The Babysitter

The Babysitter 1There are certain female occupations that have always been favorites for movie makers looking to add a little spice to their film. Cheerleaders, of course, often show up, as do stewardesses. For today’s film we add babysitters to the list. I suppose some youngsters end up having crushes on their babysitters. My babysitters were always family, though…so that’s a big no for me. However, in 1969’s The Babysitter it’s not the kiddies who have the crush.

The film focuses on district attorney George Maxwell (George E. Carey). Things are good for George on the surface. He’s moving up in his job, especially since he is trying a high-profile case involving a biker named Laurence Mackey (Robert Tessier), accused in the brutal killing of a woman. However, his home life stinks. His nagging wife Edith (Ann Bellamy) cares more about going to bridge games and hobnobbing with the town’s upper class than she does actually spending quality time (that’s code for sex) with her husband.

The Babysitter 2One night, George and Edith are heading out for a social event and need to call in a babysitter (to watch the infant whom we never actually see). The service sends over Candy (Patricia Wymer). No sooner does the couple leave the house, than Candy has invited over a bunch of friends, including a band, who proceed to party in the basement rec room. The party is rockin’ and somehow they all manage to make it out without being noticed as George and Edith come home. However, when George drives Candy home, the two stop to get some Tacos. As they dine in the car, Candy starts to come on to George.

The Babysitter 3The next day, George and Edith’s college-aged daughter Joan (Sheri Jackson) is having some friends over. One of the girls is a new friend, Julie (Kathy Williams), who is actually Laurence Mackey’s main squeeze. She knows that Joan is a lesbian and plans to snap some pictures of her with another girl in order to blackmail George into losing the case against Mackey.

At the same time, Candy stops by the house to collect the $4 that George failed to pay her for sitting the previous night. Having also brought her swimsuit, she goes for a dip and George joins in. The two then start to get romantic, which is spotted by Julie, who now has an even better blackmail plan.

The romance between George and Candy gets steamier and steamier, with Julie continuing to get snapshots of them at the beach and various other locations. When she’s got all the evidence she needs, Julie gives her demands to George. However, when Candy catches wind of all this, she takes matters into her own hands.

The Babysitter 4The big takeaway from The Babysitter is that it is basically a movie about a bunch of dumb people doing really dumb things. George is pretty much moron, making absolutely no effort to be in any way secretive about his relationship with Candy. I mean, they’re out frolicking on the beach, eating tacos together in public…gimme a break! I just kept wondering what hot young Candy saw in this old fuddy-duddy in the first place. Even lower than George on the intelligence scale is Julie, girlfriend of a murderer, who gives George everything he needs to convict her boyfriend as she lays out her blackmail demands. What a genius!

The film features a lot of stilted dialogue. Patricia Wymer even seems like she’s reading from cue cards in a few scenes. The one bright spot in all this is Ann Bellamy as Edith. She does a great job of creating a character the viewer will love to hate. George may be a complete moron, but we do feel a wee bit sorry for the guy for having to put up with her.

The Babysitter 5Of course, things like the quality of the script or the acting were, I’m sure, of little consequence to the filmmakers. This is an exploitation flick. The primary concerns were things like nudity, lesbian makeout sessions, and violence. As you might expect, it’s all done somewhat awkwardly. The one possible exception being Candy’s confrontation with Julie late in the film, which does have a marginal degree of tension.

Even cheap exploitation films can be interestingly done, but The Babysitter doesn’t manage to pull that off. I guess The Babysitter may need to look new line of work. Might we suggest something like cheerleading, or being a stewardess?

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