It Lives Again (1978)

it lives again poster 1978 movie
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Mutant killer babies always are good

Doesn't push the themes of the first movie far enough, feels like rehash, doesn't use its R-Rating

Movie Info

Movie Name:   It Lives Again

Studio:   Larco Productions

Genre(s):   Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):   May 10, 1978

MPAA Rating:   R

it lives again kathleen lloyd frederic forrester parents

Parenting is hard…especially when your child is a murderous beast

Eugene and Jody Scott (Frederic Forrest and Kathleen Lloyd) are expecting their first child when they receive a warning from Frank Davis (John P. Ryan).  The child has tested positive for the genetic defect that turned his child into a monster, and the police intend to kill it at birth.  With Frank’s help, Eugene and Jody get their son to a lab where scientists are trying to help teach the children who they see as the next step of evolution.  Unfortunately, Mallory (John Marley) and a team of officers is out to stop them…but the babies might have a plan of their own.

Written and directed by Larry Cohen, It Lives Again is also sometimes called It’s Alive II.  The low budget horror film is a sequel to It’s Alive from 1974.  It was met with mixed to negative reviews.

The video store we went to didn’t have the It’s Alive films, and as a result, I wanted to see it.  It was years until I had access to both movies on vacation.  While It’s Alive was rated PG, It Lives Again received an R-Rating.  With this, you hope for a gorier or more gruesome film…unfortunately, It Lives Again just devolves into It’s Alive after a while.

it lives again mutant baby monster kills john p ryan

No…these babies are fine! Oops…my bad

The movie just keep going.  The first part of the film is “getting the baby” and this is a bit of a heist movie.  The second part is “training the babies” which goes poorly.  The third part is just a rehash of It’s Alive again with the baby coming for the parents and the parents deciding they love the little demon seed.  It feels very segmented and drags.  It also kind of proves everyone who is trying to kill the babies are right…they are dangerous and they kill and attack the people around them at the drop of a hat.

John Ryan returns as Frank Davis and for some reason he believes now that every mutant baby loves him (which gets him killed).  The new parents are played by Frederic Forrest and Kathleen Lloyd who once again decide a baby is a baby (even if it has fangs, claws, and kills).  John Marley hunts the group and has his own dark secret…which once again actually seems to prove him right.

it lives again mutant baby

Mooooom….you always shoot me!

Despite the success of the first It’s Alive, It Lives Again doesn’t really seem to improve on Rick Baker’s effects.  The film reuses Bernard Hermann’s music and shows the mutant babies a bit more, but for the most part you just get “baby vision” (again) and quick glimpses…leaving you wishing for a bigger reveal.

It Lives Again just doesn’t seem to push It’s Alive further and it feels like it should.  The movie is a circular movie with the beginning resembling the ending and the whole movie just feels oddly like the first film because of how it ends.  With strange pacing, questionable character actions, and not enough mutant baby appearances, It Lives Again just doesn’t quite reach It’s Alive which was only so-so to begin with…but hey, it does have a killer baby.  It Lives Again was followed by It’s Alive 3:  Island of the Alive in 1987.

Related Links:

It’s Alive (1974)

It’s Alive 3:  Island of the Alive (1987)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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