The Babysitters (2007) Retro Review

So the first question we have to tackle when discussing this indy feature is, Is this movie about more than high school babysitters forming a prostitution ring? The answer, surprisingly, is no, not really. I guess we could stretch it a bit and say this movie is about the capitalist spirit inherent to our American ethos and that our dispirited children, bankrupted morally by the scouring tide of that savage obsession are hosts to its perversions and, like plague rats, the eventual carriers of this disease. For are we not in a declining state of our union? Are we not greedy, despairing, and steadfastly set on better grades, higher salaries, and sexier strumpets? I submit to you, gentle readers, we are the rats, we are the fleas, and this film, far from being a Lifetime movie from Hell, was produced to answer this plague. Nay, should you recoil from such anti-propaganda, your daughters too may answer the siren lure of the back of a minivan whence easy money is to be had.

This film stars the direct-to-video King himself, John Leguizamo, and was in fact produced by the man. It also stars young Katherine Waterston as Shirley, his babysitter, and in whose arms he seeks solace from Cynthia Nixon, ostensibly his wife but O dear reader what is the measure of a wife whose desires are entirely domestic, who answers jokes with maternal frowns, actively engages with a 12-step program to guard herself from the illicit demons of her past? Shirley, for reasons that may span the gamut of jealousy to entrepreneurialism – and we, the simple audience, may wonder on our own sweet time which motivation strikes true – deduces that she can make, as the plebians say, “mondo cashola” by signing up her friends (and “frenemies?”) for other amorous husbands to likewise shrewish wives. Forsooth, this web of deceit and statutory rapine soon comes to a head with a final twist not unlike that of 2012’s Walking the Halls. In fact, it is the very same. (How I came to watch both The Babysitters and Lifetime’s Walking the Halls in the last month, gentle reader, is a tale beyond the realm of this brief review, for its myriad confabulations dart hither and yon, from the televisions of female acquaintances tuned to channels salacious and untoward.) But like the story of the Titanic, this tragedy can only ever end in one way.

Alack, Sir Leguizamo, what halcyon days we shared, I on the sofa reclining with my siblings as we giggled at your madcap antics in The Pest and Spawn and Super Mario Brothers. Yea, those much malignéd classics reside in the nostalgic cubby of my heart, beside the recordings of your one-man shows Sexaholix and Spic-O-Rama. You are a man of infinite jest, of untheatrical fancy. Where be your antics now? Your motor mouth? Your flashes of rambunctiousness that were wont to set my family at a giggle? Instead thou gets thee to Katherine Waterston’s chamber for some lovestruck prostitution. To what base uses we may return, John! Why may not imagination trace the dust of our careers till we find it stopping a bunghole?

The corse, this video, seems to have, with desperate hand, curtailed its own life beyond the 3 for 1 bargain bin of your neighborhood Wal-Mart. To compass its 88 minute runtime, I bind it in this nutshell: Tis a tale told of adolescent sex, dirty but neither trashy nor campy nor titillating, with but a single frame devoted to the oft-sought mammaries, written by a screenwriter who believes children are idiots, and signifying nothing.

The Babysitters (2007)
Directed by David Ross
Peace Arch
88 Minutes

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