Wilbur and the Baby Factory (1970)



For further proof of how wonky the rating system was prior to when the MPAA figured it all out (meaning that, if the major studios do it, it’s okay but if independents do, we’ll make you slice up your movie until there’s barely anything left), here an interesting picture for you that absolutely did not deserve its X rating.  When I surveyed the trailers on the Something Weird DVD from which Wilbur and the Baby Factory came from, it seemed that all of the films were pornography.  As evidenced by Tanya, the other film featured on this DVD, that would appear to be the case.  However I was delightfully surprised by Wilbur and the Baby Factory.

While no masterpiece, Wilbur and the Baby Factory is a bizarre and intriguing counter-culture thriller with only minimal amounts of sex.  You would think otherwise if you saw the trailer since the trailer only shows you the sex scenes but the sex scenes in the trailer are the extent of the sex scenes in the movie.

Wilbur… is about a genuine “for the people”, social worker named Wilbur Steele (Peter Ford), who leaves his post at a non-prophet organization – the kind which helps old ladies keep their homes from greedy banks, etc. – to be part of a strange experiment where his sole purpose is to sire children.  The program is run by a group of scientists led by Dr. Wednesday (Keith McConnell) and on a Eugenics type mission to control the Earth’s population so it’s not overrun by undesirables.  Their current subject seemed to have lost his mind as evidenced by scenes of a crazy looking guy who takes to strangling women in the heat of passion.  Wilbur, who seems ambivalent to the project at first, questions the scientists about how love and human emotions play into the whole thing.  The answer of course is that they don’t.

What the scientists didn’t anticipate is that Wilbur is ultimately planning a sabotage, hence the footage cut to the guy listening in his van via wire tap.  That doesn’t prevent Wilbur from doing a whole lotta fucking though.  Again, the sex *scenes* aren’t too gratuitous with a few exceptions that might push the boundaries of our modern NC-17 rating but are no worse than say, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.  The majority of the film is actually  a pretty compelling story; from Wilbur’s training sessions to get him “up to speed”, to conversations between Wilbur and the doctors and various other side plots.  The most interesting of these is Karen and Kristine, twin sister played by adorable, German red head Larissa Schubert.  One is normal, the other a nympho who admitted how much she liked getting gang banged when she was 10 years old in the most dry, matter of fact way possible.

Also what makes the movie also watchable is that it’s actually well made and looks nice!  Writer/director Tom McGowen actually knows subtlety with the camera and the scenes just look cool; very 60s, mind you with make shift sets and antiquated, retro-futuristic technology, but cool nonetheless.  The film also uses some neat editing tricks like the aforementioned cross cutting to the spy van and the freak who keeps strangling the women during experiments.  There’s also a few original tunes thrown into the movie for good measure; a mixture of folk and psychedelia to give it that timely feel.

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