Scream Baby Scream

July 31, 2017 at 12:24 am (6 Heads, Scream Baby Scream) (, , , , , )

Scream Baby Scream – 1969 – United States

Four art students flirt, fight, take acid, and paint paintings. In class one day, they meet a famous painter named Charles Butler, renowned for his grotesque images of deformed people. One of the students (a young lady) becomes infatuated with Charles. Charles kidnaps her, and with the help of an insane plastic surgeon, transforms her into a monstrosity resembling his paintings. Her friends try to rescue her, but it is too late. Charles has gone to another town to begin his next masterpiece of flesh.

Scream Baby Scream’s premise is great! It’s imaginative yet plausible, and most people already believe that artists are eccentrics, sociopaths, desperate attention seekers, or all three. Vincent Van Gogh severed his ear, proposed to his cousin, and was constantly in and out of mental hospitals. Marcel Duchamp put a urinal in a gallery and called it art. And who can forget the performance artist Chris Burden? In one performance, he paid someone to shoot him. In another, he crucified himself on a Volkswagen Beetle. Many serial killers also made art. John Wayne Gacy’s clown paintings are a famous example. Considering all of this, the creative plastic surgeries of Charles Butler don’t seem so far-fetched. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that some artist out there is already using plastic surgery as their medium, transforming themselves into something bizarre and inhuman. Not unlike, for instance, what Michael Jackson did.

I digress. Scream Baby Scream is a good, weird, horrific, and funny film. The cinematography, editing, and soundtrack are arty. The art students say stuff that real art students would say. And one of the plastic surgery victims ends up with the face of a cubist painting. Compared to other horror films about killer artists, Scream Baby Scream might be the most artful, although the only others I can think of are A Bucket of Blood (1959) and The Driller Killer (1979).

Rating: 6/10 Shrunken Heads. While taking acid at the zoo, the students imagine themselves in a cage with everyone watching them. Deep, man. Real deep.

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