UK Release Date: 18th June 2018
Runtime: 84 minutes
Director: Dominic Brunt
Writer: Paul Shrimpton, Joanne Mitchell
Starring: Kurtis Lowe, Andrew Dunn, Sally Dexter, Charlie Chuck, Kate Coogan, Joanne Mitchell, Thaila Zucchi, Mica Proctor, Laurence R Harvey
Synopsis: A family is duped into a break-in at a secluded stately home, where they discover an array of rich men who like to pretend to be babies in order to get their kicks.
There’s something very special and unusual about the world of cult horror. It’s often grotesque, loud and almost incomprehensible to all but the most genre-tolerant of moviegoers. A couple of years ago, the genre yielded all manner of grossness with The Greasy Strangler – an enjoyable blast of madness – and this year, there’s another maelstrom of the macabre arriving on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray in the UK in the shape of Attack of the Adult Babies. In the director’s chair is Dominic Brunt, who has carved out a career as a purveyor of the petrifying alongside his work as Emmerdale‘s village vet.
It’s fair to say that Attack of the Adult Babies is an unusual experience. When one character turns to another as the narrative meconium hits the fan and deadpans that they should “be a dear and fetch my chainsaw… and perhaps a knife or two”, it feels consistent with this mucky world of grotesquerie. The movie culminates in not only a cascading torrent of gore, but a wildly inventive set piece of claymation violence that plays as an homage to The Evil Dead and an even crazier journey into the cosmic implications of the story.
On a basic level, if such a level exists in this case, the film is the story of a family who become implicated in a bizarre conspiracy involving the kinks of the powerful. Step-siblings Tim (Kurtis Lowe) and Kim (Mica Proctor) travel along with their mother (Kate Coogan) to a secluded country home after incompetent thieves with dodgy Russian accents kidnap their dad. It turns out that the home is currently playing host to around a dozen ageing men in nappies, who have employed nurses led by Margaret (Sally Dexter) to tend to their every will.
There’s never any sense that Brunt and writers Joanne Mitchell and Paul Shrimpton are compromising in any element of their storytelling. This is a mad odyssey of gross-out comedy that never pauses for breath and keeps its exposition to a minimum, even throwing in an unexplained intermission at the midpoint as yet another homage to the past. Its final act devolves into a mad cacophony of violence and satire and neither of those sides of the storytelling coin is satisfied with any degree of subtlety. However, that’s part of the charm of this crazy odyssey, which is baffling and shell-shocking in equal measure.
Genre fans will have a tremendous time with Attack of the Adult Babies, which is drenched in homages to horror movies of all flavours. The final act’s move towards social commentary mixed with fleshy body horror recalls Brian Yuzna‘s terrific Society and there’s an overt nod to Night of the Living Dead in the first act. But even if you don’t know your Carpenter from your Cronenberg, there’s an undeniable joy to this lo-fi splatter fest, despite the fact it has far too many ideas for its plot and relies on the audience having a very strong stomach for the contents of nappies.
Pop or Poop?
It feels odd to try to sum up Attack of the Adult Babies in terms of a simple yes or no critical reaction. However, this singular nightmare deserves to be seen, whether you’re a fan of midnight movie insanity or simply someone willing to take a chance on being initiated into this world of splatter and silliness.
It’s a film that will make you laugh, make you cringe in disgust and occasionally make you shake your head in sheer disbelief.
Attack of the Adult Babies is available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray in the UK from June 18.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.