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Devil Within Her, The (1974)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Devil Within Her, The (1974) (aka SHARON'S BABY and I DON'T WANT TO BE BORN) In the mood for something wacky and different? Well, try this one on for size! Joan Collins (in her mid-40's!) plays MILF mom to a newborn baby that is possessed by a demon. Possessed infant goes around killing people in ridiculous but gory manners IT'S ALIVE style. As the movie unspools, we find out Joan used to be a "hot" stripper with one of the worst acts I've ever witnessed on stage---including a dwarf as part of the action(!). On her last night "on the job", her dwarf partner feels up her pert breasts and comes onto her (she HAS been leading him on like the stripper tart she is), but she just can't bring herself to have sex with the poor little guy. No going spurt for him! The club owner intervenes and shoos the dwarf out, nailing ol' horny Joan just moments later. (Guess Joan DID get kinda primed by the little man!) So the jilted dwarf puts a hex on Joan's "future child", which she does pop out during the amazing opening credits sequence. This scene is REALLY bizarre as Joan's reactions to labor come off more like she's enjoying a tongue bath on her clit more than going through painful labor with an oversized baby! Okay...so the kid is possessed, has an aversion to anything religious (including hubby's nun sister) and decides to kill everyone close to Joan at every opportunity, including drowning a nanny, stabbing another person, hanging another, and...ahhhh, the list goes on and on. All the killings are done with POV shots, and when they cut to the baby, he looks as baffled as we feel, like "how did I get in this movie?!?" He's also very docile and not the least bit threatening, which really makes this thing high camp of the first order. Stick with me here---just when you start to lose interest, Donald Pleasence is introduced, hamming it up with everyone, playing the baby's concerned doctor in total pre-Loomis mode. He's great in the film, and in one of the most hilarious scenes of dialogue (as he's discussing the possibility that the baby might be possessed with the nun), he says "I thought today was going to be normal routine, I didn't think I'd be discussing mysticism with an Italian nun." Priceless! Caroline Munroe, later of MANIAC, STAR CRASH, and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME fame, plays Joan's best friend stripper gal-pal, and we're treated to many nude strippers in the background scenes at the club while Caroline talks to Joan on the phone. Always great to see Caroline in these things and it's too bad she never blessed us by giving us a little peek at her best assets---which never really included any great acting abilities. She does look good, though! Meanwhile, superstar Joan prances around like the Sharon Stone of her era, flashing and teasing the audience her naughty bits as she hops in and out of bed with various guys, getting felt up by the dwarf, and living out the fevered dreams of a MILF slut trying to deal with a possessed kid. There's also a bizarre sub-plot where she tries to figure out who might be the real daddy, which takes her back to the strip club where we're treated to more naked ladies dancing and Joan lighting up a cigarette and ogling the talent! Loved seeing Joan doing what she does best, and I have to guess this was all done way before her mainstream success in prime time soaps like DYNASTY, but this movie is oh-so-much-better and delicious. As the cast dwindles down at the hands of the murderous baby (who somehow turns INTO the dwarf when Joan looks at him!), the nun decides enough is enough and an exorcism must be in order! This sequence must be seen to be believed, and if you're a lover of bad cinema like me, I had the absolute best time with this incredibly over-the-top ending! I cannot fail to mention the bluesy porn score that permeates the proceedings, giving the movie more of a hardcore porn feel than one of horrorific ambience. The melodious electric guitar riff that drives all the movie's action sequences is about as out of place as dentures in a bowl of clam chowder. (The composer is Ron Grainer, who composed the DOCTOR WHO theme, by the way!) Influenced by IT'S ALIVE, THE EXORCIST, ROSEMARY'S BABY, and THE OMEN, but aspiring to the greatness of NONE of these movies, this is still a so-bad-it's-good romping good time chalk full of fun b-movie actors, nudity, violence, and sleaze from those swinging 70's!

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Rating: 7.2 out of 10.0 - 5 votes cast total
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