Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Alive II: It Lives Again (1978)

 It's Alive II: It Lives Again

Written & Directed by Larry Cohen

Frank Davis...John P. Ryan
Eugene Scott...Frederic Forrest
Jody Scott...Kathleen Lloyd
Mr. Mallory...John Marley
Dr. Perry...Andrew Duggan

Frank Davis, father of the O.G. monster baby, returns in this sequel.  Since the finale of the first film, Frank has had a change of heart and deeply regrets the fate of his son.  With more and more of these mutant babies cropping up across America, the government has assembled a task force lead by the formidable Mr. Mallory to deal with the births as soon as they happen.

Enter Frank and his middle-aged A-Team of true believers who spirit the mothers, fathers and newborns across state lines via an intricate underground railroad to their secret medical compound in Los Angeles.

Eugene and Jody Scott are the latest happy couple to squeeze out a Mini-Nosferatu.  Upon their arrival at the hospital, they learn that there are two other infants there--Adam and Eve, natch!--and the good Doctor Perry is studying them to determine their true natures.  He believes that they are not sub-human, but rather super-human, the next great step in the evolutionary ladder.

Of course, Mr. Mallory and his government goon squad don't care about any of that.  They just want to play exterminator.  Talk about a late-term abortion!  And really, who can blame them?  Even if it is just a natural evolutionary jump, doesn't that entail the elimination of those who came before it, i.e., US?  I for one doubt that the Cro-Mags didn't at least put up a little bit of a fight when their time came.  So what if we've got guns instead of wooden clubs?  I say eradicate the cute little bastards!

I was thrilled to see the return of Frank Davis, and he was much more likable of a character this time around.  Although it seems like a great turnaround for his character, it seems plausible given the ending of the first film and the time frame between the two.  Mallory was a good enough foil, but it seemed like he never got his chance to shine.

You see more of the babies this time around, which would have worked against the original but works in its favor here.  We've already seen them once, so there's no need to confine them to the shadows.  They look a bit rubbery at times, but still pretty damn creepy.

With the fact that these babies are mutants with super strength and increased intelligence, that the hospital was based on the grounds of an old academy, and the Doc's talk about helping them "achieve their full potential, whatever that is", I couldn't help but be reminded of the X-Men, strange as that may sound.

Call it...Xavier's School For Gifted Preemies.

It's a testament to Larry Cohen's greatness that he can take a sequel to a presumably throwaway standalone film and make another great movie.  Maybe this is nostalgia speaking--I grew up with this movie on cable--but in SOME ways, I think this is superior to the original.  A bigger and stronger cast, sensitive examinations of interpersonal relationships, and even more action, violence and exploitative moments, and three--count them, THREE--mutant babies!

How could you possibly go wrong?

View the trailer below!

Rated R
91 Minutes
United States

It's Alive II: It Lives Again (double-billed with It's Alive III: Island of the Alive) is currently ranked #11,181 in DVD's at  Read more about it at the IMDB, rent it at Netflix, or buy it today!

"If you're human, you'll kill it!"

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I was a real fan of this movie too. I'm a bit more partial to the third film, but I'm saving that review for a special day...

    Incidentally, all of your pictures must be from an older DVD, since they look like the original print and not a Remastered one (see my review)


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