Sequels are universally the butt of jokes. REVENGE OF THE STEPFORD WIVES (1980) is pushed farther back in the collective memory than the absurd remake. HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982) has been erased from the series cannon. If they rarely live up to the original, why are so many sequels made? Money. Sequels make money. We just HAVE to know what happened after the original story ended. So we fork over our dollars, put our butts in seats, and usually about two hours later we complain amongst ourselves how it didn’t quite live up to the original. There were just enough people who wondered what happened to ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968) to film a made-for-TV movie. For better or worse, we ended up with LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO ROSEMARY’S BABY (1976)
The first third of LWHTRB takes place eight years after the original closed. Adrian (called Andrew by Rosemary) is being raised under the watchful eye of the Satanic cult responsible for his creation. His mother (now played by Patty Duke) is trying to encourage his good, human side. Guy (no longer John Cassavettes but now played by George Maharis of ROUTE 66 fame) isn’t living with his family in New York anymore, but living it up as a movie star in Los Angeles. Roman, Millie (Ruth Gordon, the only returning actor from the original), and the others regularly remind him of how much he owes the coven, and has him do their dirty work on a semi-regular basis. Despite this, Rosemary makes a run for it with Adrian in the middle of the night, taking refuge in a synagogue with a bunch of rabbis, thus out of the reach of the Satanists. When it looks like she can make a break for it, Rosemary and child board a Greyhound for adventures unknown.
Unfortunately on the road, a group of bullies think Adrian’s an easy target. Little do they know he’s the son of the devil and can shoot evil from his eyes when he gets really mad. That starts a chain reaction where Rosemary may only have a hooker (Tina Louise–yes THAT Tina Louise) to trust…or can she?
The next two thirds of the movie takes place with an adult Adrian who just wants to hang out in Vegas, pick up chicks with his buddy, and be a rock star. His aspirations displease the coven, who wish he’d focus on evil. Each year on his birthday they try a ritual that may or may not get him to finally walk in his father’s footsteps. This leads to what is the best sequence in the whole thing–Adrian done up in demented mime make-up (because apparently Satan likes mimes) leading a disco/psychedelica rock show which devolves into a bizarre television-safe orgy. Sure, there’s more movie and story after that, but it pales in comparison to that bit of visual madness.
I’m not sure if the wobbly visuals were done on purpose to add to the evil confusion, or just a bad VHS transfer and upload. Whatever caused it, it works in this case. Is it as good as the original? Of course not. It plays like an afterthought. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great bit of cheesebally goodness to lose yourself in for an hour and a half.
Question of the night: how do you feel about mimes?