It’s Alive (1974)

its alive poster 1974 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 4/10

Decent story and ideas

Bad rubber baby

Movie Info

Movie Name:   It’s Alive

Studio:   Warner Bros.

Genre(s):   Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):   October 18, 1974

MPAA Rating:   PG

its alive birth doctors killed john ryan sharon farrell

Doctors won’t say it, but 1 in 3 births end up like this…government cover-up

The arrival of a new baby is usually met with joy…but for Frank and Lenore Davis (John Ryan and Sharon Farrell), it has turned into a nightmare.  When their baby is born, it murders everyone in the delivery room and escapes the hospital.  Now, Frank and Lenore are under the public microscope as the baby continues a murderous path across Los Angeles and it seems to be searching for something.  There is one thing wrong with the Davis baby…it’s alive!

Written and directed by Larry Cohen, It’s Alive is a horror B-movie.  The film had an unsuccessful release in 1974 but was released in 1977 with a new advertising campaign that fared better.  It was met with mixed reviews.

I can remember wanting to see It’s Alive growing up.  The movie had a great VHS case (of the poster) with a claw and a warning about the Davis Baby.  It was everything you’d want as a kid (and PG too).  It’s Alive is one of those great “bad” movies.

its alive mutant baby school

I love my playtime…even if it gets bloody

I actually had the novelization of the film which helped expand upon the film.  The book pushed the idea of the dangers of medicine (like the Thalidomide problem which caused mutations in children).  This was lessened in the movie, but the issues of parental fears and parental “blame” are interesting.  It is combined with a kind of cheesy horror movie plot that does work.

The cast of the film is rather solid.  John Ryan and Sharon Farrell are good as the two sides of the coin.  John Ryan plays the father who rejects the idea that he could create something evil and has the tougher role.  Sharon Farrell plays the wife who accepts her child regardless of its appearance or behavior (it also has an indication that the Frank character had fears of being a father before).

its alive ending frank davis baby john ryan

I’ve changed my mind. Don’t kill my murderous bundle joy!

The movie is really low budget.  The mutant baby was barely scene and often played with puppets and people in costumes for the short glimpses.  They overdo the POV camera shot of the baby and Rick Baker provided the puppet effects.  With “knowing” It’s Alive before seeing it, it was a little disappoint when I finally did see it because the book painted a picture of a fluid bouncing nightmare baby.  The movie also feature a score by famed composer Bernard Herrmann.

I admire It’s Alive for at least trying something different.  There’s been killer kids, killer animals, and the basic mass murderers, but a killer baby was something new.  It should have really played up the fears of parenthood and “ownership” of parents…it almost makes it.  It’s Alive was followed by a sequel It Lives Again (or something called It’s Alive II) in 1978 and a remake in 2009.

Related Links:

It Lives Again (1978)

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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