Directed & written by Larry Cohen
Cinematography by Fenton Hamilton
Music by Bernard Herrmann
Cast: John Ryan, Sharon Farrell, Andrew Duggan, Guy Stockwell, James Dixon & Michael Ansara
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/US/NTSC Region 1
Review from Warner Brothers DVD
Frank (John Ryan) and Lenore Davis (Sharon Farrell) are a happy couple about to have their second child. But, when she gives birth, she has a murderous, mutant baby. It escapes from the hospital and goes on a killing rampage terrorizing the town. The husband wants it dead, as do the authorities as the body count rises.
A cult classic, writer/ producer/ director Larry Cohen’s movie actually works. In lesser hands this would have been a silly, little horror film, but thankfully that is not the case, here. The movie is deftly directed and strongly dramatic. It does not veer into camp at any time. The acting is strong, with John Ryan give an emotional and well handled performance. Farrell is also quite good going from sympathetic to unstable, sometimes within the course of a single scene. The other thing that elevates this film is the wonderful score by Bernard Herrmann. As always, the master truly delivered the goods, here.
Rick Baker did the good creature effects. By keeping the baby mostly in the shadows it is scarier and more convincing. Despite the PG-rating the film contains some scenes of violence and gore, that would never be seen in a film of this rating today. The movie was successful enough to spawn two sequels, IT LIVES AGAIN and IT’S ALIVE III: ISLAND OF THE ALIVE. This one, inarguably, remains the best in the entire series.
Warner Brothers gives birth to IT’S ALIVE in this DVD that captures the film in its 1.85:1 anamophic widescreen aspect ratio. At the beginning of the film, there are some pops and crackles, but after that the film looks simply great! The colors are rich and, overall, gorgeous. The flesh tones look nice and consistent. The mono sound is clear, and the beautiful score comes off nice and loud.
There aren’t many extras, but the commentary by Cohen is really quite interesting. He has some great anecdotes and stories about the actors and crew; in particular, when it comes to Herrmann, which are some of the best moments in the entire commentary. Also, fascinating to hear is how the film became a hit three year after it was initially released, as well as his and the film’s themes and ideas of family and babies. There are a few moments of silence, but nothing to detract from the overall quality of what he says.
Also featured is the film’s own trailer, as well as the trailers for the two aforementioned sequels. The movie is broken up into twenty-three chapters accessible from the static menu, which has the score playing over it. When one picks what one wants three scratches (much like the mutant baby’s claws) appear over the choice. The disc comes in a keep case that has no inlet card.
This Film Features:
Review by Giovanni Deldio. All Right Reserved. 2007. ©