IT’S ALIVE (1974) Reviews and overview

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‘Save your screams until you see its face’

It’s Alive is a 1974 American horror film written, produced, and directed by Larry Cohen (God Told Me To, Q: The Winged SerpentThe Stuff). In the movie, a couple’s infant child turns out to be a vicious mutant monster that kills when frightened. It was promoted as It’s Alive!

Notable talents involved were Bernard Herrmann who composed the score (lauded for his work on many Alfred Hitchcock films) and Rick Baker (Octaman; An American Werewolf in London) for make-up and puppet effects. It was remade in 2008.

On May 15, 2018, Scream Factory issued the It’s Alive Trilogy on Blu-ray with the following extras:

Disc One: It’s Alive

  • 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
  • Cohen’s Alive: Looking Back At The It’s Alive Films Featuring Interviews With Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen, Actors James Dixon, Michael Moriarty And Laurene Landon, And More…
  • It’s Alive At The Nuart: The 40th Anniversary Screening With Larry Cohen
  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen
  • Radio Spots
  • TV Spots
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Disc Two: It Lives Again

  • 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Disc Three: It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive

  • 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
  • Interview With Special Effects Makeup Designer Steve Neill
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen
  • Trailer
  • Still Gallery

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In Los Angeles, Frank Davis (John Ryan) and his wife Lenore (Sharon Farrell) are expecting their second child. Frank is a successful public relations consultant and his wife is a stay-at-home mom for their first child, Chris (Daniel Holzman). The couple had avoided having a child for several years while Lenore took contraceptive pills. When the child is ready to be born, they leave Chris with a family friend, Charley (William Wellman, Jr.) and head to the hospital.

Their second child is born monstrously deformed, with fangs and claws. Immediately after birth, one of the doctors attempts to suffocate the child. The child kills the doctors and nurses and flees through a skylight. Lenore is left alive, screaming for her child as a horrified Frank discovers the carnage.

Frank and Lenore are allowed to leave the hospital while the police investigate the killings. Unknown to anyone, the child is making its way to the Davis home, killing people it comes across, including a musician and a milkman. As the killings continue, the press and the police hound Frank and Lenore…

Its Alive

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‘Although it finally doesn’t have the courage of its convictions and raises more questions than its standard horror/sci-fi format can cope with, there’s still a lot that comes off here. The premise is blackly humorous: every monster has a Mom who loves it.’ Chris Petit, The Time Out Film Guide

‘The film includes a multi-dimensional performance by Ryan as the father, who spends most of the time wanting to hunt down the child, but when he confronts it, his maternal instincts take over and with a tear to his eye, tries to save it from the trigger-happy police force. The mutant child (whose point of view is depicted as distorted double vision) devours people like a piranha…’ DVD Drive-In

sharon farrell it's alive 1974

“David Cronenberg definitely utilized the motif of gut wrenching birth scenes in The Brood and The Fly, Alexandre Bustillo directed a petrifying birth sequence in Inside, and Srdjan Spasojevic made one of the most reprehensible assaults on the senses ever in A Serbian Film. John Carpenter had the Pro Life episode of Masters of Horror, and there’s of course The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby. But, when it comes to the nasty side of nascence who can forget Larry Cohen’s 1974 debut It’s Alive?” Splatter Shack


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“Great score by Bernard Herrmann and classic horror  film ending make this a chilling and memorable film.” Videohound’s Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics


it's alive 1974 larry cohen warner VHS sleeve

its alive US posterit's alive 1974 larry cohen rick baker monster baby


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