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It's Alive

3.6 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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(Oct 05, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A couple expecting a baby discover it's a monster that kills when it's scared.

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary:Commentary by Writer/Director Larry Cohen
Theatrical Trailer:Trailers of this and the sequels "It Lives Again" and "It's Alive III: Island of the Alive"


A young couple joyously awaiting the birth of their newborn is in for a horrifying surprise in this thrilling low-budget '70s hit. It's Alive wastes no time in establishing that there is something terribly wrong with the Davies' new baby in a shocking opening "escape" sequence not intended for the faint of heart. As baby "It's Alive" makes its way home from the hospital destroying anything in its path, the Davies must face an impossible dilemma, and a parent's worse nightmare!

An interesting hybrid of melodrama and monster movie, It's Alive focuses more on story and satirical social commentary than blood and gore, finding a balanced tone of realism meets camp. In the tradition of other great monster movies, clever quick-edit shots of the baby are introduced to the audience in small doses, building some solid suspense. Sure, there's mandatory suspension of belief involved, but who has time to ponder gaping holes in logic when an entire metropolis lives in fear of a baby monstrosity?

Maverick independent film maker Larry Cohen struck gold with this chilling "it could happen to you" tale of terror which went on to gain cult status and spawn two sequels (It Lives Again and Island of the Alive). Featuring some strong performances, genuinely creepy creature effects by master of make-up artist Rick Baker (King Kong, Star Wars, Men in Black), and a marvelously effective score by legendary composer Bernard Hermann (Psycho, The Birds, Kill Bill Vol. 1), It's Alive is schlock at its best. --Matt Wold

Special Features

  • Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: John P. Ryan, Sharon Farrell, Andrew Duggan, Guy Stockwell, James Dixon
  • Directors: Larry Cohen
  • Writers: Larry Cohen
  • Producers: Larry Cohen, Janelle Webb, Peter Sabiston
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2004
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002KQNKY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,144 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "It's Alive" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Larry Cohen has always had fun making no-frills, slightly creepy "B" Horror movies. As a result, his films tend to be non-cerebral, quirky, violent, cheesy-looking, infectiously funny, and, most of all, fun. It is in this spirit of fun that I write this review for one of Cohen's most memorable and fun films, IT'S ALIVE! (1974).
The plot is simple: a relatively normal (though slightly quirky) middle-aged couple with an 11-year-old son, who decided to have one more child, is going through what is obviously a prolonged, painful pregnancy for the expectant soon-to-be-second-time-mother. The Davis family, consisting of Frank (John P. Ryan), Lenore (Sharon Farrell) and Chris (Daniel Holzman) just want to get through it, already. Lenore finally goes into labor one night, and the whole family drives to the hospital, during which time Frank tries to lighten the mood with a little humor. During the interminable wait in the hospital lobby, Frank overhears two men discussing something about the toxins being released into the environment and how scientists are warning of the possible mutations this could cause for humans. Suddenly, a badly wounded doctor comes stumbling out of the O/R and drops dead on the hallway floor. Frank and the others run into the room to find a scene of sheer horror: five doctors and nurses dead, their throats all torn and bloody. As they stare in shock and amazement, Lenore (who is uninjured) delivers the chilling news: she gave birth to a newborn baby monster. As Frank and the police try to find the Davis' mutated son, who had escaped the hospital through a ventilation shaft, Baby Davis tries to find his way home by himself, dispatching several unaware victims in the process.
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Format: DVD
I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The relatively mixed reviews did a good job of lowering my expectations. What I realize now, which I hadn't then, is that 'It's Alive' is a film that is prominent enough and strange enough that it's more likely to draw the attention of non-horror buffs. So when I hear this being accused of being cheap and incompetent, what I'm thinking is a lot different from what the writer likely is. Sure, this film is cheap, but as far as low-budget 70's horror goes this is fairly sharp and professional, and stands alongside most of the 'Classic' films of the era fairly nicely. (And it is, technically, definitely a cut above a few of them, such as 'The Last House on the Left' and 'Shivers'.) It's an odd film though, in execution, in that it takes an extremely odd, outrageous premise and creates a relatively uneventful, low-key film. If you're looking to see a film with a whole lotta baby combat you're probably gonna be disappointed. It's got some of that, no doubt, but the film is more interested in the infant's family. Of all the 70's cult horror films I've seen, `It's Alive' is unquestionably the one that is most interested in the people in the film. Needless to say, that isn't going to be to everyone's taste, but it worked for me.

Technically this film is competent, though it does have a few particularly rough edits. The acting isn't great, but it's perhaps above average for this sorta film, with out a single stunningly bad performance. Special note goes to John Ryan as Frank Davis. His stoicism could be interpreted as simply wooden acting, but however you take it it fits the role well enough. Again, the film is mostly about how the baby's rampage effects him, so you need to like and be interested in the guy, and I was.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
We're pushed (or dragged) from our mothers' wombs kicking, screaming, disorientated, all misshaped, covered in viscous goo, and just generally unhappy, but it's not surprising, as the world can be a cold, harsh place, unlike that from hence we came. Let's face it, once the cord is cut, you're out there, for better or worse...now usually things settle after the birth, as babies settle into a regular routine of sleeping, crying, drooling, eating, and messing their pants, allowing for those that brought them into this world to take care of all their needs, as they're are totally helpless and completely dependant on the kindness of others...right? That's pretty much what I thought, and so did Mr. And Mrs. Davis...but we were both wrong....so very wrong...

It's Alive (1974), not to be confused with the dreadful 1969 Larry Buchanan made for TV movie of the same name, was written and directed by the extremely multi-faceted schlock auteur Larry Cohen, who's had some recent successes with stories produced into the films Phone Booth (2002), Cellular (2004), and Captivity, scheduled for 2004, but will probably see a release in '05. It's Alive stars John P. Ryan (Class of 1999) and Sharon Farrell (Night of the Comet). Also appearing is William Wellman Jr. (The Puppet Masters), James Dixon (Q: The Winged Serpent), and Andrew Duggan (Bone).

Frank (Ryan) and Lenore (Farrell) Davis are expecting a baby...and now it's hospital time as the birth is nearing. Things appear normal, but difficulties arise as the doctor estimates the bambino a whopping 11 pounds (ouch!)...
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Topic From this Discussion
It's Alive - Rating
As far as I know "It's Alive" was always rated PG. The R rating on the videocassette may have been as misprint because only the second and third films are rated R. I hope this helps a little bit.
Feb 17, 2007 by Michael S. Admire |  See all 3 posts
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