1987 / Director. Larry Cohen.
Larry Cohen's IT'S ALIVE trilogy is a schlocky B-movie freak-show that masquerades as an environmental horror series. The first film was made in 1973 and for it's time it was horrifying. At a time when man's damage to the environment was starting to become realised, Cohen wrote his little movie about the dangers of so many poisons in the air. The result was IT'S ALIVE, a nasty story of a vicious mutant baby, which terrorised the streets. Five years later he returned with a sequel and expanded on the concept with multitudes of mutant babies unleashed for a frenzied killing spree. Still hungry for more he returned for one more instalment and concluded the series with ISLAND OF THE ALIVE. With the mutant babies under control, they are humanely quarantined to a desolate and remote island. It's not long before they are growing and breeding and unleashing a whole new terror. This is a fun series and the 3rd chapter is definitely my favourite of the trilogy. In classic Larry Cohen form, the movie is so absurd and yet wonderfully realised. He approached the movie stylishly and it comes across as though he respected it as he would a legitimate masterpiece. The cast is great with Cohen regular Michael Moriarty leading the film and Karen Black lending a great support. The movie was made at a time when special FX were really evolving and CGI was starting to make waves... but Cohen chose to maintain his cheap and cheesy creature designs... the mutants are still schlocky-looking puppets and rubber suits and there's no doubt in my mind that it's this stubborn refusal to budge that makes ISLAND OF THE ALIVE so charming and whimsical. It feels very much like a creature feature from the 60s. Heaps of fun. Love this series. Avoid the recent remake of IT'S ALIVE at all costs.