I Don't Want To Be Born (1975)

There are some films that just defy description. Many of them are featured on these very pages. I Don't Want To Be Born ranks very highly among them, and is, sadly, not one of the things Joan Collins tends to remember when she's perched on the GMTV sofa regailing us with her view on what Liz Hurley wore to the Oscars this year (what Joan, no invitation again?).

This film is, it has to be said, an out-and-out classic. And unlike Horror Hospital, it was apparently made completely straight-faced. Quite how unbelievable that statement is can only be appreciated when the film is watched.

Joan gives sweaty birth over the opening credits, and by the time the pristine baby is delivered to her arms, she's perfectly made-up again. This obviously angers the young mite, who immediately takes a swipe at mum.

Enter Ralph Bates and his comedy Italian accent, seemingly there for no reason other than he fancied playing an Italian half-wit in this one (as opposed to the usual British half-wits he usually did - a true Renaissance man, our Ralph).

Joan is, it appears, London's poshest stripper (although let me tell you now that she never even remotely gets her kit off), and has been cursed by her dancing partner, a not-very-friendly dwarf. However, for reasons of plot expediency, she's conveniently forgotten this for a while as her offspring proceeds to lay waste to his nursery, gouge chunks out of well-wishers, and eventually murder several people. Much blood-letting is of course cut with images of the baby smiling sweetly in its cot, instantly vapourising any possible frissions of horror hapless director Peter Sasdy was trying to build up.

There's brutal killings galore, including drownings, hangings, a spectacular beheading and a comedy sweaty dwarf heart-attack that seems to go on forever. Plus you get to see a (dubbed) Caroline Munroe and hear some fantastically bad dialogue.

And where else can you possibly see a film which not only stars Miss Collins and Ralph, but also Donald Pleasance and Play School favourite Floella Benjamin? Tat, thy name is I Don't Want To Be Born.

I Don't Want to Be Born (1975)

Director: Peter Sasdy Writer(s): Stanley Price

Cast: 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, Janet Key - Jill, George Claydon - Hercules, Derek Benfield - Police Inspector, Stanley Lebor - Police Sergeant, Judy Buxton - Sheila, Andrew Secombe - Delivery Boy, Susan Richards - Old Lady, Phyllis MacMahon - Nun, John Moore - Priest, Floella Benjamin - 1st Nurse, Penny Darch - 2nd Nurse, López - Stripper, Susie Lightining - Stripper, Val Hoadley - Dancer, Janice Brett - Dancer

Last updated: February 11, 2010

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