Monday, October 4, 2010

UNWED MOTHER (1958) - an unheralded abort-sploitation winner starring the dude that was in Pootie Tang

that tagline is a fancy way of saying "this shit is REAL"

The wild youth of today are gonna get their kicks one deviant way or the other (circa 1950’s). You know, smoking in the boys room, sneaking whisky out of their parent’s liquor cabinet, drag racing over cliffs, and, yes, knocking over trash cans to spite authority figures (although really only annoying garbage men in the process). Betty is an exception to the rule, a quiet country girl who “gets her kicks reading Schopenhauer and Spinoza”. As it happens, I spend my Saturday nights much the same way, if you throw some booze and failure into the equation. Well, she’s an honest, lonely soul who’s just looking for love, instead finding scumbag lothario Robert Vaughn, who is only interested in exploiting her for sex and money. He’s the kind of slime that puts on any mask necessary to get what he wants. Luckily for his hidden agendas, honest souls make easy marks.

Robert uses Betty as an object to masturbate with, causes her to get fired from her new job, coaxes her out of her paycheck, and even convinces her to become an accomplice as he robs a movie theater ticket booth. What a piece of shit. The normally well behaved Betty manages to get off on probation, but only under the condition that she stops seeing Vaughn. While he has nearly ruined her life, at least this affords her the opportunity to finally break free from his spell and start anew. Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of fate, she finds out she’s pregnant with his child, and they are now forced to marry. Ain't old timey morals some bullshit.

Thankfully, Betty is clever and well-read, and comes up with a super brilliant plan…ABORTION FOR THE WIN! Yeah, babies are adorable, and fun to show off to strangers at the mall, but she needs to get out of this horrible relationship, and you gotta do what you gotta do. Being that abortion is illegal, she is forced to search out one of those underground clinics, where a sweaty and twitchy Timothy Carey (the king of the sweaty twitch) is the “doctor” ready to flush out her fetus. This situation makes Betty uncomfortable, as you might imagine, so she flees the clinic in a panic. She no doubt lacked confidence in Mr. Carey’s ability to administer medicine, probably picturing that his “procedure” consisted of force feeding her a bottle a scotch before whipping out a wire hanger. She probably also realized that fetuses have feelings too. However, cold psychopath Robert Vaughn is the father, so maybe she shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

She flees to a house for wayward girls, where the plan is for her to hand the baby over to an adopting couple as soon as it plops out of her vagina. However, she decides at the last minute that she wants to keep the baby, telling the couple her sob story. They let her keep the baby, as rugrats are pretty much interchangeable anyway, and they can just hit up the classifieds and get another one for a reasonable price. It’s all part of a happy ending, I guess, but some may wonder how a young girl with a rap sheet and no job is gonna raise a child, or raise herself, for that matter.

However, the cheerful optimist in me (he is huddled in the fetal position near my spleen) might point out that she was seeking love all along, and may have finally found it in this little tyke. Here is a miniature goofball that doesn’t coldly judge her like her parents, trying to mold her into an automaton that fits their vision of what a daughter is supposed to be. More importantly, the baby isn’t gonna fuck her over physically, emotionally, and financially, like a Robert Vaughn will. Here is someone that will finally love her unconditionally and occasionally drool onto the carpet.

Granted, this baby will eventually grow up to despise her, but at least she has about a 14 year window of mostly warm fuzzies and the occasional temper tantrum. When her baby finally grows up and calls her a cunt, she can whip out the story of how she was about to have an abortion but chickened out at the last second, and only because she didn’t trust the illegal doctor (that’s a bit of revisionist history, but hey). Consider yourself lucky you even exist.

While abortion is consistently one of those “raging firestorm” topics, I don’t quite see what the big deal is. Grown people are killed every day and hardly an eyebrow is raised. I guess the main question in play is “what legally constitutes a ‘life?’”. This is quite a conundrum, and I think I may have a brilliant/ridiculous solution. I say the law should prosecute murder cases on a weighted basis, quite literally, and not on a binary life/not life basis. In other words, eliminating a fetus gets you a slap on the wrist because it’s only a couple of ounces. However, if you kill a 900 pound slob by feeding him knowingly tainted pork rinds, you should get 46 consecutive life sentences. Makes sense to me.

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