Friday, October 04, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 4 - Movie 1

Lenore Davis goes into labor with her second child, but unlike their first, healthy eleven year old son, something is very wrong with this child. When it is born it slaughters the entire medical team overseeing its delivery and escapes from the hospital to continue killing and evading the police as it tries to make its way home to its family.

When I first saw It's Alive (1974) on television not too long after it's theatrical release I was highly disappointed. The movie seemed overly long and there were only the most fleeting glimpses of the baby. I thought it was time to reassess the movie. My memory of the rare and only fleeting glimpses of the baby (constructed and operated by Rick Baker and his then wife Ellen) was indeed correct, but I found the movie itself to be quite engaging. It's Alive, unfortunately has that made for TV look of many films made in the 1970s, but the script by director and producer, Larry Cohen is smart, and is elevated by the performances, particularly by John Ryan, outstanding as the layered, conflicted father of the baby who desperately tries to emotionally distance himself as having any connection to this monster which must be destroyed. It's Alive also benefits from the final score by composer Bernard Hermann, which enhances the mood and tension of the entire film.

Cohen's films are typically filled with complex characters, social commentaries, and at least one big idea, as can be found here in this cousin to the body horror films of David Cronenberg.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Really enjoying these Halloween features and reviews, John!