The Babysitter (1969)

Rising star prosecutor and totally square white guy George Maxwell is having an affair with Candy, the babysitter his totally uncool wife hired to watch their totally boring baby while they go and play bridge with a bunch of totally unhip old white people, like themselves. Before long a friend of his oldest daughter has snapped photos of his trysts but is willing to cut him a deal: let her psychopathic murderer biker boyfriend walk free and no one will find out about the pictures. However, the babysitter has some rough friends of her own and blackmailing Maxwell may not work out as planned in this fantasy movie land where having affairs with babysitters merits high-fives from your creepy boss.

Years from now, when mankind has been run underground and cockroach high technopriests send mercenary cockroaches to search the red desert wastelands for remnants of human civilization, they will find these DVD box sets and in their great libraries will be recorded that the high point of human home cinema was the rise and fall of DVD. Then they will send their cockroach cyborg slavemasters into the mines to hunt for more humans for technoconversion.

Never before in human civilization have we had this kind of access to these movies- the kind no one wants to watch- in stores which do not hand you your purchase in a nondescript paper bag. Sure there are plenty of movies that were released on VHS that have still not been converted to DVD, but the number of films- especially genre films (i.e. trash)- on DVD that cannot be had in any other format is mind-boggling. The rights to movies with no real audience can be cheaply bought (or not bought at all, since many of these kinds of movies are in rights-limbo) and released on DVD for pocket change, whereas the previous generation of home video required you release your movies on expensive VHS tapes.

Case in point, The Babysitter. I don't know if this was released on VHS tape. But I can assure you that this movie was not released in a box set with eleven other exploitation movies for $5.00 on VHS. I would also be welling to bet money (though not a lot) that you will not be able to buy The Babysitter along with eleven other movies on Blu-Ray for $5.00 a year from now. And while The Babysitter is a fine movie for ironic hipsters to enjoy for seventy-five minutes, I'm not sure I'd be willing to spend $25 on a special edition 3D Blu-Ray version.

On to the movie. It's got the best title ever because you read that title and you know pretty much exactly what the movie is gong to be about, thanks to the cultural baggage that babysitters carry. There are some surprises- the ending is ridiculous and laugh out loud funny and the relationship between Maxwell and the babysitter is developed far more than you think it would be- but you are basically getting your typical 60s exploitation flick that would have played second fiddle to some higher budget sex comedy or monster movie at the drive-in.

There are a bunch of hilarious things about the movie, including one of those awesome theme songs that features lyrics referring to the babysitter by name and telling you what she is all about, and tons of scenes of crazy 60s dancing that makes the stupid dancing of today look like dancing Shakespeare. And the acting ranges from professional to not-acting-just-talking, but more importantly it's a surprisingly entertaining watch. Not really my kind of movie but I'd rather watch this than some bloated 110 minute epic of the week we get in the theaters now.

No comments: