The Babysitter/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Babysitter
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“It’s a green light Mr. Maxwell: that means you can go!”

Pretty Candy Wilson (Patricia Wymer) is a teenage good time girl out for all she can get. Presently she’s got a babysitting gig in a lovely Los Angeles home occupied by new mother Edith Maxwell (Sherry Jackson) and her District Attorney husband George (George E. Carey). George craves intimacy but Edith doesn’t—preferring to go to spend time at the beauty parlor and play Bridge card games with the neighbors. Into this mix steps quick-to-smile, groovy, ready to try anything Candy.

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A May/December romance between Candy and George evolves but is shadowed by enterprising Julie (Cathy Williams), a motorcycle mama whose murderer boyfriend Laurence (Robert Tessier) is up for sentencing. Will the compromising pictures Julie has of George and Candy persuade George to throw the case? And how about George’s lesbian daughter Joan (Sheri Jackson)? If Julie told everyone about that particular situation there might really be trouble!

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Director Don Henderson (Billy Jack’s Tom Laughlin using a pseudonym) and screenwriter James E. McLarty present a story that’s got a little bit of everything. Female nudity is at a premium—a topless, tongue kissing lesbian encounter gets prime time. But there’s also a violent biker gang—with their revving engines and giant swastika emblazoned clubhouse, and a long-haired, bead-wearing rock band: The Food. Free love, Sadism, gang culture, drugs, fetishism, and the generation gap are all covered.

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Filled with vintage locations—Malibu Beach, Venice and the exclusive Hollywood Hills—The Babysitter is a “like wow” look at youth culture and the establishment at the turn of the decade. When George asks Candy if she’s a “hippie,” her answer speaks for both her disenfranchised generation and the film. Candy: “I don’t know. I only know that I wanna laugh, I wanna have fun, I wanna feel things. I want to be free.” Followed by 1971’s Weekend with the Babysitter.


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Josiah Howard is the author of four books including Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide (now in a fourth printing). His writing credits include articles for the American Library of Congress, The New York Times and Readers Digest. A veteran of more than one hundred radio broadcasts, Howard also lectures on cinema and is a frequent guest on entertainment news television. Visit his Official Website.

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