Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby (1976)

          Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of this sequel to Rosemary’s Baby (1968), because Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby was made for TV eight years after the original picture was released. Cheap-looking, silly, and featuring only one returning cast member, Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby is not without its odd virtues, but it doesn’t exist in the same universe as its illustrious predecessor. When Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby begins, the child whom Rosemary Woodhouse delivered at the end of the first film is eight years old. Raised in seclusion by the Satanists who arranged for Rosemary to be impregnated by the devil, the boy whom Rosemary insists on calling “Andrew” is called “Adrian” by the devil worshippers. Hopeful that she can save her boy from his predetermined fate of becoming the antichrist, Rosemary kidnaps Adrian/Andrew during the first section of the movie, titled “The Book of Rosemary.”
          Suffice to say, her rescue mission fails, which brings us to “The Book of Adrian,” which picks up the story 20 years later. Brooding and impetuous, twentysomething Adrian/Andrew knows that a large number of people consider him special, though he has no idea why. (Or maybe he does—the biggest storytelling problem in the movie is that it’s never clear whether Rosemary’s baby knows his true lineage.) During Adrian/Andrew’s birthday party, the Satanists drug the young man, slather him with mime makeup (!), and perform a ceremony meant to imbue Adrian/Andrew with his biological daddy’s powers. Yet that plan hits a snag, too, leading to the film’s final segment, “The Book of Andrew,” which is the best of the batch because it actually contains a few surprises.
          Director Sam O’Steen, who was the picture editor of the original Rosemary’s Baby, seems utterly confused about how to convey information and where to put his camera, so the movie looks amateurish, and it feels like big chunks of the story are missing. Nominal star Stephen McHattie, who plays Adrian/Andrew as an adult, seems like he’s still emulating the sullen style of James Dean (whom he played in an telefilm broadcast a few months before this one), and he often looks as if he’s about to fall asleep. Worse, it’s deeply distracting to see most of the major roles from Rosemary’s Baby recast, especially since Ruth Gordon reprises her part as chipper Satanist Minnie Castavet. Patty Duke, George Maharis, and Ray Milland replace Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, and Sidney Blackner, respectively. (Also appearing in Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby are Broderick Crawford, Tina Louise, and Donna Mills.) Predictably, Gordon’s pithy asides add as much humor to this picture as they did to the original. 

Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby: FUNKY

1 comment:

Ben Rogers said...

Twenty years after this, original novelist Ira Levin wrote a sequel called Son of Rosemary proposing that a film could be based on it. No film has been made. Although the plot is completely different than this TV movie, the idea of Rosemary trying get away from the coven and its influence and her ultimate failure is part of the novel.