With a great advert campaign and a lot of fun hype, It’s Alive was one of the most talked about films of it’s era. I for one can’t think of a single thing not to love about this flick and I seem to slip this golden oldie into the DVD player every few months.
Directed by Larry Cohen ( The Stuff ) and starring no one anybody except Larry Cohen fans have ever heard of, It’s Alive is a hilarious movie about a mutated, killer newborn. Yeah, you did read that right. From the moment this fucker pops it’s immense head out of the poor mama’s womb ( “the umbilical cord’s been CHEWED off!!!” ), the bodies start to fall. Medical techs, nurses, doctors, all are wiped out in the delivery room and then the little cutie goes out to maul and murder a bunch of other dippy california residents. Milkmen, suburban hookers, cops, family members, no one is safe from baby’s desire to kill!
Of course it’s ridiculous but it’s also a fuck load of fun. The parents of the monster are alternately sympathetic and disgusted. Shamed at having been a part of the things creation, but drawn by a paternal instinct to protect their child. The acting is pretty good for this kind of junk and Cohen is a very competent director so you can assume that things will never get boring. I liked the hospital scenes the best, including the debate over how the infant escaped from the tiny skylight in the delivery rooms’s ceiling. Sarcastic unfeeling cops, eager and ineffectual medical personnel, opportunistic reporters, the entire list of stock characters are present and accounted for. This one isn’t high on originality but what is better than a child, a brand new to the earth baby, who craves killing?
Of course we come to find out that it isn’t merely homicidal compulsion that leads to all this bloodshed, but a need to be understood and accepted. Huh?? Accepted? Hey baby, you went on a murder rampage the second you sucked in your first ounce of oxygen so acceptance might be a little hard to come by! So what, right? It’s all about the little one’s killing spree and the jackasses who attempt to end it. Madness and stupidity ensue and we as viewers will never see birth the same way again!