It’s Alive Trilogy (Blu-ray Review)

It’s Alive Trilogy (Blu-ray Review)
Rated: R & PG/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 3
Available from Scream Factory

It’s Alive (1974)
Directed By: Larry Cohen
Starring: John P. Ryan, Sharon Farrell, Andrew Duggan
Rated: PG/1:85/1080p

Heavily pregnant Lenore Davis tells her husband, Frank, that she is in labor. They leave their eleven year-old son Chris with their friend Charley and they head to the Community Hospital. Lenore feels that something is wrong and delivers a monster that kills the team in the delivery room and escapes through a skylight. Lieutenant Perkins comes to the hospital to investigate the murder and the press divulges the identity of the parents. Frank discovers a dark secret about Lenore and the baby.

It’s Alive kind of comes across as the live action version of why you shouldn’t have children. Or maybe it is just a big ol’ metaphor for a man and his fear of becoming a father? It isn’t something that hasn’t been done before, but with this film coming out in 1974 it might have beat a good chunk of them on the release. Like just about every Larry Cohen film I’ve seen this movie makes what would be a great midnight movie. It just has that vibe flowing from it from almost the first shot. You can watch it and just imagine seeing it late night at some drive-in or at some shady theater. It shows you a vibe that is lost on a good deal of movies that comes along these days. The mutant baby in question is cool, but we don’t see it much as the movie goes with the less is more method with that.

The movie does tend to creep at a slower pace from time to time, something that you usually expect from horror films of the 70’s. This is something that probably depends more on the environment of the film and the mood it creates, but that isn’t always a bad thing. This is for sure a movie trying to build up characters and add to what happens, some stuff is a bit predictable but it is just a fun watch none the less and it is a movie I think most people will enjoy. Especially if you watch this one late at night. The transfer is strong as well and this one comes with the most extras of the set.

Extras

– NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
– NEW Cohen’s Alive: Looking Back At The It’s Alive Films Featuring Interviews With Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen, Actors James Dixon, Michael Moriarty And Laurene Landon, And More…
– NEW It’s Alive At The Nuart: The 40th Anniversary Screening With Larry Cohen
– Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen
– Radio Spots
– TV Spots
– Theatrical Trailer
– Still Gallery

Quality of Transfer: 90%

It Lives Again (1978)
Directed By: Larry Cohen
Starring: Frederic Forrest, Kathleen Lloyd, John P. Ryan
Rated: R/1:85/1080p

An epidemic of mutant monster babies sweeps America.

The father from the original film is back this time around in order to try to help some soon to be parents that are dealing with the same thing he did before. This time around the government are trying to round up all these babies at birth and kill them before they have time to kill anyone, while we also have a group that thinks these mutated babies are just misunderstood. Like before, this movie does seem to depend on mood and character performances. We don’t see much of the babies, even with more of them, but this again is done to try to make it mean more when we see them.

This works in my book as it produces a sequel that is different but probably still on the same level as the original. We do get a bit more blood here and there and heavier language but it goes along well with what we’ve seen before with the original. I like seeing the dad from the first film back and out of the new couple, I think we have a really solid leading lady with Kathleen Lloyd who I’ve always been a fan of. This movie is a bit light on the extras but does have a solid transfer that looks pretty darn good in my book as you can tell from the screenshots I’ve attached. It makes a good 1/2 punch with part one before things get all sorts of weird in part 3.

Extras

– NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
– Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen
– Theatrical Trailer
– Still Gallery

Quality of Transfer: 90%

It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987)
Directed By: Larry Cohen
Starring: Michael Moriarty, Karen Black, Laurene Landon
Rated: R/1:85/1080p

The mutant babies have been placed by court order on a deserted island. Appalled by the cycnicism and exploitation of the children by the legal system and the media, the man responsible for them leads an expedition to the island to free them.

Things get all sorts of weird in the very 1987, It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive. People are still fighting for the rights of these mutant babies which leads to them being sent to an island all by themselves. This then leads to people going over there to find one and bring it back for science reasons. Of course, when they get there they find they are much bigger and some have families of their own in this way bloodier entry in the trilogy. The two things you’ll notice about this one is the annoying characters and the fact that despite promoting the island in the title, we really don’t spend a whole lot of time on this island. So, we have a bit of a Jason Takes Manhattan thing there with that part of it.

But the fact is this one doesn’t do a whole lot for me. And we have some really bad comedy out of our leading man. The movie tends to be a bit all over the place, but at least it does try to do something different being. A trend these movies manage to keep doing for all three movies. Not one is really the same as the others in plot, but this one has a loss of the classic atmosphere and mood that the other two has, but that probably comes from being in the 80’s and not the 70’s like the other films. The movie does look pretty good in HD and might just look better than the other two if we get down to brass tax about it.

Extras

– NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
– NEW Interview With Special Effects Makeup Designer Steve Neill
– Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen
– Trailer
– Still Gallery

Quality of Transfer: 94%