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It's Alive

USA 1974
produced by
Larry Cohen, Peter Sabiston (executive), Janelle Cohen (co) for Larco
directed by Larry Cohen
starring John P. Ryan, Sharon Farrell, James Dixon, William Wellman jr, Shamus Locke, Andrew Duggan, Guy Stockwell, Daniel Holzman, Michael Ansara, Nancy Burnett, Diana Hale, Patrick McAllister, Gwil Richards, Jerry Taft, Gerald York, W. Allen York
written by Larry Cohen, music by Bernard Herrmann, special make up by Rick Baker

It's Alive

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Frank (John P.Ryan) and Lenore (Sharon Farrell) are having a baby, and until childbirth, everything is going as smoothly as possible, they can leave their son (Daniel Holzman) with a friend (William Wellman jr) in time, make it to the hospital in time, and Lenore is admitted to a delivery room right away ... and this is where it starts to go wrond: You see, the baby turns out to be a monster, kills all the medical staff in the delivery room, and makes it out of the hospital through the ventilation system. Both the police and the hospital staff are baffled, only the boss of a big pharmaceutical corporation company wants to hush everything up, just in case (shades of Contergan here).

Meanwhile the baby continues to roam the city, doing a little killing here or there, with the police unable to track it down (one of the best scenes has a dozen of cops threatening a harmless, normal baby at gunpoint).

The Davies' meanwhile find themselves besieged by the press, and while Lenore seems to be more and more losing it, Frank comes to the conclusion that the only solution to the problem is he himself shooting his baby (a son, in case you wondered). Then though things take a bizarre turn: Somehow the baby has found its way home (to its parents' house that is), and Lenore, who has never really stopped loving her offspring, has hid it in the cellar and fed it well. Frank, when he finds that out, is horrified and even takes a shot at the baby before it manages to make a getaway.

Soon the police finds out the baby hides in the sewers, and sends a virtual army down to kill it. But somehow it is Frank, who has gone ith the police, who finds the baby, but seeing the poor little creature, hurt and insecure, he can't but feel pity and fatherly love for it, and he tries to save it from the police ... to no avail, in the end, the police can stop father and son and shoot the baby like a rabid animal.

 

Back in the 1970's, director Larry Cohen was famous for shooting thinking man's B pictures - meaning he would shoot genre films that always had a poliltical, ecological and/or satyrical edge to it -, and It's Alive would become his most famous film, on the surface nothing more than a monster flick about a murder baby, but beneath the surface, the film leaves many questions open for discussion (e.g. How can that happen ? Could something similar happen for real ? Can a newborn be held responsible for its deeds ? Who has the right to kill a child ? ...).

However all this intellectual baggage does not keep It's Alive from being first and foremost a very entertaining genre movie. Recommendation.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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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
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD