Man, anybody notice they do alot of remakes these days? Seems like it anyway. I’d have to research it a little more to be sure. This is the remake of Larry Cohen’s 1974 killer baby picture. I thought it was supposed to play in theaters, but that’s because I didn’t know it was from the DTV kings at Millennium Pictures and Josef Rusnak, director of ART OF WAR II: BETRAYAL and THE CONTRACTOR. This one unfortunately doesn’t star Wesley Snipes, but instead Bijou Phillips as the mother of the killer baby.In this version she’s a graduate student under some pressure to not have the baby so that she doesn’t screw up her education and throw away a career she’s been working toward. But she makes the decision to leave school to give birth and live with her boyfriend and the disabled younger brother he’s raising. The baby grows unusually fast so she has to have a forced birth.
She’s drugged up for her C-section and when she wakes up the operating room is covered in blood and dead bodies, which is not how it’s supposed to look. Also the baby is pretty big for a preemie. We the viewers can guess that the baby is the culprit, but understandably the characters don’t jump to the same conclusion. You don’t just go around pointing fingers at a newborn. In my experience you want to be absolutely sure that the baby really committed the massacre before making a serious accusation like that.
So Bijou and her boyfriend set out to deal with a difficult birth – they just don’t know how difficult. At first the dead animals they find around the house don’t seem to be connected to the baby. It’s a while before mommy catches baby eating a rat, and even longer before she has to hide the bodies of her dead friends.
I wonder if maybe there should’ve been more of a whodunit mystery kind of thing here. Like maybe there should’ve been a couple other baby characters in the movie and you’re not sure which baby it is doing the killing until it’s revealed at the end. I don’t know. Maybe not.
Original IT’S ALIVE writer/director Larry Cohen is credited as one of three writers on the remake. That’s because he tried to do the remake himself, so I guess at some point he left or got dumped and they rewrote his script. According to interviews he planned to deal with advances in genetics and the dangers of parents wanting to abort their baby because they find out its disabled in some way, or even gay. That would’ve been a reasonable new thing to add into the mix, but it’s not in the final remake. There’s something about an attempt to abort the baby that can be interpreted as the reason for the mutation, or why the baby is angry, but I don’t think it’s meant as an anti-abortion parable considering how the baby turns out. If ever there was a baby to want to abort it would be this little fucker.
Anyway, this has the usual remake problem of needlessness. I’m not sure why you need to remake it. The original might be dated, but in an interesting way. It has things to say about the time it was made. This one maybe says a little less. Despite that, for me (I like the original, but don’t love it or remember everything about it) the remake is an enjoyable experience, a solid little horror movie that treats a ridiculous premise with admirable seriousness. Other than the ambiguous abortion thing I mentioned there’s no hint at why the baby is this way, because it doesn’t really matter. They don’t even once mention “the environment.” Instead the movie is interested in the fears of parenting: is she ready to be a mother, is he ready to be a father, or a husband, will she have to give up her life plans, will it be worth giving up her life plans, is the younger brother gonna be okay with it, is the baby normal? And the guilt of having been unsure about the pregnancy. And most of this stuff you get to read on their faces, they don’t have a bunch of stupid dialogue to explain what they’re feeling or that the mother – who is more the central figure than she was in the original – is having trouble weighing “he’s my son and I love him unconditionally” against “oh shit, my baby keeps mauling people.”
Like in the original they keep the baby mostly out of sight, off screen, in blankets or shadows. With maybe one sharp-toothed exception the money shots are subtle and creepy. There’s a scene in the basement where the baby slowly crawls out from around a corner and stares. But he’s across the room and in shadows, you have to squint to get a look at him. But he looks real.
Also like the original the killings are really over the top. You’re not seeing little Daniel, but you sure are seeing blood cover the windows and walls. He just tears people apart with his little monster baby teeth and claws or whatever he has. And it’s funny because he’s a baby, a human baby (to some extent). And I think that’s why this is DTV. It’s better than some horror movies that get a theatrical release, but I bet they’re right if they think today’s audiences would laugh it off the screen. Back in the ’70s the trailers for these movies made kids shit their beds, but now they probaly think killer babies are funny. People now days got no appreciation for the outlandish and the absurd. They think because it’s crazy that means it’s bad. They haven’t seen the original so they haven’t seen something like this before. They’re not ready. They can’t take it. They’re too literal, too square, too anti-killer baby. So fuck ’em.
Of course, the people who can appreciate a killer baby movie have most likely seen the original IT’S ALIVE movies, and aren’t looking for an update. But if they are it’s due October 6th. I say just because this remake was an accident doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the creepy scene where the father traps the baby in a garbage can and takes it out in the woods and loads his gun while otherworldly wailing echoes from inside. It was unwanted, but that doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful in God’s eyes. As far as DTV movies go.
Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/41671
View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback
July 13, 2009, 2:08 a.m. CST
first time ever.. yep…
July 13, 2009, 2:16 a.m. CST
July 13, 2009, 2:16 a.m. CST
i’m up waaaay too late…
July 13, 2009, 2:17 a.m. CST
So, do they kill the baby or does it do them in?
I’ve always wanted to see a baby blown to pieces JAWS style.
July 13, 2009, 2:26 a.m. CST
next up on the remake block: S-s-s-s
by mr. smith
why the hell not.
July 13, 2009, 3:41 a.m. CST
Kathy Bates should have played the baby
July 13, 2009, 4:25 a.m. CST
Best. Review. Ever.
What do they call an abortion in Mexico?
Adios Embrios! Ba-dum-dum.
July 13, 2009, 4:44 a.m. CST
WASN’T THIS SHIT MADE LIKE THREE FUCKING YEARS AGO?!?
It feel like I’ve been hearing about this piece of shit forever. I remember seeing the trailer a long time ago and the only thing I could recall was just how fucking shitty an “actress” Bijou Phillips was with her squeeky little girl voice. My only hope is that we get to see her tits and pussy AGAIN to distract us from just how fucking terrible her performance, and the movie itself, will be. At least they haven’t remade my two favorite Cohen flicks, The Stuff and Q The Winged Sepent………..yet!
July 13, 2009, 6:25 a.m. CST
IT’S A LION!
July 13, 2009, 6:27 a.m. CST
Remake The Stuff…
That could be good…F-ITS ALIVE.
July 13, 2009, 6:32 a.m. CST
I liked the scene in the original…
…where the mutant baby killed the milkman in his truck, shattering milk bottles in the process. Milk started pouring out the back of the truck, it started turning pink as blood mixed in, getting pinker and redder with more blood pouring out of the unseen, dismembered milkman, then finally just gallons of solid red gushing out the back door of the milk truck. Over the top, funny, but also horrific.
July 13, 2009, 7:12 a.m. CST
I NOW REFUSE TO SEE REMAKES…
..OUT OF PURE SPITE.
July 13, 2009, 7:25 a.m. CST
I take a similar yet opposite way – whenever a remake is announced i rewatch the original…
July 13, 2009, 7:36 a.m. CST
Still waiting on the SHAKRA remake with the baboon.
July 13, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST
All I remember of the original
by Stuntcock Mike
The milk truck with blood flowing out of the back.
July 13, 2009, 7:58 a.m. CST
Next for remake: PHASE IV
But like, with hotties and this time like we totally stamp on them ants.
July 13, 2009, 7:59 a.m. CST
Kudos, Mr. Smith
..for remembering S-s-s-s. I thought I was the only person around that saw that jewel. Lots of fond memories of that one.
July 13, 2009, 8 a.m. CST
One would think a killer baby flick would…
…scare the bejesus out of all of the fifteen year old welfare moms in there Roca Wear sweatshirts who adorn their mixed-race-to-piss-off-daddy kids with $200 dollar baby “kicks” and South Pole sweatshirts and Ed Hardy sideways hats. Maybe it’d serve as a cautionary tale, and prevent the births of thousands of future thugs/gang members/prison inmates the world over. I say that if there’s even a remote chance that this film would put these chicks off sex and procreation for at least a year then the government should step forward and subsidize a massive cinema release. Hell, show it for free. Make it mandatory viewing in High Schools. Save our planet from Generation Diddy.
July 13, 2009, 8 a.m. CST
i thought that review
was pretty bad tbh
July 13, 2009, 8:11 a.m. CST
Sooo pretty much
If you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen the movie, nudity and all.
July 13, 2009, 8:40 a.m. CST
best part of the original
Is when the fathera are in the waiting room and they are all chain smoking out in the open in the hospital. The main character is so badass he is not only smoking he is also chewing gum at the same time.
Watching the original now is really interesting because it gives a window into how medicine was done back then.
July 13, 2009, 8:51 a.m. CST
Another reason why “Action PPV” is missed….
by Mr. Profit
Crap like this gets no platform. I remember seeing “The Granny”, “Hard To Die” and other mindless DTV horror or action films on Action PPV back in the day… Too bad the channel is gone.
July 13, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST
Your sentiments really are welcome. People in the US won’t accept this kind of movie any more – and I loved your remark that just because it’s outrageous that people will think it also must be bad. That’s the kind of idiot attitudes that win the day now.
July 13, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST
I think I saw “It Lives Again”
With some friends a few years ago during a summer of bad horror movies from the dollar rental place. Pretty laughable affair, the mutant babies kept making these ridiculous growling noises and the father just would tell them to “Stop that!”. We always wanted to rent the 3rd movie because of it’s ridiculous title: “It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive”. WTFtacular.
