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It's Alive!
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It's Alive!

4.5 2
Director: Larry Cohen, John Ryan, Sharon Farrell, Andrew Duggan

Cast: Larry Cohen, John Ryan, Sharon Farrell, Andrew Duggan

 
For fans of filmmaker Larry Cohen, the pesky, demonic It's Alive! babies couldn't arrive on DVD soon enough. Now, thanks to Warner Bros. Home Video, the cult classic can scare an entirely new generation of viewers. The feature is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and, as Cohen himself states on the soundtrack, looks absolutely gorgeous. Of course, It

Overview

For fans of filmmaker Larry Cohen, the pesky, demonic It's Alive! babies couldn't arrive on DVD soon enough. Now, thanks to Warner Bros. Home Video, the cult classic can scare an entirely new generation of viewers. The feature is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and, as Cohen himself states on the soundtrack, looks absolutely gorgeous. Of course, It's Alive! was a fairly low-budget film, but aside from some minor grain, the image is virtually flawless -- highlighted by vivid colors and free of any notable debris or digital artifacting. Likewise, the English Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack is clean and evenly balanced. Anyone who has followed Cohen's long and varied career knows that the frequent writer/director has a way with a budget, and in an audio commentary he reveals his practicality by discussing the easy creation of the spooky title sequence, his view on sets, and the fact that he uses his house for many shoots (including this one). The director is both affable and informative, and even manages to point out a few fun flaws with the feature (keep a close eye on the blanket that Frank [John Ryan] is holding in the climactic face-off with the police) that may otherwise go unnoticed by the casual viewer. Trailers for the two sequels are also included.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
One of the better "demon child" horror film cycle that began with Rosemary's Baby, It's Alive! actually holds up pretty well, even decades after its release. Granted, its very low budget is even more obvious today than it was in 1974, and there's simply no getting over the fact that the poor production values do have an impact. For example, the cinematography is clumsy, which occasionally detracts. More problematic is the monster baby itself. While writer/director Larry Cohen wisely keeps the child hidden as much as possible, there are times when it is clear that the creature is really little more than a doll. When the baby is shown in partial view, via a small adult in a mask, the difference in size is jarring. However, Cohen's script is such a fine model for this genre and hits the intended horror notes so well that it's easy to overlook these flaws. It's Alive packs plenty of punch, as well as humor, often mixing the two in a wonderfully bizarre fashion, as in the infamous milk truck sequence. The delivery room sequence is also a highlight, and the climactic chase doesn't disappoint. Best of all, Cohen has created in Frank Davies a character of sufficient complexity to engage and hold audience interest. And in John Ryan's hands, he truly comes alive. Ryan is able to take what in other hands would seem abrupt character swerves and make them seem natural. It's a very fine horror film performance and it is one of the major factors in the film's success. Gory and manipulative, It's Alive is still great fun for genre fans.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/05/2004
UPC:
0085393352929
Original Release:
1974
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:31:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by writer/director Larry Cohen; Trailers of this and the sequels It Lives Again and It's Alive III: Island of the Alive; Languages: English & Français; Subtitles: English, Français, & Español

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Ryan Frank Davies
Sharon Farrell Lenore Davies
Andrew Duggan The Professor
Guy Stockwell Clayton
James Dixon Lt. Perkins
Michael Ansara The Captain
Mary Nancy Burnett Nurse
Diana Hale Secretary
Gwil Richards Actor
William Wellman Charlie
Gerald York Actor
Jerry Taft Actor
Shamus Locke Doctor
Robert Emhardt The Executive
Daniel Holzman Chris

Technical Credits
Larry Cohen Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Richard Baker Makeup Special Effects
Fenton Hamilton Cinematographer
Bernard Herrmann Score Composer
Peter Honess Editor
Peter Sabiston Executive Producer
Alex Vandekar Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits [1:45]
2. It's Time [4:36]
3. Fine World [4:54]
4. "What's Wrong With My Baby?" [4:30]
5. Blame the Parents [5:26]
6. Named [4:00]
7. Baby's Cry [1:48]
8. Out of Work [4:15]
9. Children Worries [3:26]
10. Say What You Feel [2:52]
11. Got Milk? [3:22]
12. Maybe It's the Pills [5:13]
13. Absolute Destruction [3:26]
14. No Relation to Me [4:36]
15. Death in the Classroom [2:09]
16. Homecoming [7:06]
17. A Cribful [5:28]
18. Cellar Carnage [3:55]
19. One Life to Lose [2:12]
20. Blood Trail [4:12]
21. Fugitive Father and Son [6:07]
22. Kill It Now! [4:33]
23. Cast List [:52]

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It's Alive! 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Wade1000 More than 1 year ago
Whoever thought the killer in a horror film would be a baby? This film is cleverly conceived & worth having. Although made in 1974 with special effects which are primitive by today's standards, It's Alive remains a terrifying film to watch. You have sympathy for the turmoil the parents are enduring & for the mutant infant. The creature desires to be loved & accepted but faces hostility in return so it has to kill to survive. The movie makes a good case on the subject of keeping a baby with a birth defect or terminating it while in the womb.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago