FRIGHTFEST WORLD PREMIERE
Have you all stopped sniggering at the title? Well you may as well keep going, Attack of the Adult Babies is the third film from Dominic Brunt (Known to some of you as Paddy from Emmerdale) and based on a story idea by his wife Joanne Mitchell (Also starring in the film as the unhinged Clinton) which divided audiences at Frightfest this past weekend.
Set in a stately manor house that is as beautiful on the outside as it is disgusting and warped on the inside, Attack of the Adult Babies follows a family who have to break in to save their father, but have no idea what lies within. For inside are some of the most powerful men in Britain, indulging their perverse whims to be babies with the aid of employed “nursery nurses” clad in latex and mostly very blasé to the whole thing. But as the film goes on it’s clear that there is far more going on than first appeared, as the adult babies become more pig-like and head nurse Margaret (Sally Dexter) talks of a process we’ve no idea about. The gradual transformation of the men’s noses feels rather Orwellian, and there are some strong hints about certain politics and the issues of patriarchy and greed on the country which juxtaposed against the anarchic gross-out filth makes the film intriguing to say the least.
I’ve got to be honest here, if you don’t like jokes about bodily functions and fluids this is not going to be the film for you, the faecal jokes come thick and fast – much like the shit itself. This is probably not a film you’re gonna want to snack whilst watching, though perhaps those with an iron-clad stomach will enjoy the challenge. However if you can get past this it is a tremendously funny and bizarre horror film, filled with silly gore, blood and entrails everywhere and the kind of humour that makes you laugh and groan (Oh yes folks, there’s some dad humour in this). This isn’t a film that takes itself seriously, and you shouldn’t either. Though there are some obvious overtones to the issues of powers and greed which are clever and interesting, you can simply enjoy this as an out-and-out crazy trip of a film too.
The casting here is great with some familiar faces, Andrew Dunn (Dinnerladies) as George is a great archetypical dad figure – embarrassing to the end. Seamus O’Neill (Coronation Street) plays David, the “head baby” as it were, and manages to be both authoritative and creepy in equal measure with an odd charm added in to the mix. Sally Dexter as Margaret is a brilliant choice, bringing style and a strange sexiness to her character as she runs the home and manages the nurses. Also her chemistry with Joanne Mitchell’s Clinton is so much fun to watch, they make a great double act as both partners in crime and also in the way that Margaret looks after Clinton in an almost carer-like capacity. Clinton is a fun character in the film, it’s unknown whether she was always crackers or if working with adult babies has sent her that way, but Joanne plays her fantastically, making her fun and weirdly endearing for someone who can be pretty murderous when the mood takes her. You’ll watch the film seeing a lot of familiar faces from British TV in roles you would never expect, and that adds to its madcap nature.
The switch to Claymation for the hallucinations is trippy and strange, and works with the trashy nature of the film. It makes it even weirder than it already was which once you’ve seen the film you’ll agree is really saying something. Attack of the Adult Babies takes weirdness to the extreme, and in any other film a sudden switch to Claymation would probably be jarring and take you out of the film, but here the entire thing is designed to be jarring so it feels right. They’ve done a lot with a small budget here, especially when you consider how much blood and gore features in the film, and yes it’s not top-class CGI but it makes it feel more like the indie horrors of the 80’s this way which will always have a place in my heart for how inventive they were to get what they wanted visually. This is much the same, they have done a lot with a little and it’s that inventiveness that makes it fun.
As mentioned earlier, this isn’t going to be a film for everyone. This is a gross-out horror that’s so anarchic it’s hard to place it definitively into any particular horror sub-genre. But it’s a fun film, filled with silly moments, immature jokes about bodily functions and some strong hints at politics and power. It doesn’t take itself seriously and I absolutely love it for that, this is a horror you watch when you want to have a laugh. This film made me laugh so much I cried, and it’s going to hold a spot in my heart for a long time. Kudos to these guys for putting themselves out there and making something that is truly insane. Horror needs films like this as much as the deep socio-political commentaries like Night of the Living Dead, and everything in between. So few madcap horrors seem to be made these days, and this is why I enjoyed Attack of the Adult Babies so much. Cheesy trashy horror films are a brilliant thing, so I’m glad we’ve a new one to escape into.
Overall Rating: 5/5 Trashy anarchic horror with political tones just strong enough to make you giggle about the idea that these men would be in the Conservative party. Fun times and insanity.