Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Wilbur and the Baby Factory (2 Stars)

This is a curious film made in 1969, but not released until 1971.

Wilbur Steele is a student and a political activist. What is he protesting against? Everything! He runs a non-profit organisation called "Protestors Inc". If anyone wants to protest against something he supports them. If anyone has nothing to protest against he counsels them and helps them find something to protest against.

The way Wilbur is shown portrays the typical bourgeois attitude of the middle classes in the 1960's. They saw that students were protesting, so they dismissed it by saying "Students will protest against anything". It's disgusting that the director/writer Tom McGowan should treat the student revolts of the 1960's so blandly. There were real issues at stake.

Wilbur is shown as being shallow when he turns to capitalism. He's told that if he drops out of college and abandons his organisation he'll be paid big money for working with a secret company. He suspects that it's a government organisation, but he signs up anyway. After all, money is all that he's interested in, like all other students. Right?

This secret company actually wants to take over the world. They say that the Earth is populated by inferior beings. They want to introduce a new super race. They have a scheme to put additives into food that will sterilise 80% of the world's population within a year. At the same time, they have selected a group of people who will become the new master race. Wilbur has been picked because he's highly intelligent and athletic, and his family has had no notable illnesses for generations. 2000 women have been picked for similar reasons. Wilbur has to get them all pregnant within two years. Wow, that's more than two a day!

It's an interesting story, but it's totally ruined by the awful acting. Who are all those names on the cast? Did Tom McGowan pick them up off the street at random? Only Stuart Lancaster, an amazing actor who appeared in several Russ Meyer films, is convincing as the company's billionaire financier. The rest deliver their lines with the enthusiasm of reading a shopping list. The poster above calls the film sexy, but it isn't. Even the nude scenes are dull. Naked women who can't act. Boring.

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