John’s Horror Corner: The Night Feeder (1988), an incredibly obscure film featuring a brain-eating mutant monster baby.
MY CALL: Watching this will accomplish two things: 1) you’ll wait a whopping 90 minutes to see the monstrosity from the VHS/DVD cover art for 90 seconds, and 2) you’ll have bragging rights among horror hounds for having found and seen this incredibly obscure movie. Those will be your only joys. 90 seconds of mutant monster baby, and bragging rights over a film most have never known to exist. MOVIES LIKE The Night Feeder: It’s Alive (1974, 2008), Dead-Alive (1992), Things (1989), The Unborn (1991) and Hideous! (1997) also feature laughable mutant monster babies to various humorous or twisted effect.
This schlocky oldie opens with a murder crime scene in with a woman’s wounded dead body, clothing tattered and a breast exposed. It’s the third such murder targeting young women and a local writer sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong when a friend of hers becomes the fourth.
The acting is pretty bad, but for deliberately watching an obscure B-movie it could really be a lot worse. Adding to the super low budget and haphazard ambiance, the night club and band performance scenes feel and look as unnatural as an early 80s New Wave British music video. This is where we are bombarded by boobs and stale exposition (e.g., who’s dating who, who works where, and who our victims will be for the evening).
Watching, or more accurately “enduring”, the first 30 minutes of this strange movie was not an enjoyable endeavor. It’s terribly slow, having no sense of dynamic pace. But things shift gears for the better for a few minutes during the awesomely gory autopsy scene which revealed that the victims were killed by brain extraction, leaving them with largely hollow skulls. This scene was pretty cool, but it’ll be over an hour before anything interesting happens again.
There are no fewer than five women’s boobs in this not-so-classy and obscure horror film—however, it is always somehow unraunchy or brief enough that it never feels smutty despite the volume of nudity. Not only that, but these must be the most boring boobs to ever grace the screen—I never knew I could care so little for boobs until this film came along. I also didn’t think the discovery of so many dead bodies could be boring. I’m not surprised the director (Jim Whiteaker) never did anything else. One-and-done for sure. Sometimes these bad movies can be quite laughable (e.g., Def By Temptation, Night Angel, Spellbinder, Nightwish), but unfortunately the cast and crew tried too hard for it to be enjoyably so-bad-it’s-good, yet didn’t try quite hard enough for anything to really be good at all.
Red herrings are abundant. The local New Wave Punk band DZS (pronounced “disease”), a street drug of the exact same name (DZS), and a strange hobo known citywide as “the creeper” are presented as possible killers. But if you bought or rented this movie, you’ve seen the cover art illustrating a mutant monster baby of sorts. So there go those theories.
Outside of the typically lame eye-gauged corpses, the special effects include some momentary slime drool, slimy undead (during a dream sequence), the highly entertaining autopsy effects (complete with the sound of pulling the skin from the skull), and, of course, the killer mutant baby!
This monstrous infant is THE ONLY REASON to watch this movie. You saw the awesome DVD cover, decided you had to see it (like me), you suffered through 90 minutes and now it’s finally time! Yes, that’s right, you don’t even see the baby until the very end. Take it or leave it.
Well, the mutant baby monster is pretty awesome (for an 80s B-movie). The problem is that we only see it for about a minute and then the movie ends. For real. A minute. Now, I really liked this monster and it looked like Evil Dead 2’s (1987) Henrietta and Total Recall’s (1990) Kuato had a baby. But the looooong wait for such little payoff makes this obscure and bizarre movie hard to recommend.