Jun 28, 2010

Final Girl Film Club: It's Alive (1974)

Note: This post is a part of Stacie Ponder's Final Girl Film Club. She picks 'em, we review 'em.  It's not rocket science, people!


It's Alive is one of those schlocky horror flicks from my youth that I had always thought I had seen.  But as it turns out, I never had.  Not in it's entirety, at least.  I do remember the commercials for it when I was a kid, and they truly scared the bejeebus outta me.  Little did little me know that this was more of a comedy than anything else.  It was a comedy, right?

The fun starts with the wacky hipster Davis couple.  Frank is a slick-dressing, chain-smoking advertising man of the 70's and his wife Lenore is expecting their first baby.  Sure, they thought about abortion, but as the lovable Frank says "Doesn't everybody inquire about it nowadays?  It's just a question of convenience and we decided to have the baby."  Ah...what a card!

Turns out that abortion might have been the way to go as little baby Davis is born with the most adorable set of claws and scary teefusses.  Then the little guy immediately goes samurai on the delivery room staff.  Have you ever seen such a cute baby?  So advanced for such a little guy.  And he doesn't stop there.  Soon he's killing go-go dancers, rock musicians, school teachers, milkmen and some of the dumbest cops ever caught on film.  There is this hilarious scene where the keystone cops surround the kid in a backyard because they heard it crying.  Only it turns out...wacka wacka wacka...IT WAS JUST A NORMAL BABY CRYING!

Ooops! Wrong kid!  Silly keystone cops...


It's a laugh riot!

One of the best lines comes from one of the dumb cops when they spot a blood trail leading into a sewer.  "That's it!  That's how it can travel the length of the city without anyone seeing it!"  So this newborn with the oh-so-funny claws is traveling miles and miles of sewers just to bring the comedy to the entire city?  I don't blame the dumbs cops in this particular situation for not figuring that out right away.  It just seems so unlikely and it may just represent a huge plot-hole in the film.  I wonder if the producers of the film re-thought that line in the edit room?

/sarcasm

OK, so it wasn't a comedy.  I get that now.  But seriously, don't you think it should have been?  From the awful fashions to the awful acting to the awful dialogue to the awful production.  It was just awful.  But also a little bit of fun.  The little monster baby was hilarious to look at the few times they actually showed it to us a little.  Especially peering out of a tunnel in the sewers during the final showdown.  That really made me smile.

And the film did have a message.  Kids are bad and evil and we should stop them.  See?

The 70's were filled with subliminal messages

You learn something.  I learn something.  It's all good.  Even if they were preaching to the choir with this particular message.

But nay readers, I didn't stop there.  No sirreebob!  Because Netflix also had the remake starring Bijou Phillips available for Instant streaming at the time.  This was like a perfect storm of killer baby, er, ness.   No way I was going to be able to go to bed that night without doing a little taste-test comparison.  And I'd love to tell you that it was as craptastic as the original, but no...it really, really sucked.    There was no hint of the goofy over-the-top irony of the first film.  Just a bad CGI devil baby with retractable claws.  And a mother who was much more of an enabler than she should have been.  Sure, maybe you turn a blind eye towards your child escaping the crib once to kill and devour some of the local wildlife.  But after the first time she should have laid down the law.  Lazy parents.

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Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. "I like children - fried" - W.C. Fields.

10 comments:

Slyde said...

this is one of those terrible 70's movies that has always been on my list to see...

B.E. Earl said...

Slyde - You can watch it instantly on Netflix.

Heff said...

I remember the movie trailer for that from when I was a kid. I still haven't seen it EITHER.

B.E. Earl said...

Heff - No beer like the present. Time, er...I meant time.

sybil law said...

Add me to the list of people who've never seen this movie... and probably never will...

B.E. Earl said...

Sybil - It's an oh-so-exclusive club you belong to. :)

Water Logged Canine said...

Roku mothafugga!

B.E. Earl said...

Doggie - No picture? :(

Paticus said...

You do realize that It's Alive was the first film of a trilogy, right?
There's also It's Alive II:It Lives Again, and It's Alive III:Island Of the Alive!!

B.E. Earl said...

Paticus - My eyes would literally bleed watching the rest of those.