Following my recent review of Henry 2, I just sat down and watched another sequel that nobody asked for; A made for TV follow up to 1968’s classic, Rosemary’s Baby.
Assuming you’ve seen the original (and if you haven’t; stop reading the internet, you have a movie you should be watching) you’ll know that Rosemary eventually gave birth to Satan’s baby, and that last we saw a cult of satanists were encouraging her to stick around and raise him. In the opening of this movie, we find out that she did indeed stay within the cult to be a mother to her son. The rest of the movie is split into three sections.
The Book of Rosemary, is set 8 years after the original movie; Rosemary and her son (Named Adrian by the cult, although Rosemary calls him Andrew) live with the satanists though Rosemary, convinced that her son can be good, makes a bid to escape with him.
The supernatural elements are turned up to eleven in this segment, as the cult invoke Satan to try and track down the boy and his mother, and eventually separate them.
Around 22 years later, The Book of Adrien tells of Adrien / Andrew’s 30th birthday, when the cult hope he will take full embodiment of his powers and be one with the Antichrist.
Still not knowing who he is, nor having any knowledge of the cult, Adrien has been raised by a woman he believes to be is aunt. Obviously sick of his “Aunt and Uncle” Minnie and Roman (the neighbours from the first movie) coming around every year for his birthday, and wants nothing to do with the ‘special’ one, which they claim this will be.
This section of the movie contained, for me, the films only really creepy moment; Adrien dancing to prog-rock under Satan’s thrall, in make-up which just a few minuets ago looked comedic and ridiculous, is now somehow just off-kilter enough to be unnerving.
Finally in The Book of Andrew, Rosemary’s son wakes up with insomnia, being held in an asylum for a murder we know he did not commit, where he confesses to what he remembers of his involvement with the cult to a nurse, who plots to help him escape. Meanwhile the cult feels confident that, despite the failure of his birthday ritual, Adrian can still be instrumental in the fulfilling of the prophecy.
Predictable, amateurish, and obviously hampered by its need to be TV friendly, the only real surprise in the whole production is the movies’ one returning cast member, Ruth Gordon, who reprises her Oscar winning role as Minnie. Patty Duke shows promise as Rosemary in the first segment although she is let down, I believe, by some poor directorial choices.
The camera work is flat, and the whole movie looks incredibly cheap – some of the sound-stage “exterior” shots are less convincing than 80’s episodes of Sesame Street.
Worst of all, the movie commits the one unforgivable sin of film… It’s dull.
This is another sequel we were right not to ask for.
If you kill yourself in this thing who wins? Is Jekyll killing Hyde, or is Hyde killing Jekyll?