HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
   
 
Newest Articles
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
   
 
  Wanted: Babysitter Hope they paid her over-time
Year: 1975
Director: René Clément
Stars: Maria Schneider, Sydne Rome, Vic Morrow, Robert Vaughn, John Whittington, Nadja Tiller, Carl Möhner, Clelia Matania, Marco Tulli, Armando Brancia, Georg Marischka, Renato Pozzetto
Genre: Thriller, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Thrown out on the street by a wealthy ex-lover, beautiful actress Ann (Sydne Rome) is hit by a car carrying young babysitter Michelle (Maria Schneider of Last Tango in Paris (1972)). A year or so later, a guilt-ridden Michelle shares her flat with a still-traumatized Ann. Ann's acting career lands in jeopardy when she refuses to get naked for a love scene with fading matinee idol Stuart Chase (Robert Vaughn) because of her body scars from the accident. Posing as Michelle in a dark brown wig, Ann takes a job babysitting a little boy named Boots (John Whittington) who happens to be the son of the man that rejected her, wealthy businessman Cyrus Franklin (Carl Möhner). She drugs Boots and brings him to an abandoned house just outside Rome. When Michelle arrives to begin babysitting Boots wakes up and freaks out. Mistaking Michelle for the kidnapper, he locks himself in the bathroom. But then Boots and Michelle menaced by a sinister man (Vic Morrow) who barricades them both inside.

One reason why this French thriller remains quite obscure despite a relatively starry cast might be its mystifying multiple alternate titles. No less than two in French (Jeune fille libre le soir and the simpler La Babysitter) and two more English including Wanted: Babysitter and Scar Tissue. The latter refers to Ann's disfigurement which has less to do with the plot than initially seems the case. Whatever the title this was the final outing for French film legend René Clement whose critical stock had fallen very low since the heady days of Forbidden Games (1952) and Plein Soleil (1960). Yet viewed today some of Clement's later works like Rider on the Rain (1970) are rather beguiling. His thrillers grew increasingly experimental if not downright surreal packing allusions to fairy tales and children's books. Here Clement's strange Alice in Wonderland obsession is apparent once again, as it was in Rider on the Rain and The Deadly Trap (1971), through the reoccurring presence of the white rabbit that appears just before Michelle is drawn into a bewildering world where nothing is as it seems.

At the time art-house patrons expecting more cerebral fare were aghast at Clement's eccentricities yet one imagines Wanted: Babysitter might appeal more to today's cult film fans. Tonally it is quite close to a giallo. It has the familiar ingredients: an absurdly contrived set-up, elliptical plotting that is hard to follow, gratuitous though not unwelcome nudity (strangely Sydne Rome is more alluring here than in Roman Polanski's supposedly sexy comedy What? (1972)), moments of bad taste, oddball supporting characters with strange psychological quirks and an excellent experimental electro-funk score from Francis Lai. It is even set in Rome. After a laborious and unnecessarily complex first act things grow more interesting. As Boots wakes up scared witless poor, befuddled Michelle struggles to cope with a little boy who thinks she is a psycho and a menacing Vic Morrow at her door. The core concept of the heroine unaware she is part of a kidnap plot has great potential though Clement's treatment is anything but conventional. Where most thrillers are taut and suspenseful, Wanted: Babysitter meanders through a bizarre yet strangely watchable melange of melancholy and absurdist comedy.

An engaging though oddly blank-faced actress, Maria Schneider essays a pleasing gutsy heroine though she suffers mightily. The gradual thawing of the relationship between Michelle and Boots is nicely handled by Clement as they come to rely on and empathize with each other. On the other hand the comedy involving Michelle's chubby, seemingly deluded would-be boyfriend Gianni (Renato Pozzetto) backfires as he stumbles onto the hideout and forces the kidnappers to concoct another elaborate plan. Clement peppers the film with news footage of riots and protests and off-hand comments about inflation (significantly, Cyrus Franklin is the head of an international food corporation) in what seems like an attempt at sociopolitical context but the culprits are absurd showbiz caricatures and their motivations personal rather than political. Though nowhere as bad as some maintain and entertaining in a twisted way, it is a halfhearted thriller where the police are clods and both victims and kidnappers prove equally hapless pawns in a wider yet poorly explained scheme. Rather than build to a heady climax, Wanted: Babysitter merely grinds to a halt in a very glum fashion.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2221 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: