It's Alive

It's Alive

classified 18

Scala Rediscovered


Please note: This was screened in July 2019

Larry Cohen
John P. Ryan, Sharon Farrell, James Dixon, William Wellman Jr, Shamus Locke
90 mins, 1974, USA
Primary language

Originally released in 1974 It’s Alive is one of B movie writer, director and producer Larry Cohen’s best known works.

A mutant baby is born in Los Angeles, the cause could be drugs administrated to its mother, or could it be the next stage of evolution as society becomes more and more cut throat and selfish? The implications offered within Cohen’s film are both simple and complex depending upon how you approach the work and what you are willing to consider as possible. In the case of It's Alive, Cohen was assisted in creating such a memorable film by an outstanding performance by John P. Ryan who invests the character of Frank, the child’s father, with a sincerity rarely seen in the arena of low budget horror production. The film is also noteworthy for the contribution of special effects and make-up by maestro Rick Baker. And, talking of maestros, the score is one of the final works composed by the great Bernard Herrmann.

Once you have enjoyed the sheer audacity of Cohen’s creation and considered the potential radical content of It’s Alive you might want to delve further into the director’s creations. If so, maybe start with its increasingly bizarre sequels, It Lives Again (1977) and Island of the Alive (1987). But be warned, not all the spawn of Larry Cohen’s mutant creation are worthy, avoid the 2009 remake at all costs.