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It’s Alive

It’s Alive – 1974
It’s newborn. It’s alive. And murder is what it knows best.
Larry Cohen

Larry Cohen

Starring – John P Ryan, Sharon Farrell, James Dixon, William Wellman Jr, Shamus Locke, Andrew Duggan, Guy Stockwell, Daniel Holzman, Michael Ansara, Robert Emhardt,

Review by The_Void

Great camp B-movie fun
Larry Cohen has made a name for himself for producing offbeat horror movies, and this story of a killer deformed baby certainly belongs in his filmography. It’s Alive is a huge highlight of the horror genre, and one that doesn’t get the praise that it deserves. The film is notable amongst other films of similar plotting because of the way that it fully explores it’s premise.

Rather than focusing on the monster and the murders, Cohen sees fit to show the audience the effect that the birth of a murderous monster has on the family at the centre of the story, the government, the family friends and various other entities; all of which helps to aid the film in it’s bid to be a complete horror thriller. Of course, the film is too silly to be truly touching, but the idea of trying to get the audience to empathise with the characters in this sort of movie is nice, and it adds to kitsch campness of the movie, which does it no end of favours in this kitsch fan’s opinion.

The acting adheres to the typical, and much loved, B-movie styling and that is another plus point to add to this movie’s resume. John P. Ryan in particular is superb as the upset father, and we see him go through a range of emotions in response to the birth of his ‘son’, which is a treat indeed. The script isn’t the greatest work of art ever to be brought to the screen, but it’s always inventive enough to ensure that the action stays interesting and It’s Alive hardly suffers from becoming trite and boring.

The creature effects aren’t the best ever seen, but Larry Cohen hides this fact by never completely showing the creature. This hampers the movie in a way, as it will no doubt get on many viewers’ nerves as seeing the monster is normally a highlight of this type of movie; but on the other hand, seeing the monster usually results in disappointment – so at least Cohen’s film stays away from that!

On the whole, while this film will do nothing for fans of serious art movies; horror fans, particularly very B-horror fans, will be in heaven. Highly recommended!

Its Alive (1974)

Review by Wayne Malin

THIS was banned in Finland?????
A mutated baby (with fangs and claws no less) is on the rampage just seconds after being born.
Pathetic excuse for a horror film. The story is more than a little stupid, has plot holes big enough for freeway construction and is dull. The acting sucks, the direction is by the numbers and the “special” effects showing the baby are unintentionally hilarious. The baby is almost never seen–for good reason. When they do show it attacking a man at the end it’s one of the most uproarious things I’ve ever seen. It’s very hard to sit there with a straight face seeing this tiny little baby JUMP onto a guy and “attack” him.

The premise sounds interesting but, even if you suspend disbelief entirely, who is going to seriously believe a just-born baby is able to slaughter four or five doctors and get out of the operating room and wander all around town without being noticed? Come on!

For some reason, this film was banned in Finland–my guess is that the censors saw it and banned it for its lack of quality! A total fiasco. Avoid.

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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