Happy Sunday, fiends! Open wide for your weekly roundup of horror news.
First up, new on Shudder is the 1973 cult classic The Baby. It’s a strange film that dropped early in the modern horror era (post Night of the Living Dead) where horror movies were becoming decidedly more adult and tackling complex issues within the confines of blood-soaked genre fare. Like Season of the Witch, The Exorcist, or Black Christmas, The Baby focused on social issues, specifically abuse and the psychological effects of tragic loss. But what sets it apart, is how weird and off-putting a premise it presents. If it had been funnier it could have gone in a more John Waters direction, had it been more violent, it would have been stepping on Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s toes, but it has its own rhythm and tone. Very character-driven and quite a slow burn that really pays off in the end. It’s also available in a special edition from Arrow Video.
To be honest, I don’t know if this is horror news or not, but not long after the first trailer for Leigh Whannell’s new take on The Invisible Man dropped, Universal announces that Elizabeth Banks will direct and star in The Invisible Woman. I see the news that they will not be connected in any way or that either one will be part of another stab at a bigger, connected Universal Monster-verse. Also, this news is so fresh it’s not even cold yet, so take it all with a grain of salt. It may turn out to be a comedy, like the original 1940 or 1983 versions.
In horror music news, the surviving members of the original Alice Cooper Band are set to appear on the new Alice album, but no other news is available at this time. Not that I would like to see history changed, since some of my favourite Alice Cooper albums were recorded after the original band split up before Welcome to My Nightmare, but it always felt like the dumbest reason for the band to walk away from Alice. I get that there was jealousy that the frontman was getting all the attention and that the band wasn’t nearly as into the theatrics as Alice himself, but those really felt like petty reasons. The original Alice Cooper Band was like no one else at the time. They looked and sounded different, they offered more than just a rock concert. They were special. When the band put it’s foot down and recorded a more straight forward, typical rock album, Muscle of Love, it was just ok, but it didn’t really differentiate itself from Aerosmith or the New York Dolls or KISS, the way all the other albums like Love it to Death or Killer did. I’m excited the boys have been getting together the last several years and I’m expecting as good an Alice album as we’ve gotten lately (and Alice still kicks ass in his 70s). More details as they come, stay tuned! (By the way, below is my all-time favourite version of “I’m Eighteen.”)