The 15-Year Reconciliation

Do you remember way, way back in the “early” days of this website, when I used to get really excited about finding and reviewing surprise bags? Honestly, the only reason I don’t still do it is because I haven’t seen a good surprise bag in ages. But that’s besides the point.

One of the most memorable things I’ve written (at least to me), was a review of a nondescript surprise bag that I found in a local dollar store in a nearby city. The variety of items contained in that bag was wild and shocking. Well-aged Spanish Tic-Tac knockoffs. Dubious “Dubu” gum. Some trading cards and stickers from a movie called Baby that I’d never heard of.

And it’s that last one that stuck with me. Baby is a film that was released in 1985, and I found Baby-branded trading cards in a surprise bag in 2006. Nothing has ever topped that level of bizarre for me, and I don’t imagine that anything ever will. I think about those Baby trading cards at least once a week, and I yearn to find another surprise bag with similarly baffling contents.

All of that preamble, of course, is an overwrought lead-up to this: last weekend, I finally watched Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend.

Fifteen years ago, when I learned that Baby existed, I wasn’t able to find any information about it on the Internet. There are no indications as to how hard I looked, but knowing me, I probably spent at least an entire weekend combing through results from six or seven search engines. Fast-fowarding to today, though, there is plenty of Baby-related information available. Most importantly: Baby is available to rent and purchase on multiple digital storefronts, which totally blew my mind. I had imagined that it was the kind of film that was completely unmemorable and was lost to time. Not so!

The plot is generic as all heck, with the only remotely unique thing about it being that the macguffin is a dinosaur. Put simply, it’s the story of a paleontologist woman who discovers a family of three living brachiosaurs. She wants to study them peacefully, and is excited about having made the most significant paleontological discovery in the history of ever. But then of course, you have the evil rival man who follows her and intends to capture the dinosaurs and use them to become famous. Dino Mom is kidnapped while the bad guy’s hired goons viciously murder the Dino Dad. Thousands of bullets are discharged in this film, and at least 95% of them go into poor Dino Dad’s body.

If you’ve seen a movie before, you probably have a good idea of how this one goes down: paleontologist lady and her husband decide that they need to free the captured mama dino so they can reunite her with the titular Baby. All sorts of tomfoolery ensue along the way, and it ends up with the two main villains being killed. Roll credits very abruptly.

Overdone plot aside, Baby isn’t really a good movie in any respect. I know it was made in 1985, but the animatronic dinosaurs are pretty shabby-looking. Baby may or may not be two small people in a dinosaur costume. The dialogue bounces back and forth between decent and deplorable. I can’t even tell who this movie is for: it’s too dumb and simple for adults, but there’s way too much graphic violence, nudity, racism, and sex for children. The scene where Baby stubbornly attempts to join in when the two main characters are trying to bang is baffling.

The weirdest thing about Baby, though, is that I never felt bored while watching it. It wasn’t a good movie, it wasn’t even the kind of bad movie that you enjoy ironically. I think the best way to describe it would be walking past a train wreck the day after, once all the carnage is over but before the wreckage is cleared away. There’s nothing especially interesting or exciting to see there, but it has a faint allure that gets you wondering what happened, imagining how much more thrilling it would be if the whole thing were on fire.

Would I recommend this movie? No. Of course not. Not to anyone. Don’t watch Baby. It’s not worth your hour and a half. It was only worth my hour and a half because it’s part of one of the most stupidly weird things that I’ve ever purchased in a dollar store and then wrote about. Even then… I feel like I probably should have just had it on in the background while I played Picross or something.

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