John Hayes – Baby Rosemary (1976)
Baby Rosemary follows a sexually suppressed young woman (Sharon Thorpe) through her sexual journeys with her friend John, her student athletes and the residents of her father’s hotel residence. The real turning point for Rosemary seems to be when she is attacked in her father’s room by a despicable couple who live across the hall and raped by both the man and woman. Cut to several years later and John has matured enough to become a policeman and has to track down Rosemary to inform her of the news of her father’s death. Rosemary never really knew her father as she was put up in an orphanage when her mother died. Rosemary brings her sexually charged students to the viewing and they end up sleeping with the funeral director. This all leads to a surreal, dreamlike gathering of everyone Rosemary knows (plus a weird demon guy) having an orgy in the funeral home right next to her deceased father forcing Rosemary into her own personal hell as she screams for her father to save her.
Troubled and sexually repressed Rosemary (a solid and touching performance by Sharon Thorpe) has serious issues with her estranged father abandoning her as a little girl at an orphanage. Rosemary neglects the carnal needs of her fed-up boyfriend John (well played by John Leslie), so John turns to prostitute Unis (Lesllie Bovee at her most brash and insanely desirable) to satisfy his lascivious desires. In the wake of her father’s passing, Rosemary sinks into a deep depression and finds herself caught up in a surreal erotic nightmare world of sex and death.
Director John Hayes does an ace job of crafting an extremely gloomy and melancholy tone while maintaining a steady pace throughout. The daring and offbeat script by Ruth Price and Virgil Rome boldly explores the dark and disturbing themes of misogyny, necrophilia, and severe sexual repression with genuinely haunting and poignant results. The tip-top cast of 70’s hardcore cinema regulars help a lot: Candida Royalle and Melba Bruce as members of a bizarre sex/death cult, Ken Scudder as sleazy and disgusting abusive jerk Mick, and Monique Cardin as the wicked Kate. The sex scenes are quite intense and kinky, with the climactic wild’n’weird orgy at a funeral parlor rating as the definite scorching highlight. Both the moody score and the pretty cinematography are up to speed. This film is bizarre and midnight movie fans need to see it.