Monstervision Proudly Presents

The Sitter (1991)


For your viewing pleasure, we bring The Sitter. Not to be confused with The Kitten Sitter, Two-Ton Babysitter, The Baby-Sitter's Club, The Crazy Sitter or Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. Those hijinx-filled movies are all much better acted -- even the two cartoons. "The Sitter" is a psycho-filled television movie-of-the-week about a girl who just wants to be loved. It is such a schlock-fest, actually, that we could only hunt down one review. It's from Chicago, and you know they'd turn their noses up at The Sitter 'cause their native son Chris Columbus directed the well-received Adventures in Babysitting just four years before the 1991 release of our MonsterVision feature. And then the following year, Rebecca De Mornay played the ultimate psycho babysitter in "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" (1992)

As the film opens, we meet classic movie lover Nell, who lives with her Aunt Alice and Uncle Carl in some suburban American-Gothic-Cinderella-hellhole. Auntie is a mean old bat who snaps at Nell and gives her the bug eyes at every opportunity. Uncle Carl just wants some peace and quiet so he can eat his stew. When Carl, a hotel bellhop by trade, if there still is such a thing, overhears that the Jones family needs a babysitter for the evening, he offers Nell up. As Nell is leaving, she discovers Aunt Alice rummaging through the taboo pages of her diary. What's a girl to do, other than send her Aunt flying down a staircase and never look back?

Nell arrives to take care of little Melissa Jones while her parents attend some publishing dinner (Daddy's a writer and Mommy's his wife) in the hotel ballroom. But as the evening goes on, Nell's grasp on reality starts unraveling thread by thread. She's much more involved in a game of "let's pretend we're mother and daughter" than little Melissa is, and she's pretty sure a total stranger named Jeff is going to propose marriage. Jeff's really just a traveling insurance salesman looking to get jiggy wit' Nell. With some excellent plot-revealing dialogue that begins about two-and-a-half minutes into the movie, you can probably guess what happens next. Such nuanced lines as when Daddy says to Mommy, when deciding whether or not to use Nell's services, "We'll be right in the hotel anyway. What could happen?" Or when Nell says, about someone else, "You can be one person one minute and another the next."

The Sitter is based on the Charlotte Armstrong novel Mischief, and is a remake of the 1952 Marilyn Monroe vehicle Don't Bother to Knock. The similarities end there, though. Don't Bother to Knock was Marilyn's 16th credited movie, but her first major attempt to prove to critics that she could act. The Sitter is the 10th movie for Kim Myers, who stars as Nell, a far cry from her professional debut as Lisa Webber in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. Co-starring as Nell's large-handed love interest Jeff (seriously, check out her dainty digits up against his basketball palms) is Brett Cullen, of the series Legacy. And you know what they say about a man with large hands: That if he's Brett Cullen, he co-owns a production company called Yellow Rose with back-again-rocker Meat Loaf. Did you need to know that? Not really, but we're giving it to you anyway.

Blustering up to bat as Uncle Carl is Eugene Roche, who rose to fame as Pinky Peterson, Archie Bunker's arch rival on All in the Family. Kimberly Cullum, of Grace Under Fire and Monkey Trouble plays sorta-sweet, sorta-creepy Melissa Jones. And a very special person makes an appearance in The Sitter dealing games of three card Monty. You'll have to wait for Joe Bob to reveal this actor's identity, but we'll leave you with this hint: "Chaka Khan lemme rock you, cause I feel for you." Think graffiti art and ripstop pants.

Director (Fred Walton) had previously made the R-rated 1979 movie When A Stranger Calls starring Carol Kane & Charles Durning, with Ron O'Neal, based on the same novel. Walton also directed a 1996 Stepford Wives sequel.
The Sitter (1991)
Rating: TV-14-V

Sorry, host segments for "The Sitter" are nowhere to be found.
Continue on to MonsterVision host segments for Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead and Adventures In Babysitting (Joe Bob loved the kid in the Viking helmet)

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Weekly World MonsterVision for Week of November 1, 1999
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