, except one person - Sister Albana, who is Gino's big sister and over from Italy for the christening. Can she stop the evil baby?
You should have fun finding out. This is an incredibly watchable movie - for all the wrong reasons. It's like a real-life version of that Monty Python cartoon with the baby eating all that look in the pram - except this one bites, occasionally pushes and punches, throwing in gruesome murder as it becomes more possessed. The strong cast (which also includes Caroline Munro and Donald Pleasance) do well to keep a straight face (especially in the face of Ralph Bates' accent) and to give the director his credit, there is genuine suspense right through the film.
Certainly no classic, but good entertainment for sure, especially for fans of Brit horror.
Extras on the DVD: