This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Caustic "Icide Guide"

Rolling into flaming pits, roasting in bronze statues, or just leaving them exposed to the elements, there’s a plethora of ways to kill infants. Joe, Toren, and Kevin look at infanticide across history and in the animal kingdom, as well as featuring in horrible recent news and mercifully less-horrible pop culture.

Music: “Baby Face” by Buddy Clark & the Andrews Sisters

Charity o’ the Week: AMT Children of Hope Foundation



Series Navigation<< PatricideGenocide, Part 1 of 2 >>

27 Responses

  1. David Cronenberg’s 2007 Eastern Promises starring Viggo Mortensen is a great movie where infanticide is a theme. I don’t want to spoil it because it’s also a great movie AND it’s great.

  2. I think someone forgot to “Paste the URL here while in HTML view. Make sure no secret code gets in. Just the URL, and WordPress will auto-embed”.

    I recently got addicted to Caustic Soda and am making my way through the back catalogue. Excelent show!

  3. There’s also an episode on the first season of the equaly Canadian ReGenesis, where a mother smothers her days-old baby because he is a vector for a disease of some sort.
    Very strong scene that I just spoiled. Sorry.

  4. Thanks so much for remembering to mention the M*A*S*H episode. I’m a big fan of the show… I would like to see how you rated it, despite the fact its not really a motion picture.

  5. Sooo, I’m not sure whether I want to apologize or congratulate you guys. I want to say sorry because I was not able to finish this episode, however I also want to say congrats! You finally found my trigger! Made it all the way through parasites, cannibalism and bubonic plague…but you got me with this one. I mean don’t get me wrong, I had no problem turning on a podcast entitled “Infanticide”, but when it turned out to be closer to “gendercide” I thought it perhaps best that I take a pass and listen to Harry Potter audio books again before the last remaining threads of faith I have in humanity blew away into the either.
    Anyway, as a balm for my trauma, I was wondering if you guys would not mind mentioning and perhaps directing my fellow Soda Jerks to the web cite (“Gendercide Awareness Project”). This is still a huge ongoing problem and the more people know about it, the better. (Also, I apologize profusely if you already mentioned this in the half of the podcast that I did not listen to because I am pusillanimous). Furthermore keep up the good work! I love you guys to bits!

  6. Kinda surprised you missed Caprica Six’s ‘babynecking’ incident from the Battlestar Galactica mini series and the attempted infanticide of Oedipus in Oedipus Rex.

    1. Mentioned in other eps, perhaps? Like the epileptic woman who put her baby in the microwave.

      Urgh, it’s such a horrible topic, but you guys made a lot of it very funny – you did a great job of getting the balance of humour and honest revulsion right. Nature is such a complete bastard.

      I think the most fascinating part is just how recent our rejection of infanticide is, and what effect that’s had on society, and I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to go back to accepting it (not that I’m advocating that, of course). One of those natural ratchets.

      Is it just me or are there a lot more stories in the media today about horrible things happening to children? In Australia we seem to get a new story every week or so about one child or other having been found in absolute squalor or having died from neglect. It’s just so awful. I would love to have hear you discuss the merits and failings of needing a licence to have kids — that would be great! Perhaps in a follow-up episode?

      Well done guys.

  7. Amazed by prevalence and recent abandonment. Disappointed you guys do not properly love shoot ’em up. The movie was meant to be fun and ridiculous and was thoroughly entertaining. Not liking it is like not liking Boondock Saints.

    You also missed a music opportunity. Dumpster babies, we make our dreams come true! Get on it for follow ups. 🙂

    1. Shoot ‘Em Up just missed its mark for me, but I respected the effort. Boondock Saints is terrible. Style over substance and its style was crap.

      1. Sir, I’ve watched crap. I know crap. Crap is an intimate pain of mine. Sir, that film wasn’t crap. Haven’t seen the sequel yet. I’ve been warned it stinks on ice.

        1. Let’s see what the critics say!

          A ridiculous, self-important amalgamation of rehashed macho posturing and slow-motion bloodletting. Do yourself a favor: do not attend a convocation with these Saints.

          It is, by turns, hilariously awful and just plain unhilariously awful, full of its own nonexistent momentousness, an unintentional parody of hardboiled gangster flicks.

          Definitely an exercise in style over substance.

          [A] dim-witted, aesthetically clunky Tarantino clone.

