“Antibirth” appears to have been made with the midnight movie crowd in mind. Surreal, gross and often quite funny, it stars “Orange is the New Black’s” Natasha Lyonne and asks the question, “Who-or what-is growing inside her?”
Lyonne stars as Lou, a hard core stoner who begins the story by blacking out at a rave after partying all night with her blotto best friend Sadie (Chloë Sevigny). Soon she discovers she is pregnant and her memory, skewed by her near constant drug use, offers few clues as to the identity of the father. ” “I’m not pregnant … I’m infected,” she slurs. “Whatever is inside of me is infecting my brain, my body; it’s not just in my crotch.” Her own lifestyle choices, paranoia, surreal visions and a rapidly growing belly hamper her search for answers. Only Lorna (Meg Tilly), a mysterious but helpful stranger, may be able to offer help.
“Antibirth” is pure schlock delirium probably best enjoyed after a night out with Lou. Imagine a splatterpunk “Rosemary’s Baby” or as particularly gross episode of “X-Files” and you get what I mean. It’s an altered state kind of flick that owes a debt to “The Toxic Avenger” and any other movie that values oozing pus and spraying blood as much as it does plot.
Lyonne is the spunky center, brash but compelling. She pulls off lines like, “Let me tell you what I need: candy, money, and whip-its,” and manages, against all odds to make add some humanity to Lou and her situation.
Tilly, who is practically unrecognizable here, keeps things lively while Sevigny doesn’t do much but swing and sway to whatever is playing on the soundtrack.
The real star here is the film’s wild, untamed spirit. It’s not all good—the movie drags in the middle, much of the stoner dialogue is snooze inducing—but “Antibirth” builds up to a body horror climax that, for better and for worse, once seen will not soon be forgotten.