The Bad Seed This adaptation of Maxwell Anderson's play -- about an 8-year-old who knows how to get her way (she kills anyone who stands in it) --… The Bad Seed This adaptation of Maxwell Anderson's play -- about an 8-year-old who knows how to get her way (she kills anyone who stands in it) --…
Movie on DVD Review

The Bad Seed (2004)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Aug 10, 2004; DVD Release Date: Aug 10, 2004; Movie Rated: Unrated; Genres: Drama, Horror; With: Nancy Kelly and Patty McCormack

This adaptation of Maxwell Anderson's play -- about an 8-year-old who knows how to get her way (she kills anyone who stands in it) -- is a hoot, and Patty McCormack as the kid, in Aryan blond pigtails, displays cold-blooded aplomb. The material takes a stab at serious psychology -- does environment or heredity produce evil? -- but the real fun lies in the goofy mix of chills and wildly emotional hokum, particularly from Nancy Kelly, weeping and pounding at her ovaries as the agonized mom who unwittingly passed along the criminal gene and Eileen Heckart as a boozy hairdresser whose son drowned mysteriously.

EXTRAS The adult McCormack appears on a trifling featurette; much better is the commentary track she shares with actor-playwright Charles Busch, who ranks the film among the all-time camp classics and (astutely) says, ''You play it like a gangster.''

Originally posted Aug 13, 2004 Published in issue #778 Aug 13, 2004 Order article reprints
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