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Island of the Alive
It's Alive III: Island of the Alive / Die Wiege des Schreckens

USA 1987
produced by
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

It's Alive

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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 ...

Five 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.

But 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.

And what 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.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD