Saturday, September 14, 2013

1974 - IT'S ALIVE. the killer mutant baby movie

A woman gives birth to a mutant big headed baby that kills everyone in the delivery room and then escapes in Larry Cohen's horror film that either has something to say about the nature of parenthood or is a 90 minute ad for Trojan condoms.

Larry Cohen knew how to go there with exploitative horror films like this.  The whole idea of a pharmaceutical drug being responsible for mutant killer babies has a kind of deranged cleverness to it.

Cohen loaded the cast up with veteran character actors like Andrew Duggan, Michael Ansara, Guy Stockwell and Robert Emhardt but it's the performances of the two leads John Ryan and Sharon Farrell that are kind of amazing.  They bring a seriousness and intensity to their roles as the mother and father that is overwhelming.  It's like someone forgot to tell them they were in a Larry Cohen film.

Bernard Herrmann composed the music, probably not one of his more memorable scores and the legendary special effects expert Rick Baker made the model of the killer baby which Cohen was smart enough to only photograph in shadows.

A very clever low budget horror film.

91 minutes

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