September 14, 2015

It's Alive III: Island of the Alive

Oh boy. Larry Cohen and Michael Moriarty don't let us down in this one. Moriarty carries this movie (whether by design or by force is unclear) which is always a good time, and we're talking about a movie franchise that revolves around killer babies, how can you go wrong? The title tells you know how much they intend to amp up the crazy in this installment, but what it doesn't tell you is how gleefully they overshoot that mark...

The plot unfolds something like this: The parents of mutant babies are tired of seeing their children murdered in cold blood so, they form a class action suit against the city. The demand? For the city to make reasonable accommodations for the baby-monsters in an effort to end the killing. The parents win and the city ships the baby-monsters to a remote island where they'll be free to live out a natural life. Everyone's happy! Well, everyone but the babies...

Sounds straightforward enough right? But then... : The island is a former testing ground for nuclear devices and the radiation accelerates the baby-monster's growth. Five years after they're left on the island a group of scientists lead an expedition to make contact with the babies (who are now adults) to see how they're developing without human interference... or something. The group insists Stephen Jarvis (Moriarty's character) come along even though he totally does not want to. This causes the already unstable Jarvis to become extra erratic. He breaks into song, sings over dialogue, says nasty stuff to the scientist crew but plays it off as joking, and he laughs while delivering lines. (It's kinda hard to tell if Moriarty's acting, or just reacting to negative interactions with people on set.)

More insanity with some SPOILERS: The adult-monsters force Jarvis to take them to Florida on the boat the scientists came on. (Never mind that Jarvis only knows how to operated the boat because he asked the crew a few questions during the sailing montage.) But as they near land, Jarvis' kid throws him overboard seemingly in an attempt to save him from the other monsters. [GIANT SPOILER AHEAD!] Lucky for Jarvis some Cuban militants find him adrift in the ocean and take him to Cuba! Yes that's right, now he's in Cuba and has to convince the militants to take him to Florida.

Oh yeah! Karen Black is in this movie: Karen plays Jarvis' ex-wife and mother of their monster-son. She's changed her identity and started a new life in an effort to run from her past, but somehow the monsters know exactly where she is.

Things to watch for: Asinine stop motion baby effects. Moriarty breaking into song at the most inappropriate times. The flimsiest excuse to end an expedition ever (“Someone's already been here? Back to the ship everyone!” might be the actual line). Moriarty having to act as though the monsters are present when there wasn't enough money in the budget to have them on set. Asinine adult-monster costumes.

Things to look away for: For some reason the filmmakers (or script writers) didn't feel there was enough violence in this franchise installment, so there are two separate sexual assault attempts in the last third of the film. Both are out-of-the-clear-blue and neither fit into the larger plot by any stretch of the imagination.

The best movie to double-feature this with: Salem's Lot 2. It not only features the star and director pair, but Moriarty is another a dad with a problem kid.


  1. Is this movie playing tonight? Sorry I'm new here.

  2. No. This is just one of the movies we are writing up for our "How did this get made?" theme for the month. Basically we couldn't think of a better theme to fit this months movie without giving it away.