DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
DEVIL WITHIN HER, THE (aka: SHARON'S BABY) (aka: I DON"T WANT TO BE BORN) (director: Peter Sasdy; screenwriters: original story by Nato De Angeles/Stanley Price; cinematographer: Kenneth Talbot; editor: Keith Palmer; music: Ron Grainer; cast: George Claydon (Dwarf, Hercules), Joan Collins (Lucy Carlesi ), Eileen Atkins (Sister Albana), Ralph Bates (Gino Carlesi), Donald Pleasence (Dr. Finch), Caroline Munro (Mandy), Hilary Mason (Mrs. Hyde), John Steiner (Tommy Morris), John Steiner (Tommy Morris), Janet Key (Jill), Derek Benfield (Police Inspector), Stanley Lebor (Police Sergeant), Judy Buxton (Sheila), Floella Benjamin (1st Nurse), Penny Darch (2nd Nurse), John Moore (Priest), Phyllis MacMahon (Nun), Susie Lightining (Stripper), Lopez (Stripper), Andrew Secombe (Delivery Boy), Susan Richards (Old Lady),  Val Hoadley (Dancer), Janice Brett (Dancer) ; Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Norma Corney; TCM; 1975-UK)

 
"An entertaining, stylish, cheesy rip-off of The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby, that delivers the laughs."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An entertaining, stylish, cheesy rip-off of The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby, that delivers the laughs. The Brit horror pic is competently directed by Peter Sasdy ("Hands of the Ripper"/"Countess Dracula"/"The Lonely Lady") and is reduced to hokum by writer Stanley Price from a story by Nato De Angeles.

Warning: spoiler in the next paragraph.

At a London strip club, the dwarf dancing attraction, Hercules (George Claydon), makes a clumsy pass at stripper Lucy (Joan Collins). When his groping is rejected, the dwarf places a curse on Lucy: stating that she will soon become pregnant and bear a child possessed by the devil. Sure enough, that's what goes down nine months later when the ex-stripper Lucy quits the club act and marries wealthy Italian businessman Gino Carlesi (Ralph Bates). The abnormally large and violent monster baby, claws at mom's face from  birth and there's a series of gruesome incidents from the homicidal tyke: such as shoving his nurse (Janet Key) into the park lake, where she hits her head on a log and dies; hanging dad and dragging his dead body down a drainpipe in the backyard; using a shovel to behead the doctor (Donald Pleasence) treating him; and, last but not least, stabbing mommy to death with a big kitchen knife. It leads to an exorcism of the evil tyke by Sister Albana (Eileen Atkins), who is the sister of Gino's in London to do animal research. The successful ritual brings about a heart-attack for the dwarf, while performing onstage, and thereby ending the possession of the baby.

The derivative film, not to be taken serious for even a Big Ben minute, is weird, illogical, has atrocious dialogue and its premise is silly. Nevertheless it's lovable for being such a pile of crap that goes on with its nasty business in a straight-forward manner not caring about its stink or with how badly conceived it is.

The life lessons I learned from this otherwise socially irrelevant pic: is to never refuse sex with a dwarf or risk giving birth to a possessed baby and not to fuck with the Catholic Church because they've got more juice than even the Devil.

REVIEWED ON 10/19/2010       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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