Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Larry Cohen Week: It's Alive 2

Day 2 of Larry Cohen brings us It's Alive 2- how fitting.  For those of you who don't know, Cohen had a pretty notable hit with the original, which was a film about a killer baby.  The film focused a lot on the family having to deal with this sudden event and the father having to make a hard choice: save innocent people or save his baby.  In the end, he chose to kill the baby, but the film ended with a news story about three more cases occurring across the United States.  So that's where we are now?  Where does it go from here?  Can the film survive actually showing the baby...or babies?  Find out in my review of...
The film begins at a party for a woman who is expecting child.  After a few minutes of small talk and chatter, everyone leaves, save for one man.  As it turns out, that man ends up being the father from the last film and he has some big news for the happy couple.  The United States government is rounding up the babies as they are being born and killing them.  He wants to help them hide their baby and raise it in safety.  They are not exactly all that trusting, but can you really blame them?  If a random guy shows up at your house and tells you about some sort of conspiracy, would you believe him?  As it turns out, the father is working with a group of other men.  Of course, to expedite this whole process, the woman goes into labor the same night.  They actually try to call the man, but he decides to leave his room and can't hear it over the music.  They end up going to the hospital...only to find that they have some company: the police.
Things get tricky at the hospital as the woman is placed into a room full of cops, while the man is kept outside.  Our conspiring heroes finally figure this out and rush to the scene.  The previous film's dad gets in relatively-easy due to the gun who pushes against the lead detective's back.  Why nobody shoots him when he walks past them with his back exposed is anyone's guess.  Once inside, he forces them to take the woman out to a truck where they...have a mobile delivery room.  Okay, this is pushing logic a bit, Larry.  The police do nothing -since the detective is still a hostage-, save for following them closely.  The baby is born, giving us some nice POV shots, but no clear image of the killer baby.  It shows that killer instinct, however, when it claws one of the doctors across the throat- but he lives.  When the truck hits a roadblock, they find...nobody inside.  Evidently, they switched cards whilst inside of a tunnel.  In a weird move, they left the woman with the cop and took the dad with the baby.  Huh?  The two are delivered to a covert location where it is revealed that two more babies are there!
The father needs a bit of time to get accustomed to the whole thing, while the others take it all in stride.  We learn that the babies are growing quickly and appear to be close to the mental age of a three-year old.  They also share some sort of psychic bond, which I'm sure will not come back.  The mother gets an invite to the facility, but the grandmother puts a tracer in her purse.  The police head to the scene as the babies trick an older worker into letting them go and kill him!  The couple is reunited at the house, but argues and does not make up.  The father is attacked by a baby in a pool, who is subsequently killed, while the mom is confronted by the second child, who escapes.  The father from It's Alive escapes with their kid, only to be killed by it.  The police set up an operation where the family gets a house in the area the child is running around and killing animals.  While they still argue, they find a common link in their child, who proves to be calm around them.  Of course, the police show up and drive the baby to anger, forcing the dad to kill it.  In an epilogue, the new dad is out doing the work of the previous dad and warning the parents.  To be continued?
This film is good, but certainly not for everyone.  The pacing is really weird and it takes some getting used to.  Just like It's Alive, the baby(ies) are not shown much, which makes you wonder why they got Stan Winston to create the damn thing!  To this film's credit, the creatures get much more screen time and interact with actors on camera a lot more as well.  The film is basically broken up into three big chunks: the set-up/hospital scene, the babies escaping the base & the final capture plan by the police.  If you can embrace this odd idea and the film's preachy attitude at times, you can get some good enjoyment out of it.  If you are expecting a wacky, creature-feature from this premise, think again.  If you want that, you will have to make due with Q: The Winged Serpent or Thursday's review.
Next up, Cohen gets all serious for a crime film that could possibly be the most Meta film of all time.  It's...something else.  Stay tuned...


  1. While I respect the original as being the better film, this is easily the most entertaining entry in the series!

  2. My personal favorite is still Part 3, but I'll get to that one at another date...