IT LIVES AGAIN (1979) Sequel to It's Alive has much more of the same.

itlivesagain_usposter01Theme Song: I’m 90% certain the exact same Bernard Hermann soundtrack from It’s Alive was recycled for this movie. I’m not even certain they got permission from his estate to do so.

Interesting Dated References: More discontinued crayon colors, some type of bizarre attack on vegan/vegetarian living that made no sense.

Best Line: Nothing of note.

Social Context: Not much in the original, and not much in this sequel.

Summary: So I don’t know how things go at your house, but when if I have a party, I usually know everyone who shows up. If I feel I don’t know someone, I’ll introduce myself. Well, in the land of It Lives Again, if a stranger shows up to your baby shower, you wait until after the party ends, once everyone else has gone, to ask the guy who he is. That person is Frank Davis (John P. Ryan reprising his role from It’s Alive). He tells the lovely young couple with the shag carpet that resembles stone that their baby is a mutant-child, much like his was. Because Frank is some type of celebrity, they instantly believe his story and both recognize him from the news.

The father of said soon-to-be mutant-child, Eugene Scott, is played by none other than always underrated Frederic Forrest (most commonly known as Chef from Apocalypse Now, or the white power military nut from Falling Down). So, Frank informs the parents-to-be that they are under surveillance and that the government plans on killing their baby. He offers them the services of some kooky scientist friend of his who will deliver the baby and keep it alive so they can study it.

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Convenient to the plot, the expectant mother goes into birth that night, just as the mobile mad scientist lab arrives at Frank’s hotel room. Of course, Frank misses the phone call from Mr. Scott, and they instead decide to go to the hospital where the mother-to-be is separated from the husband. There are police everywhere at the hospital, and Frank sneaks in by holding a clipboard and acting like a doctor.

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I should mention the cop in charge is none other than John Marley, who is determined to kill the baby, and for some reason he’s allowed into the delivery room with a gun. Oh, and look at this:

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There are 20 fucking people in the labor room staring at this lady’s vagina. She’s all on display and doesn’t even notice them, or at least not for a few minutes, at which time Marley chases them out. Frank barges in and holds a gun on Marley as he and the husband push Mrs. Scott outside and into the awaiting truck/mobile-baby-having vehicle.

In the mobile delivery unit, the baby is born as Frank forces Marley to drive. Somewhere along the way, the baby, the doctor, and the baby daddy escape and get in a different car. When the truck is finally blocked in by police, Frank is arrested, but quickly released.

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The preferred method of mutant-baby transport is boogie van. So the doctor, the baby daddy, and the baby all arrive at the hi-tech research facility. Meanwhile, back in La La Land, Mrs. Scott gets a phone call on a payphone while standing in a grocery store parking lot. I don’t mean she randomly answers the phone, I mean, she’s standing in a parking lot and someone runs up to her and says, “Mrs. So-and-so, you have a phone call on the payphone.” I need someone to verify if this sort of thing ever used to happen.

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So Mrs. Scott has some people take her to the research facility. Mustard carpet, Frank drinks, Mrs. Scott bickers with her husband, he goes for a swim, babies escape, cops invade, Frank goes running off with baby in his arms (deja vu), but then the baby kills him. After this seemingly eventful/symbolic moment, the police lock the Scott’s into some vacation home. Eventually their baby finds them there.

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Then the police decide to cover the house in an inconspicuous tarp so they can gas everyone, but ultimately decide to rescue the couple, and somewhere in there, Marley got semi-attacked by the baby and the dad shoots the kid a bunch.

The closing scene has Mr. Scott standing on the street corner confronting a young couple about their baby. The box for this movie goes out of it’s way to tout the special effects of Rick Baker, yet you never once get a very clear view of the baby that isn’t an extreme close-up or is very obviously a puppet.

Poster and Box Art: The poster for It Lives Again is excellent. Minimal with an excellent drawing as the main focus. I remember seeing this poster for years and always thinking it looked cool.

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This poster was designed to coincide with the re-release of the original movie. Again, it’s very effective and has become very iconic. Apparently all involved were so confused regarding the title that they renamed the movie It’s Alive 2 for this poster. Both posters get a thumbs up though.

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There was also this foreign poster that is almost going for a direct Rosemary’s Baby rip-off.

Availability: Readily available on DVD from Amazon with It’s Alive and It’s Alive 3.

3 comments

  • There’s no way to describe it not being pervy because it is pervy. It’s like saying “My grandmother would stick her tongue down my throat when we kissed hello, but it wasn’t like THAT.” Man’s hands on boy’s butt cheeks = pervy activity.

  • I come for the reviews, I stay for the rants. This blog really gets better and better.I don’t know what the deal was in the late 70s with that ass-grabbing. When I was 12 my Uncle Cosmo grabbed my butt cheek and shook it while hugging me. There’s no way to describe it without it sounding pervy, but it was just one of those things. He was just one of those old Italian tough guys.

  • Apparently Bernard Herrman originally wasn’t going to do Taxi Driver until he saw the scene of Bickle pouring Peach Schnapps into his cereal. I cannot verify this. However I still deeply enjoy the opening dark orchestra swells and thumps and always consider it the soundtrack of pouring schnapps into cereal instead of Bernard Herrman’s last score.When are you going to review Thou Shalt Not Kill Except? This blog is all fired up.

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