Jul 25, 2014

13 Awesomely Terrible Childbirths

Article By: Sean Abley

These new moms definitely earn their post-partum depression!

1. Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

Admit it, you were really hoping we’d start with this one, weren’t you? Doug McClure, Ann Turkel and Vic Morrow square off against the titular characters as they invade a small beach community. Never one to pass up an opportunity, the sea creatures mate with the locals, with gut-busting results. Humanoids is classic New World Pictures fare – you get some boobs, you get some gore, you get some TV stars who are grateful to be in a feature back when even ultra-low budget flicks got a theatrical release. The 80s were a great time for the lowbudget sci-fi horror genre, and ya gotta love a title that tells you exactly what you’re getting.

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2. Alien (1979)

Men can never know the true pain of childbirth… except in science fiction. Ridley Scott’s masterpiece is a true example of a slow boil – this scene doesn’t happen until almost halfway through the film. Filled with characters we care about, genuine tension, and even a cat scare that doesn’t feel like a cheat, Alien still holds up more than thirty years later. 

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3. Bad Biology (2008)

Basket Case’s Frank Henenlotter and rapper R.A. the Rugged Man cowrote this charming indie about a woman with seven clitorises, a man with an agro penis, and the love they share. What could go wrong? Not for the easily offended, or even the hard to offend, Bad Biology in one long informercial for “abstinence only” sex education.

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4. The Manitou (1978)

Of the many forms of childbirth listed in medical journals, neck birth is probably the most rare. Poor Susan Strasberg is the vessel through which a Native American shaman will reincarnate himself, enabling his revenge on the descendents of the white settlers who wiped out his people. Thanks a lot, Christopher Columbus! Why Ms. Strasberg’s neck rather than regular ol’ ladyparts birth? That’s a very good question we’re not quite prepared to answer. But we are prepared to show you this clip, which makes a case for neck birth being just as terrible.

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5. Carnosaur (1993)

Roger and Julie Corman’s company, New Horizon, gave us not one, but three Carnosaur films. Sadly, only one stars Diane Ladd as a mad scientist impregnating ladies with dinosaur eggs. Like The English Patient and Wuthering Heights before it, Carnosaur is based on a novel (by prolific British writer John Brosnan.)

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6. The Fly (1986)

Cronenberg’s take on the classic 1958 film should be required study for film school students in Remakes 101 – wait several decades, then be a complete genius with genius ideas on how to make it better in a smart way. Oh, and cast adults. One of the best horror remakes of all time (we’d vote for Chuck Russell’s The Blob and Philip Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers as well), The Fly spawned one Cronenberg-free sequel, and an opera based on his version. In this dream sequence, Geena Davis gives birth to, a, well….

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7. The Brood (1979)

This is an example of a birth that isn’t bad for the mother, but pretty much terrible for everyone else involved. Cronenberg mines familiar territory here – body modification and biological horror – and once again sets the action in the cold, matte finish Canadian suburbs. Apparently Oliver Reed has figured out how to teach Samantha Eggar how to manifest her rage in the form of babies she births from sacs outside her body. These fetuses grow up into psychically-linked child creatures who do Samantha’s dirty work, which is almost exclusively limited to murderous tasks connected to her exhusband. Custody battles can be so nasty…

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8. The Walking Dead, "The Killer Within" (2012)

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In what is arguably the best scene of the entire series to date, The Walking Dead gets rid of one of the best actors on the show, giving Sarah Wayne Callies an emotional sendoff. Can you watch this without crying?

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9. Demon Seed (1977)

Remember when computers were the size of a room? And remember when they were going to take over the world? And remember when Julie Christie made a baby with one? In what now feels like a made-for-TV movie for a certain female-centric network, Demon Seed (based on a Dean Koontz novel of the same name) is the story of Proteus, an artificial intelligence installed in Julie Christie’s home by her husband. Strangely, no demons are involved, but Proteus does decide he wants to procreate with Julie, and he’s not taking “No” for an answer. Amazingly this film was served to the American public with a straight face by MGM-UA. Sadly, a remake doesn’t seem likely – iPads don’t seem to be interested in girls.

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10. Xtro (1983)

The beginning of this film is a beautiful mess. There’s an alien abduction, and then a new alien born on earth, and then that alien impregnates a random woman before it dies, and then she gives birth within the hour to a full grown version… of the guy who was abducted by the aliens in the first scene! Take that, Syd Field structure purists!

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11. Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

The bastard son of a hundred maniacs (which is, you know, biologically impossible, but whatever…) is born to Amanda Krueger in this fifth entry in the franchise. 

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12. Grace (2009)

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Let’s face it – even normal childbirth, with all the blood and the screaming, can look like a horror show. What’s different about this birth scene from Grace is that we know the baby is already dead… but then it isn’t. A truly creepy slow burn of a film, with a great performance by Jordan Ladd.

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13. Slither (2006)

Now that Elizabeth Banks has made the rounds of studio comedies and the Hunger Games franchise, it’s nice to go back into the vault to find her in a film where she doesn’t stay so clean. Banks is given plenty of super creepy stuff to do in this horror comedy, but it’s poor Brenda James who is tasked with birthing thousands of alien slug creatures. A good reminder to get your partner’s sexual history before jumping into bed.

Any other horrifyingly memorable childbirth scenes that we left out? Let us know on our Facebook page or on Twitter using #Friday13!

Sean Abley writes the “Gay of the Dead” blog for Fangoria.com. His writing has appeared in Fangoria, The Advocate, Unzipped, and in his new bookOut In the Dark: Interviews with Gay Horror Filmmakers, Actors and Authors.

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