Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987)


It's Alive III: Island of the Alive

Written & Directed by Larry Cohen

Stephen Jarvis...Michael Moriarty
Ellen Jarvis...Karen Black
Lt. Perkins...James Dixon

There's no beating around the bush this time: Even before the opening credits begin to roll, a mutant baby is born in the back of a New York City taxi cab, where he is promptly put down gangland style by a rookie cop.  To quote one of the investigating officers, "They're being born faster than we can kill them!"

Don't worry about that, copper.  In the next scene, things change quite quickly.  Commercial actor Stephen Jarvis always had hopes of being a celebrity, but not like this.  After a particularly heartfelt performance in the courtroom regarding his own newborn monster baby, Jarvis convinces the honorable Judge Milton Watson to outlaw the murder of these evil offspring.  Understanding that they can't merely be implemented into society, he instead orders them to be deposited on a secret island where mankind has never tread.  The titular ISLAND OF THE ALIVE!

So Jarvis, known only as the father of the monster, finally gets the celebrity he desired.  But he never dreamed it would be like this.  He can't even pick up a prostitute at the fair--one who looks like a survivor from George Romero's Day of the Dead--and sex her up in peace.  What a world, what a world!

Fast forward four years, and Jarvis has been relegated to a salesman of children's shoes.  With nothing better to do with his life, he finds himself joining in on a scientific expedition to the island--THE ISLAND OF THE ALIVE--to see how the young ones have developed and what kind of society they've produced.  That's right, apparently five year olds are not only able to create a society (anyone remember Kid Nation?) but they also reproduce.  Which is, in scientific terms, pretty gross.

It's been 13 years since Cohen's original It's Alive, and these aren't your daddy's mutant babies.  They've grown up, developed telepathic powers, and look like cast-offs from an early Peter Jackson film.


This movie is drastically different from the previous entries.  Besides the fact that the critters have grown up, the script is looser (sometimes distractingly so--look out for sea shanties and some nautical tips to fill the empty spaces), and the plot is broader in scope.  And yet, it is seemingly random at the same time:  sharks, stand-up comedians, the Cuban army, punk rockers, etc.  I understand why Cohen made this film, and no, it wasn't just for the money, folks!  He wanted to revisit his children, to see how they've grown up.  I suppose Mr. Cohen is a lot like Stephen Jarvis in that respect.  But it seems that the times have changed too much, and Cohen has changed the rules accordingly.  These babies are completely different animals from the ones we used to know, almost unrecognizable, really.

A decent finale to the trilogy, but in my opinion, the weakest in the series.  Not to mential the death knell for the franchise.

Except for the remake, of course.



View the trailer below!


1987
Rated R
95 Minutes
Color
English
United States

It's Alive III: Island of the Alive (double billed with It's Alive II) is currently ranked #90,604 in DVD's at Amazon.com.  Read more about it at the IMDB, rent it at Netflix, or buy it today!

"My child's a human being, you son of a bitch!"
--J/Metro

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