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It's Alive

Entry updated 24 January 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1974). Larco/Warner Bros. Produced and directed by Larry Cohen. Written by Cohen. Cast includes Andrew Duggan, Sharon Farrell, John Ryan and Guy Stockwell. 91 minutes. Colour.

A Mutant baby (the mother has taken a new Drug) kills all the medical staff in the delivery room and leaps through a skylight to go on a rampage, killing a woman, a milkman and several policemen. Although the plot is evidently ludicrous, as a witty, low-budget Monster Movie It's Alive is more than satisfactory. The baby, wisely presented in a series of fast, almost subliminal shots, is disturbing because it does what all babies do – crawl around on the floor. Far more disturbing is the transition from seeing the baby as monstrous menace to seeing it as somebody's child. The father (Ryan), who joins the hunt, tries unsuccessfully to protect his offspring in a curiously moving though absurd climax set in the storm drains of Los Angeles (see California), deliberately evoking the finale of Them! (1954).

The two sequels are It Lives Again (1978; vt It's Alive II) and It's Alive III: Island of the Alive (1986). Oddly not appearing until three years after the film, the novelization is It's Alive (1977) by Richard Woodley. [JB/PN/DRL]

see also: Cinema.


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