Island of the Alive
It's Alive III: Island of the Alive / Die Wiege des Schreckens
Paul Kurta, Paul Stader, Larry Cohen (executive) for Larco
directed by Larry Cohen
starring Michael Moriarty, Karen Black, Laurene Landon, James Dixon, Gerrit Graham, Macdonald Carey, Neal Israel, Art Lund, Ann Dane, William Watson, C.L.Sussex, Patch Mackenzie, Rick Garia, Carlos Palomino, Tony Abatemarco, Gladys Portugues, Joanne Lara, Bobby Ramsen, Kevin O'Conner, John Woehrle, Laui Riley, Marilyn Staley, Mitchell Edmonds, Elizabeth Sanders, Richard Duggan, Steven Alan Green, Kathleen Kickta, Lynda Clark, Dan Rycerz, Edward Shls, Charles Vandergrift III, Jackie Swanson, Katja Crosby, Paul Stader jr
written by Larry Cohen, music by Laurie Johnson, theme by Bernard Herrmann
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Jarvis (Michael Moriarty) is the father of one of the killer kids that
have been shocking the nation lately (see It's
Alive and It Lives Again)
- only he loves his son, and in court, eh fights for the right of the
babies to live - and wins, even though the only way these babies can
co-exist with us humans is on a desert island - that's how dangerous they
are. After the trial, Jarvis becomes a sort-of celebrity, but he doesn't
want to be known as the father of the monster, so others make money
of his fame while he makes a living selling shoes to children ...
years later, Jarvis is asked by a gouvernment organisation to accompany
them to the island to check up on the babies - mainly because the
gouvernment wants to do some tests on them for rather shady reasons. Once
on the island though, it doesn't take long for the now five-year-olds to
kill all of the members of teh expedition but Jarvis, who is protected by
his own son.
Then the kids force Jarvis to take them to Miami by boat,
feeding of the boat's crew - and again, it's only thanks to his son that
Jarvis is kept alive. And when the kids run out of crewmembers ...
Jarvis's son allows him to escape just in time, but unfortunately his
getaway ends in Cuba, where he is temporarily arrested as a spy before
some sympathetic Cuban officials help him to make an escape to Florida.
why do the killer kids want to go to Florida?
Because Ellen (Karen
Black), Jarvis's ex-wife and teh mother of his son lives there.
do they want her for?
The kids are all dying from measels you see, but
they have one off-spring (obviously they take no longer than five years to
reproduce) they want Ellen to take care of. And while all the grown kids
are ultimately killed either by the measels or the authorities, in the
end, Ellen and Jarvis escape with the newborn killer kid - they just hope
it won't wake up all that soon ...
Cohen-regular Laurene Landon can be
seen as a hooker, who first picks up Michael Moriarty, then kicks him out
when she realizes who she's with.
Island of the Alive
is not Larry Cohen's best film, and also not the best film of the It's
Alive trilogy - mainly because too much about the topic of killer
babies has already been said. But taken by its own terms, Island of the
Alive is by no means a bad film (if you can accept the concept of
killer babies of course): Michael Moriarty, who carries the story on his
back, is simply wonderful and as quirky as ever in Cohen's films, the film
has a few really great jokes in it (the best one is Moriarty shooting a
Doctor with a stungun just to see if it works), and its antiauthoritarian
tendencies are simply irresistible.
True, it's no Cohen-masterpiece, but
definitely worth a look.