It Lives Again (1978)

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It Lives Again (1978)

Post  BoG on Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:50 pm


This was the sequel to IT'S ALIVE (74), by the same writer-director Larry Cohen. Also returning was John Ryan as Frank Davis, the father of the mutant baby in the previous film. This film is about 4 years later, but Frank looks about a decade older - purposefully? He now visits prospective parents of probable future mutants, warning them that the government has targeted parents who have the same blood make-up as the mother in the 1st film. This changes the impression of the birth scene in the 1st film, as Frank mentions that the government already knew about the impending birth of the mutant back then and tried to strangle the baby during birth, which is why it killed everyone in the delivery room. When we saw the scene in the first film, the impression was that the baby simply killed for no reason or due to an irrational fear.
I'm not sure this was the proper way to go for Cohen; he wants to give reasons for why these mutant babies are so violent and so make them even more sympathetic for the audience, but later scenes show the little monsters to be virtually uncontrollable, with an unreasonable blood lust. Anyway, this film starts in Tuscon, Arizona, where Frank meets with the latest expectant couple, the Scotts (Forrest & Lloyd). Frank, wracked with guilt and sorrow over the events of the first film, is now on a mission to save these new offshoots of evolution, working with some doctors (Duggan & Constantine) to protect them from government forces. The point man for the government is played by John Marley; he's very focused on exterminating the mutants, for personal reasons. The altruistic doctors are of the opinion that evolution has decided the way and it's all bigger than someone's personal convictions.
Much of the film then takes place in a secret compound where the Scotts' baby and two other mutant tykes are kept, usually locked up since even the helpful doctors realize that these babies are, uh, dangerous. This does repeat most of the themes from the 1st film, with young father Mr. Scott now struggling with his feelings for his monster-like son, but this does advance the story, unlike most sequels nowadays. This expands on the theme of a society reacting to aberrations in its midst, adjusting public policy to fit the new threat. It doesn't present any easy solutions; it suggests that there will always be people who decide to help the mutant babies, but these same people may very well end up as victims of what are still monsters. James Dixon also reprises his role as the police detective; in the 2nd half here, he's called back to help hunt down the mutants due to his experience in the previous film. The epilogue was filmed on the streets of San Francisco. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
ABOVE: Cohen..................................
>>>>>>>>>There was a 3rd film much later -Arrow IT'S ALIVE III:ISLAND OF THE ALIVE (1987).
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