          Oh, I like this one:

          Short version: This movie took a half-baked idea and executed it so poorly that the end result is almost unwatchable. This is a cinematic disaster that should be avoided at all costs.

          It’s sitting at 20% “Fresh” on RottenTomatoes right now. The sequel that even its fans hate is at 23%. The prosecution rests.

          1. So are you saying when we get to the moon nazi episode you won’t like Iron Sky, either?

            Frankly, I never understand the critics. There are some movies that we can all agree are terrible like anything by Uwe Boll. Other stuff we know will be bad and successful like Smurfs or Garfield or talking animal movies. Then there are movies that could be good but just fail at what they set out to accomplish like an action movie without action or a comedy nobody laughs at.

            Your mileage will depend on if you agree with what the movie wants to do. If there’s no way you could enjoy giant robots fighting then Transformers could never work. If you love the premise and hate the execution, that’s more telling.

            Whether a movie accomplished the goal is debatable, of course. I thought Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter was silly and fun and ridiculous while the Underworld movies never rose beyond tired Matrix ripoffs with fangs.

            There are certain movies that are acquired tastes but others where if you like the genre, they should be sure hits. And I find it odd when a sure hit doesn’t register with the audience.

          2. Nothing you’ve said has much to do with Boondock Saints being good or not. Instead you analyze the people who didn’t like it, and possible not-about-the-movie reasons for people to not like it. That’s an ad-hominem fallacy, attacking the critic rather than the criticism.

            I also think you’re wrong anyway. Liking action movies doesn’t mean liking every action movie. So let’s go ahead and talk about me and what kind of movies I like and why I still thought Boondock Saints was crap:

            I’d love a good movie about brothers who find out they have a gift for gunfighting action and taking out bad guys cinematically, but Boondock Saints wasn’t good. Its characters are the epitome of Mary Sues: they speak multiple languages, everyone loves them, the police (and FBI) instantly believe their ridiculous self-defense story, and they for no-reason-at-all become unstoppable killing machines capable of taking out rooms full of experienced killers with perfect aim almost by accident and with no mention of any training.

            I’d love a good movie about fighting robots, but the Transformers movies are cinematic abominations. The “funny” dialogue isn’t funny, the smart dialogue isn’t smart, the plot makes no sense, and the robot action scenes look like a whirlwind in a junkyard. I’ll say it now: They’re worse than Boondock Saints, and had far more potential.

            Note: I still haven’t seen Pacific Rim yet. I hear it’s dumb, but better than Transformers. Looking forward to seeing it when I can.

            I like all sorts of silly fun action movies. The first Highlander movie (not the “Director’s Cut”, please note) is a personal favorite. It’s well paced, has some gorgeous cinematography, and fun action. Sure, it’s a bit dumb in spots, but it understands story, pacing and character.

            Have you seen Chronicle? It’s a low-budget “found footage” superhero movie. It’s an action movie with both a brain and a heart. Boondock Saints had neither.

            “Pitch Black”, the first Riddick movie is a great example of doing action right, even with a hyper-competent character. At least Riddick has the flaw of being a generally despicable person to balance out being the Ultimate Badass. In the sequel he fell into the same trap as Boondock Saints. When they brought up that “Furion” prophecy nonsense my suspenders of disbelief got snapped, hard and the entire thing stopped working.

            The Avengers is one of the most finely crafted action movies of all time. What Joss Whedon (and Marvel’s movie-universe department thanks to the overall vision of the related movies) accomplished in that film was astounding. Rather than spend hours talking about the incredible depth (and efficiency — what are there, SEVEN main characters?) of storytelling going on in just about every second of that film I’ll just point you at Todd Alcott’s 17 part series on it. His site isn’t organized well, so just change the “1” in the URL to “2” and then “3” and so on until you’ve read them all. Boondock Saints was the opposite of efficient. I rewatched a bit to spark my memory (and confirm it was bad — as a skeptic I know I can be wrong at times, so I look for evidence to support or disprove my beliefs) and the movie wasted a full two minutes on Willem Dafoe’s character deconstructing the first crime scene to music. That scene, like the entire movie, was a self-indulgent display by a narcissistic filmmaker.

            Liking a genre of movie does not mean you have to like every movie in that genre. I love Avengers, but didn’t care for Man of Steel (short review: decent superhero movie, shitty Superman movie). Hell, I think The Dark Knight is one of the best superhero movies of all time and really didn’t care for its sequel, The Dark Knight Rises. “Quick, send the entire police force underground on a hunch! Don’t ask questions!” “Now here they come after months underground, somehow freshly shaved and in clean uniforms and ready to have a firefight in the middle of the street with no cover!” DURRRRR.

