Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Eyes have It.

Rosemary's Baby (1968) is one of my favorite films. The dream sequences / overlapping with the audio that Rosemary was hearing was executed EXACTLY like the Ira Levin novel. It is just glorious. Ruth Gordon is divine and I love that Emmaline "Mrs. Bellows" Henry is in it as a Manhattan matron. The Mad magazine parody "RoseMia's Boo Boo" is fabulous as well.

My first encounter with the film was at age 7 when the film was featured on the Saturday Night Movie on ABC one summer night.

My cousins and I spent every weekend at our New Hampshire "camp" cottages in woods with our parents and grandparents.

The coming attraction came on and all the adults started reminiscing (through a fog of vodka and beer) about the spooky film and how we kids could NOT watch that movie.

"It's too scary!" they slurred at my cousins and I.

We kids all saw the promo clip of its climax with Rosemary shrieking: "What's wrong with his eyes?!!!!"

So of course we kept prying "what was wrong with his eyes?"..."What's wrong with the eyes?"

They wouldn't answer.

Next day cousin Cindy and I continued harping on the mystery. We kept asking my mom about those eyes.

It was 11am, and my hungover Mom blurted out (to shut us kids up) "He didn’t have any eyes."

We were stunned silent.

At age 7, the idea of a baby born with empty eye sockets freaked us out. It was certainly more scary than a demon baby with hooves and a tail.

My cousins and I walked around the field and woods that afternoon trying to imagine such a tragic handicap. ewww Gross.

My cousin Cindy (who came up with our grandparents because her mother worked weekends) went home and asked her mother about the film.

And the next weekend, Cindy told me: "My Mother said that the baby DID have eyes- they were just yellow."

I said: " oh "

Good Grief! Leave it to my Mom to goof it all up - and make it more scary for us.
I guess my dear mother just misunderstood the film's ending -- which reminds me of the old Rodney Dangerfield joke: "My wife aint too bright. It takes her an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes."

2 years later, the crappy made-for-TV 1976 sequel LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENED TO ROSEMARY'S BABY aired on a Saturday night while we were being babysat by a neighbor who turned it on. I covered my eyes for the duration.

Turns out - in the sequel, Rosemary became Patty Duke and was quickly written off.
Little Adrian - the devil's son - shed his infant hooves and grew up as a normal-looking towheaded boy mentored by Tina Louise. Later, as a young man, he gets drugged & raped by Roman & Minnie's witchy granddaughter.


Christopher said...

I remember when the film came out,the theme song was something of hit and would turn up on the radio occasionally and really creep me out..I didn't see it till much later,about the time you did,always thought it was cool that the satanic cult was made up of old hollywood character actors..

Mavis Martini said...

Oooh, wicked good fun! I remember that "Clara", Aunt Bee's best friend, was also in the coven!

Donna Lethal said...

Knowing your mother as I do, I find this story especially horrific and hilarious. My mother didn't care WHAT we watched - unless anyone was within earshot and then did her "oh I never let MY KIDS do ____" and we'd have to act accordingly. HA!

Brian said...

My favorite part of the movie is when the two dowagers tells Rosemary that they will help raise the baby because it would be improper for her to do it alone. Satanism, human sacrifice, and rape is all cool but society would frown on a single mom.

Carl (ILHM) said...

I love ROSEMARY'S BABY, such a perfectly constructed nightmare. It has been over a decade since I caught the sequel, but I still have a morbid curiosity about it.

Keith said...

I love this film. It's been ages since I've seen it though. It's about time for another viewing.