Well reader, we’ve spent a couple months together exploring the sequels of the ‘90s, poking fun at the failures and treasuring the surprise masterpieces. But now it’s time to start our journey over again. This time we’ll be once more exploring the decade chronologically, but instead of sequels we’ll be looking at the one-off releases that time wishes you forgot, because where else are we going to find a film that features a back-alley abortion mutated by nuclear waste? Yes, that film does exist; it’s this week’s Cinéma Dévoilé disasterpiece: THE SUCKLING.
THE SUCKLING — known in the UK as SEWAGE BABY — is quite possibly the most insensitive version of abortion put on video (yes, it’s shot on video); the film’s “doctor” runs a whorehouse/abortion clinic that straight up flushes fetuses down the toilet like the baby parts Robert Lewis Dear was worried about. When a young couple visit the abortion clinic, the fetus that is removed is larger than it should be, but they remove it all the same. We the follow the fetus’ journey down the toilet, into the sewers beneath where it is mutated by toxic waste and turned into a giant monster with spike arms… listen, let’s not try to make sense of it otherwise we’re also going to have to try to explain how it manages to encapsulate the entire house with a weird Xenomorph-like covering that traps the characters inside and I got shit to do later. Who will survive? Who will die? You have to watch to fi– nope, almost forgot, only the young girl survives because this movie is told as her flashback after a massacre and thus destroys any tension in the story quicker than Trump University destroys career dreams.
To say that THE SUCKLING is a cheap film is an understatement. The creature effects, while looking cool in quick glances, fall apart anytime they are on the screen for more than a minute and the gore the creature leaves behind its wake is amateur at best and laughable at worst; scenes of “slapstick pegging” and a reverse abortion – and let’s not forget the abortion that started this whole thing – demonstrate that the film is built on bad taste like Peter Jackson’s early career sans effective gore. The depths of depravity that the film reaches may be humorous in a darkly comedic way, but THE SUCKLING presents the material without any further commentary; more Troma than Coens, but even then Troma films have characters that offer the audience a point of identification in which to enter the story. THE SUCKLING early on removes the character with the most protagonistic forward motion and leaves us with the boyfriend of the survivor as a protagonist for the rest — the only problem is that this is the character who forced his girlfriend to have a back-alley abortion against her will in the first place. So he’s, you know, a real fucking piece of shit. It would be one thing if the film condemned his actions but it goes so far in the opposite direction that it actually gives this sack of dogshit of a man a heroic death. Guess he must have gone to Harvard.
Looking to the future of Cinéma Dévoilé, we’ll be meeting some freaky puppies, some funny men; exploring an evil that’s downright ancient; we’ll even see a remake so unique it might as well have just been its own thing. All this and more as we look at the oft-forgotten and underrepresented films of the ‘90s. When we hit ‘99, we’ll begin to explore films without a chronological order, explore some of the series that got their start in these most radical of years and exploring some trends in non-review Cinéma Dévoilé columns. Strap yourself in — it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.