Vampires, zombies, aliens, Babylonian gods who enjoy possessing innocent American girls, you recognize them. They’re all staples of the horror genre. However, at the New York Horror Film Festival, Suzi Lorraine and James Morgart brought the world a new monster to fear, babies in the horror/comedy, “Won Ton Baby.”
During the seventies, Madam Won Ton (Debbie Rochon) was the head of an exclusive brothel that spent a night with “the King.” During their “fling” both ingested some pills with unusual side effects. Thirty years later, Madam Won Ton runs a successful Chinese restaurant with her two children, Ben (Abe Tran) and her older daughter Lily or “Little Wing” (Suzi Lorraine). Lily has an unusually large stomach. After collapsing during a dinner service, the Doctor (Gunnar Hansen of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” fame) reveals that Lily has had a parasitic twin living in her stomach her whole life. The Doctor was able to remove it, giving the Won Tons a bizarre looking baby with a living umbilical cord, sexual appetite, and a taste for blood.
The baby, named Won Ton, is the star of the movie. The only way to truly describe Won Ton is Baby Sinclair raised by Freddy Krueger and the Alien Queen. Won Ton enjoys eating rats, taking advantage of passed out women, his brother’s porn collection, and eating people. Forgoing expensive, texture less CGI director James Morgart uses a creepy silicon puppet designed by Paul Mafuz and Ingrid Okola, who recently won her second Emmy for her work on “All My Children.” Considering the silicon baby was built from scratch, it’s easy to see why Ms. Okola won the Emmy. The baby has a creepy stare and it’ swirling umbilical cord is gooey and disgusting, as it should be. Yet he’s kind of cute…in a monstrous way.
Bringing a heart to the film is Suzi’s portrayal of the baby’s twin/older sister Lily. Lily has lived a bizarre life. In addition to her medical condition, she speaks like a stereotypical Asian because she’s been raised to believe she’s the daughter of an Asian businessman. Yet, Lily has an innocence that makes you care about her journey. In addition to playing Lily, “Won Ton Baby’s” story was the brainchild (no pun intended) of Suzi, after seeing a story about the medical condition, “fetus in fetu”, which literally means fetus within a fetus. Suzi also cites horror comedies like “Evil Dead” as inspiration for the tone of the film.
Another strong performance came from Debbie Rochon as Madame Won Ton. Madame Won Ton is strong, independent, woman who is trying to run her business and raise her children right. Unfortunately, her past keeps catching up with her, not only with Lily, but also persecution from Detective Bob “Bubba” O’Reilly (Nick Raio) who wants to shut her down, even though she’s come clean. Still, Madame Won Ton’s still got it and is not afraid to use it, wooing Bubba’s partner Detective Hardin (Lou Martini Jr.) to her cause and inspiring her workers to prepare for Bubba a very special soup.
“Won Ton Baby” is a funny, bloody, sexy, over the top, horror comedy that is reminiscent of the days of “grindhouse” theater. Director James Morgart really inspired his cast and crew to make a movie that was above and beyond all expectations. If you’re a fan of “Evil Dead” or horror movies in general you must see “Won Ton Baby.” It is well directed, well acted and definitely more original than any of the horror movies you’ll find in the mainstream.