            But as I pointed out, this entire line of argument is fallacious. Instead: What exactly is good about Boondock Saints? Be specific. I don’t think the action is especially well-done. The characters are, as noted, nearly flawless Mary Sue wish-fulfillment characters, the story makes little sense and isn’t at all aware of it…

            What does Boondock Saints do right, exactly?

  8. I didn’t mean to come off like I was attacking. What I was trying to do was express surprise when a genre film that should hit the spot for a genre fan does not.

    I am not a fan of the transformers movies. I thought they managed to make robots boring. I am also not a fan of the big, dumb movie defense where it is claimed a movie isn’t supposed to be good, the entire crew meant to make something bad.

    Pacific Rim has a lot of logic holes in it, even accepting the premise. But it is really, really fun in a way Transformers couldn’t touch. But I honestly can’t say whether or not you or anyone else on the caustic team would like it. Iron Sky is taking similar criticism and it feels like people don’t understand it’s meant to be a satire more like Strangelove than a serious hard SF effort.

    By comparison, I would fault bad car physics in a movie meant to be a serious drama whereas the horrible physics in Blues Brothers is part of the comedy.

    As for Boondocks, I thought the characters were funny, the situation outlandish, the lines memorable and the entire thing was an action movie turned up to 11. But if the stylized elements stick in your craw, it’s not going to work for you.

    If I didn’t take Boondock as a comedy, I would hate on it. 2012 was not meant to be comedy, more like mst3k fodder. I laughed but they weren’t inviting me to. Likewise, 300 didn’t seem like it meant to be self-parody so I found it a far worse film though the rifftrax for it are magnificent.

    Wasn’t meaning to insult anyone. I am a proud soda jerk. Was just very surprised when you guys were hating on films I thought were were enjoyable.

    Chronicle was great. Loved his Death of Superman vid. Easily better than the last 4 superman movies.

    1. Believe it or not, not all of us agree with Joe all the time. I didn’t hate Boondock Saints, but I didn’t understand why it had so much praise heaped on it either – for me, it was a solid “Meh”.

      I liked the people in the first Transformers but hated the robots. I like the robots in Pacific Rim but hated the people.

      I do want to see Iron Sky, and I think it’s because I understand that a movie about space Nazis has to have it’s tongue firmly planted in cheek.

      But in my opinion, Zach Snyder can do no wrong (with the exception of the script for Suckerpunch), so your unprovoked attack on 300 is officially a declaration of WAR!

      Keep listening, love you!

  9. Ps I agree with you on dark knight rises. It set out to be a realistic take on super hero movies but it threw logic out the window. It fails at the premise which is trying to be realistic. Same sort or fail the BSG remake suffered from.

    In comparison, Yamato 2199 is a remake of the original Space Battleship Yamato series. It’s ridiculous space opera. But within the premise, they are telling a story that makes sense. Actions are flowing within this premise. Characters are sharply drawn and engaging. It would still likely make a hard SF fan throw a brick at his tv but is you dig space opera, I think you can get into it.

  10. A guilty pleasure of mine, aside from listening to Caustic Soda while sorting mail, is a life-long love affair with the cheesy Beastmaster. It’s been a few years, but I think there’s an early scene with a witch character “stealing” a king and queen’s baby from the mother’s womb by magically transferring it to the womb of a cow, then taking that cow out into the wilderness, cutting it open to get at the baby, and getting ready to ceremoniously kill it with a special dagger until……

    Hm, I guess it was more infanticide intent and not execution. But still, what a rigamarole.

  11. There is a great example of infanticide in Greek mythology in the story of Madea. When Jason quested for the golden fleece, he met Madea, whose father (name escapes me) was in position if the fleece. Jason turns Madea, a sorceress, against her father to obtain the fleece. I think she ends up killing her father (call back to patricide), but I could be wrong. Jason takes Madea back to Greece and marries her. They have two children. In the play Madea by Euripides (I think), Jason leaves Madea to marry a younger princess. Madea goes mad, and kills the princess and her father with poisoned robes. She locks herself in their home, and to punish Jason, kills their children before escaping in a dragon chariot (very deus ex machina escape).