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Episode 96: THE BAD SEED


76 members have voted

  1. 1. Is THE BAD SEED Canon?

    • Yes!
    • Let it lay in a bed of excelsior

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I really did enjoy this movie, but I think I'll vote "no." The ending really took the bite out of things. And as Devin said, there's a whole genre of killer kid/teen movies who are the products of what's scary about their generation. I feel films like Scream or The Omen are better and more seminal films from this genre.

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I quite liked the film, but I'm leaning "soft no". The comments so far haven't really swayed me from that, but I'm about to listen to the podcast episode and maybe that will. I found the theatrical/stage acting, especially in the early half of the film, to be really distracting. From the commentary track, Patty McCormack said that the "staying true to the stage play" approach to the performances was pretty much done on purpose, but it didn't quite work for me. At the same time, there were some amazing performances at the tail end of the film; and the disjointed way that they didn't seem to fit with the earlier performances somehow added to the creepiness of the story.


I kind of want to vote "yes" just to annoy all the genre haters on the board, but as a whole the film did not quite come together enough for me. Podcast time...



haha, RE: The Podcast: using Rhoda to call out the sociopathy and self-absorption of Baby Boomers and Millennials was so funny that it may have nudged me over into a "soft yes".

Similar to what Devin described, I really like "plays on film". I like talkies, which is why I fell for Tarantino and Kevin Smith in the '90s. I love "My Dinner with Andre". But I guess what I really like are scripted conversations, because I still think that the "for stage" kind of acting in the film not really for me. But the "camp" value is tempting, and the podcast did help me open my eyes to that. I think of this being a movie that John Waters probably loved growing up, and that makes me want to vote "yes".


Actually, I just found this quote from Waters: "I wanted to be Rhoda. I pretended I was her. Why? I wanted to strike fear in the hearts of my playmates"


source: https://www.theguard...ers-role-models


O.k., that clinches it. Changing my vote to "yes".

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such an easy yes for me. I was both howling with laughter and terrified out of my mind. Nancy Kelly was phenomenal. I think we need more movies like this in the canon.


One thing I wanted to bring up is how horror/noir is so linked to melodrama. All these genres make audiences very aware of the camera and the artific, but do so to bring out emotions and character. Melodrama is of the mind and heart, horror is of the body. The Bad Seed really brought both genres to the forefront and brought them together in a very vivid way


And to the people who say this movie has no impact--there would be no Babadook without this movie. This movie started the bad seed genre.


Also Re-Animator is in the canon.

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VERY YES. This movie reminds me of Rambo in that it set a canonical example of a mental illness (child psychopathy instead of PTSD) before we really had the words to describe how it works and diagnose the symptoms. It's important that the killer is a cute neat little girl, that seems like they stumbled onto making a more realistic psychopathic person than Hollywood usually portrays, for once the "manipulative female" trope is uncannily accurate instead of just misogyny.


This isn't one of those movies that comes to mind when you think "Great", but it still has a horrifying clarity that reminds viewers of all the manipulative kids we've known. Having an early and trend setting example of this sort of horror is essential, and Rhoda is still eerily familiar despite the agedness of the melodramatic camp.

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