Friday, January 7, 2011


At the time of this writing I've got the film 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?' listed over in the 'just watched' section of the blog. Normally I only list movies I've seen for the first time. I'm watching through the Terminator films currently and I'm not listing them.

But I'm making an exception for 'Baby Jane' because it has been a long time since I've seen it and I want to draw a bit of attention to it. It is one of the earliest and probably the seminal work in the peculiar little sub-genre known as 'psycho-biddies'. Most psycho-biddy films are horror movies (yay!), but they poke into other genres too. I'm finding it interesting that certain scenes of psychological torture in this film are at least as excruciating and suspenseful as a lot of the modern uber-grue that I've been watching lately. This from a film released in black and white in 1962. Like I'd say with the original version of The Haunting, don't pass up quality films just because they're old, kids! The quality of the performances (though a bit melodramatic) from Bette Davis and Joan Crawford really help.

This is probably NOT the start of some cycle for me where I try to cram as much psycho-biddy watching as I possible can, but I probably will try to at least get the companion film, 'Hush...hush, Sweet Charlotte', under my belt.


  1. I had this cycle some months back, maybe during unemployment (which makes a good time for it). However, the name I found for the genre, I have to say I like EVEN better than psycho biddies - though I do love the word biddy very much.

    Grandma Guignol.

    It takes a pretty impressive pun to beat out psycho biddies, but Grandma Guignol tramples P-B very handily. And it's endless fun to say.

  2. I dunno. Psycho-biddies just strikes me incredibly funny. The word 'biddies' really helps. It is like an archaic slang term that STILL comes off wiseacre enough to be hilarious. Grandma Guignol ain't bad but it doesn't beat P-B for me. Nor does it roll off the tongue as easily.

    I've actually seen A LOT of Grandma Guignol in my time, from Strait-jacket to pseudo-GG like Mommie Dearest. But its been a while for any of them, so it seemed unique enough (especially compared to everything else I've viewed lately) to call it out.