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"It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

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"It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Old 09-29-10, 10:17 PM
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"It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6



It's Alive (1974)



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Selected by NoirFan.

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 Films in 31 Days Subset.

Main Discussion Thread | The List Thread

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.

Spoiler tags are unnecessary in these discussion threads, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

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Old 10-06-10, 03:33 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

I just finished watching this with the Larry Cohen commentary, which was a pretty good one. Cohen shares a few funny anecdotes involving the always-volatile Bernard Hermann, and delves extensively into the production and distribution of the film. A handful of interesting notes from his track:

1. The monster, designed by Rick Baker (whom Cohen reveals was in the 1976 King Kong monkey suit), was modeled on the Star Child from 2001.

2. The sounds the monster makes were actual baby noises, played backwards.

3. The baby's first post-hospital victim, the brunette clad somewhat inexplicably in white go-go boots and a mini-skirt, was a hooker in the original script, thus explaining her slutty get-up.

4. Hermann was slated to score God Told Me To before his death.

5. There was a live dog in the jacket John Ryan was ostensibly carrying his monster baby in. In one shot, you can see it's paw.

6. An actual obstetrician plays the doctor in the film. In fact, they had to delay shooting his sequence until after he had delivered a baby in another room in the hospital the film was shot in.

7. Larry Cohen taught John Ryan his Walter Brennan imitation.

Incidentally, how many films have included scenes shot at that L.A. aquaduct? To Live and Die in L.A., Repo Man, and Point Blank are the others that come to mind.
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Old 10-06-10, 03:39 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

^ t2?
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Old 10-06-10, 05:27 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
Incidentally, how many films have included scenes shot at that L.A. aquaduct? To Live and Die in L.A., Repo Man, and Point Blank are the others that come to mind.
Grease
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Old 10-06-10, 09:16 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Always a fun watch. I even watched the two sequals. The third was the only one I hadn't seen. Such a simple formula, but executed so well. And what a terrific score!
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Old 10-06-10, 10:10 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by Dick Laurent View Post
And what a terrific score!
Though at points I thought it too similar to the Taxi Driver score. Or perhaps it's the other way around.
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Old 10-06-10, 10:14 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

I like this movie but it always makes me sleepy...
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Old 10-07-10, 08:03 AM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Yes, the Cohen commentary track has a lot of good information, and is a fun listen. I've watched this film several times over the last couple years, and always immediately follow it with the commentary track.

Have never found the sequels at a great price, really looking forward to seeing them someday. In fact, I'm tired of waiting, think I'll put them in my Netflix queue.
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Old 10-07-10, 01:44 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

In my book any movie with Larry Cohen directing is worth watching and this was no exception. I think the whole trilogy is good although I still haven't seen the remake. Does anyone know if it is any good?
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Old 10-07-10, 01:58 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by orlmac View Post
I still haven't seen the remake. Does anyone know if it is any good?
Watched it yesterday and thought it was less than mediocre.

Free streaming on Netflix. Don't think I'd ever buy it, and I'll buy basically anything Horror.
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Old 10-07-10, 02:13 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

I love this film, it's one of the VHS I would always rent when I was younger, I like the setup at the end going into part 2. I watched 2 and 3 today for the first time, not nearly as good, but I still enjoyed them.

For a moment there, when the woman was asking them to stay for dinner, it kind of had a Woman Under the Influence vibe.

I ordered the remake off of Amazon marketplace for 1 cent, I'll be checking that out later this month.
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Old 10-07-10, 05:15 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

I'm not a big fan of science fiction and fantasy, and the reason is this: my suspension of disbelief can only go so far. Once you get methane-breathing centaurs into the mix, I can't extend my disbelief any farther. It's too outside my frame of reference for me to be able to relate to it. And that's the feeling I have for It's Alive. Larry Cohen's tale of a mutant killer baby is just too far-fetched for me to be able to hang with it. There were certain themes in the film that I related to, such as a parent's love for his or her child, no matter how handicapped that child may be and how monstrous it may appear, or how all the chemicals and other toxins that have become a part of our diet can cause changes to the fabric of our DNA, but killer babies with fangs and claws and superhuman crawling speed? Nope. Can't go there. Still, I found It's Alive to be watchable, and it seems to be one of those films that would really play well with a large audience, but I can't rightly say that I liked it very much. I really wanted to, as I'm a fan of some of Cohen's other films, but I never was able to turn off my critical faculties long enough to just go with it.
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Old 10-07-10, 08:00 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

I liked it better than expected. I think it was rather effective to not show the baby most of the time and keeping it under heavy shadows, that certainly brought the camp down. The strongest aspect of this film for me was dads inner conflict of having spawned a murderous creature. I liked how he compared himself to Dr. Frankenstein, his struggle of killing or saving this creature certainly added greater drama to this weird story. I also enjoyed John Ryan's performance.
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Old 10-07-10, 08:41 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
I'm not a big fan of science fiction and fantasy, and the reason is this: my suspension of disbelief can only go so far. Once you get methane-breathing centaurs into the mix, I can't extend my disbelief any farther. It's too outside my frame of reference for me to be able to relate to it.
This sentiment makes me sad. There is so much great entertainment you are missing out on.
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Old 10-08-10, 10:10 PM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Got milk? The baby sure did! The movie almost plays the "less is more" a bit too far, but for the most part everything works. The delivery room aftermath is still a very effective wtf moment. No rats in the traps just plays with the audience, and when the string on the wooden toy gets pulled in the classroom, you know it's on. Cool, creepy score keeps it moving. Oh, and the scene where the police have drawn down on the little baby in the backyard is fantastic. The shot just seems to hold forever to the point you just know one guy is going to pull the trigger. It's too bad the distorted baby vision wasn't really the old school 3D!
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Old 10-10-10, 07:02 AM
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Re: "It's Alive" Reviews/Discussion - 2010 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by cproaps View Post
The movie almost plays the "less is more" a bit too far, but for the most part everything works. The delivery room aftermath is still a very effective wtf moment. No rats in the traps just plays with the audience, and when the string on the wooden toy gets pulled in the classroom, you know it's on.


Taken at face value it's a silly story, and the acting and effects budget aren't all that great, but it's written and directed very well, doing a lot with little.
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