Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Meep Pic Of The Week: It's Alive III: Island Of The Alive (1987)

Dear readers... I'm sorry for the delay in postings. My wife recently had one of those baby thingies, and it's been fun keeping up (and staying up with the little guy. Just letting you know I'm still here, and I love you all, too. xo

So yeah, babies can be pretty cute, and not to boast, ours is on the adorable side, but what happens when your little one may not be the cutest on the block and have a penchant for blood lust?

I really want that Jarvis Baby on board decal. Like, right now.

It's Alive III: Island Of The Alive
A Warner Brothers Release
Original Theatrical Release Date: May 1987
On DVD: Yes, from Warner Archive

If you're in the mood for some killer baby action, the It's Alive series directed by Larry Cohen are a lot of fun. The first It's Alive was a bit gritty and very much a Movie of it's time (1974). Star John P. Ryan is always such a strong screen presence and he grabs your attention here as the new dad of a mutant baby. It Lives Again was a neat follow-up, if slightly too much of a retread (another couple, more mutant babies) but it had it's moments, and starred both John P. Ryan and Frederic Forrest, who's also a very interesting actor to watch. And then there's It's Alive III: Island Of The Alive.

At this point in the series, Cohen amps up the comedy and satire and never really takes it all that seriously. We get Cohen regular Michael Moriarty (Q, The Stuff, Pick Me Up) hamming it up (I especially enjoy him in the court room scene), and the prospect of mutant babies shunned by society to a deserted island (or, Hawaii where they filmed the deserted island). Also on hand is Karen Black, she who is forever crazy in the eyes, and Macdonald Carey in his final Film role (don't we all want our final film roles to be in Movies about misunderstood killer babies?)

There are some surprises in Island Of The Alive that I won't get into, it's the kind of Movie to walk into with not too much expectation and maybe some time to kill. Larry Cohen's mission is to entertain you while provoking some thought and laughs and he does a nice job with that here. I'd even say it's my favorite of the trilogy, mostly due to all the dark humor and Moriarty's usual off-kilter performance.

Stephen Jarvis: You know, you're very beautiful. Maybe it's the environment, but you turn me on. And I could turn you on, too. You've seen my kid, haven't you? That's just a glimpse of the animal in me.  

Cohen had directed this Film back-to-back with the similarly slight but also fun A Return To Salem's Lot (also starring the lovable looney Michael Moriarty). The studio (Warner Brothers) had fully intended both of them to be made exclusively for the very popular at the time Home Video market, but decided after screening them that they were solid enough for a limited theatrical release, where I saw both of them for the first time. Killer baby Movies always seem to be most effective in darkened, sticky floored Movie theaters, don't you think?

As cute and soft as they are, newborns eat, sleep, poop and not much else. Thankfully we have the Movie Shows to entertain us while we put our time in. Now all we have to do is hope they don't crawl out of their cribs for a midnight killing or two. And if they do, just blame the annoying brats next door and then move.

Wait, that's my baby?! I'm outta here. 

Larry Cohen, the proud dad of the It's Alive Trilogy

1 comment:

The Film Connoisseur said...

I remember seeing part I and not liking it very much, but this one looks like it might actually be a fun watch.

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