Dead Babies (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Dead Babies (aka Mood Swingers) is adapted from a wickedly black comic novel by Martin Amis. The novel is said to be the prose equivalent of  "theatre of the absurd", an inventive non-sequential, violent, amoral tale of a weekend romp between six Englanders and three Americans.  The mix of weekend activities features plenty of casual sex, casual drug use, casual violence and casual shoes. As always, the actual events portrayed in Amis' work are secondary in importance to his various ruminations on the meaning of life, the nature of the soul, immortality, and other such important and tedious subjects.  


male frontals: William Marsh and Cristian Solimeno

female frontal: Hayley Carr

female topless: Olivia Williams, Alexandra Gilbreath

This is not the easiest kind of project to adapt to a watchable film. Virtually anything can be described in prose, but conceits which seem crafty and literary in writing can seem outlandish on film. Remember the giant thumb in "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues"?

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 2.35:1

  • bare bones

In addition, most of us still insist on some basic coherence in our movies. The only semblance of a plot centers around a gang of internet-based terrorists known as the Conceptualists, who seem to kill people for no apparent reason, and who may or may not have infiltrated the weekend's debauchery

It is basically incoherent gibberish. It looks like it is not only about drug use, but also involved some intensive study on the set.

The Critics Vote

  • A perfect record. Every single reviewer gave this film the lowest possible rating. I don't believe I have ever seen that happen before. BBC 1/5, Shadows on the Wall 1/4, The Evening Standard 1/4

  • W. H. Smith doesn't give a numerical rating, but their reviewer said "Dead babies is remorselessly boring and stupid, and (to be entertaining) would require heavier drug use than it depicts."

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.4. It ranks as Olivia Williams' worst movie, no small feat for a woman who has been in both The Body and The Postman. 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an E. It's reasonably well photographed, thus avoiding an F.

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