Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Alive (1974)

Okay, so I haven't watched [Rec] yet but I did manage to catch It's Alive (1974) last night. I was digging it, remembering seeing it as a wee lad on the CBS late movie. Still a pretty scary flick. Man, John Ryan was horror gold back in the day, I tells ya. I was about an hour into the movie when I realized how much he reminded me of Lance Henrikson. Sweaty+intense=John Ryan
john p. ryan

So, a quick plot summary: Frank and Lenore Davis (John Ryan and Sharon Farrell, respectively) are eagerly awaiting the birth of their second child. Sadly, this one turns out to be a blood-thirsty mutant who kills everyone in the delivery room and escapes to terrorize Los Angeles. Lenore goes slightly cuckoo and Frank stalks around glowering,denying paternity and smoking. Demon baby makes with the kill-kill (including one foxy mama in white go-go boots) and wackiness ensues.

Rick Baker's evil baby puppet was pretty horrific especially when considering he was in his early twenties and still counting his production credits on one hand. I made a kid in my early twenties and he wasn't nearly as scary as this.

Anywho, the real star of It's Alive was Guy Stockwell's way-too-short role as Ryan's boss. My man Guy just exudes cheesy 70's hipness. Whether "rapping" with his subordinates, snapping breakfast orders to his secretary or just flaunting the chest mane in a half-open floral print, Guy is definitely too with it to deal with this mutant baby drag and the downer it's causing for his PR firm.

It's Alive spawned two sequels (It Lives Again! and Island of the Alive) and has recently been remade by Josef Rusnak with the shockingly original title of It's Alive.

While I'm on the subject, let me state for the record that while I don't feel that any movie is so epic or genre-defining that it can't be remade, I'm more than a little exasperated by the flood of horror "re-imaginings" Hollywood has foisted upon us for the last few years. Fahcryinoutloud, it's not like there aren't original writers and directors out there with something new to show us! Sure, the occasional retread is cool but for every success (Dawn of the Dead) there are about a dozen crash-n-burns (>cough! cough! Black Christmas).

Thus endeth the sermon. For now.

So, final verdict for It's Alive!: 6 1/2 brain splattered trowels.

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