IT’S ALIVE III: ISLAND OF THE ALIVE (1986) Reviews and overview

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It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive is a 1986 [released 1987] American horror film written and directed by Larry Cohen (shot back-to-back with A Return to Salem’s Lot). It is the second sequel to the director’s 1974 film, It’s Alive. The film stars Michael Moriarty, Karen Black, Laurene Landon, James Dixon and Gerrit Graham.



The mutant babies have been placed by court order on a deserted island. Appalled by the cynicism and exploitation of the children by the legal system and the media, the man responsible for them leads an expedition to the island to free them…


“Though the first film had some black comedy and the second was virtually humor free, this third and final chapter has loads of comedy, much of which actually IS funny. The film maintains the social awareness of the previous entries (commenting on a multitude of then-topical issues) while adding more gore, more action, more babies, more special effects and more laughs to the proceedings.” The Bloody Pit of Horror



“Third Alive feature boasts the best cast and highest production values of the trilogy […] The free-flowing story wanders into some off political and narrative areas as the children grow. For a sequel, this one’s interesting enough, but it’s far from Cohen’s best.” Mike Mayo, Videohound’s Horror Show

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“Overwrought and narratively awkward, the film’s clumsy attempts at humor only blunt the film’s satiric bite … Island of the Alive feels like a mish-mash of themes already explored far more cogently in the previous two films. This is not to say that the final part of the trilogy is without any merit…” Josh Vasquez, Slant Magazine


“Unfortunately, while Moriarty IS great, but the movie itself is kind of lacklustre. The island setting is a great concept (the babies are “quarantined” there), but it hardly factors into the movie. After a brief scene with some hunters early on … more time is spent getting Moriarty and assorted others TO the island than is spent actually ON the island.” Horror Movie a Day

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“This one also tends to delve into comedy, unlike its dark predecessors, with Moriarity improvising and hamming it up to the max, so fans of the actor will not be disappointed. The film is fast-paced, in a far-fetched, campy sort of way, constantly shifting the action from one place to another.” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In




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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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Cast and characters:

Michael Moriarty … Stephen Jarvis
Karen Black … Ellen Jarvis
Laurene Landon … Sally
James Dixon … Lt. Perkins
Gerrit Graham … Ralston
Macdonald Carey … Judge Watson
Neal Israel … Doctor Brewster (as Neal Isreal)
Art Lund … Doctor Swenson
Ann Dane … Doctor Morrell
William Watson … Cabot
C.L. Sussex … Hunter
Patch Mackenzie … Robbins
Rick Garia … Tony
Carlos Palomino … First Cuban
Tony Abatemarco … Second Cuban



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