Where to begin? Darren Aronofsky has confessed the story behind his recent audience-divider mother! came to him in a fever dream. One can only assume that the same must be said for Dominic Brunt, the mad genius behind Attack Of The Adult Babies, a film that challenges the boundaries of taste, but does so with such a cheeky grin on its face that you can’t help being drawn in by its hypnotic bizarrity.
Unlike many other films peppered with as much extreme, cartoonish gore as Brunt’s film is, it is one which possesses a secret weapon: Shaune Harrison. Having woken from his presumably hallucinogenic nightmare, the first thing Brunt must surely have done is called his effects-mastering friend, explained the story, and got him signed up. A respected veteran of the industry, having worked on films from Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015) to World War Z (2013), Harrison brings a level of expertise usually beyond the reach of an independent filmmaker. The result: while Attack Of The Adult Babies contains a ridiculously extreme plot, and is less-than-subtle thematically, it looks bloody amazing, and as such is a viewing experience like nothing else you will see this year.
A plot summary, however, is rather perfunctory. Essentially, a council of powerful men visit a retreat where they are “pandered” to as if they were babes. So far, so fetishistic. What makes Brunt’s film interesting, and into one that will benefit from multiple viewings, is that the story doesn’t take a back seat once the premise is established. The filmmakers layer insanity upon insanity, allow their allegoric imaginations to run rampant, and keep the blood flowing as the horror and exploitation references pile up. Chainsaws, Nazi-inspired nurse uniforms, manic masturbation; no topic is off limits. That Brunt gets away with it is down to the dark layer of humour that runs through the film from beginning to end. Like The Greasy Strangler (2016), the subject is ridiculous almost beyond description, but the humour disarms you, allowing the viewer a less abrasive way into the craziness they’re viewing on screen.
At a time when swathes of modern horror films are so diluted as to be barely recognisable as such, it is refreshing to see a filmmaker bold enough to take risks. With a cast wholly committed to their caricatured roles, including a wicked turn from Joanne Mitchell who also co-produced, and effects akin to a major studio production, Attack Of The Adult Babies is a welcome slice of extreme genre cinema. It may well disgust, it will likely make you laugh, but it is never less than entertaining throughout, and for that Brunt and his overactive imagination should be applauded.