July 13, 2009, 9:42 a.m. CST
Like Yesterday’s Used Diaper
Got a screener of this in the office last week and watched it this past weekend… total crap. Needless, but also just not very good at all. On the other hand, I also checked out a screener for the giant insect invasion horror comedy, “Infestation”, starring Chris Marquette of “Fanboys” and the great Ray Wise of “Twin Peaks” and “Reaper,” and have to say I loved it. Great effects, some funny dialog, and great acting from the cast. This streets October 13th if you want to check it out…
July 13, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST
It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive
I’m a hardcore It’s Alive Fan, It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive is the most strange, bizzaro, sureal killer baby movie ever made…be sure to check it out while being strunk as sh*t.
July 13, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST
The guy loves “phone-horror”
Larry Cohen is attached as writer of an upcoming movie involving an answering machine, like Cellular and Phone Booth before.
Why has no one mentioned remaking God Told Me To? Would that even be able to be made today? How about it, Scorcese?
July 13, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST
“You don’t just go around pointing fingers at a newborn.”
July 13, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST
actually, another great scene from the original…
…has the pacing smoking father(John P. Ryan) see a doctor stagger out of the delivery room with his throat slashed and when he runs in, the wife is in stirrups screaming, every doctor and nurse slaughtered and blood everywhere(this follows a scene during the delivery where the doctor says,”the baby’s head is too big-give me the forceps”)and there is a hole in the ceiling where the newborn baby jumped out….great scene…and in the original, the mutation was caused by ….BIRTH CONTROL…
July 13, 2009, 11:14 a.m. CST
Loved the original
I agree – the milkman scene was incredible, along with the slaughter of the delivery room staff. The scene where the baby found its way home and the mother picked it up from its bassinet wrapped in a blanket was actually strangely touching. The movie poster was also fantastic. I saw this in the theater when I was 8 years old (it was rated PG, after all) and couldn’t get it out of my mind – finally found it again in the college library 12 years later and it was just as good as I remembered it. I had to walk out of the theater and wait in the lobby several times, it was so intense.
July 13, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST
vern, have you seen GRACE?
it’s a movie about a sort-of zombie baby and the lengths her mom goes to to keep her alive. it’s really well done. also there is a weird fixation on lactation fetishes. i saw it at the boston independant film festival this year, dunno if it’s got any kind of distribution yet, but if you stumble across it it’s totally worth checking out.
July 13, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST
Another horror remake…
by Dapper Swindler
Another talkback where I advocate a Killer Klowns from Outer Space remake or, fine, sequel.
July 13, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST
I guess after The Excorcist and The Omen
by Spandau Belly
they really had to go a lot younger with the evil child to make it shocking. In that movie called WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? a lady’s fetal baby eats her from inside the womb. So I guess the only way to top that is for an itch in some man’s pants to be the killer.
July 13, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST
Great write-up as always
Fav line: “They’re too literal, too square, too anti-killer baby. So fuck ’em.”
July 13, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST
Made me poop my pants when I was six.
July 13, 2009, 3:55 p.m. CST
“Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”
I just have a gut feeling that it will be remade.
July 13, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST
July 13, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST
I’ll see it
Just for Bijou Phillips’ tits.
July 13, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST
I still want to see this
killer babies are everywhere!
July 13, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST
Agree with PessimusGrime & HOUSE/HAUNTED HILL
The original’s near-Biblical variant (milk transforms into blood) would have appealed to Hitchcock; best scene in the movie. I’m passionately anti-remake, exempting HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL. The original’s plot gaffes are ludicrous, but the film functioned as my introduction to Vincent Price (whom I subsequently had the privilege of personally interviewing twice in the 80s) and William Castle. The remake was released sans the Castle panache for gimmicks and an interactive fraternity. Not a great film–but I never miss an opportunity to view its repeated telecasts. Go figure (the babes are hotter than a Cajun barbecue in Hell). Check out the remake’s deleted footage on the DVD (other omissions are visible on the trailer, including the flexible and hostile stained glass). Not so ironically, the remake’s sequel–RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL–is a rhino turd (as usual, Cerina Vincent’s cleavage is a welcome). distraction).
July 13, 2009, 7:50 p.m. CST
AssimovLives posts inre: his estranged lover, JJ Abrams!
July 13, 2009, 7:51 p.m. CST
We need a remake of….
July 13, 2009, 7:52 p.m. CST
July 13, 2009, 9:06 p.m. CST
Here’s a great killer baby cartoon…
Very funny, yet bizarre short baby killer cartoon titled Full Metal Baby
July 14, 2009, 12:26 a.m. CST
by Dollar Bird
I can’t believe anyone else remembers that movie. I also can’t believe I spent an entire afternoon in high school watching that piece of boredom on USA. Also, if I recall correctly, did they use nail-polish on the ants in that movie to distinguish the different armies/tribes?
Man, thems was the days, when I could count on either Captain USA or Grampa Munster or some other Svengoolie-like dude to present not-very-good horror movies on a nothing-to-do weekend. I saw more bad “animals are angry” movies from the 70s that way.
Oddly enough, crap-film channel “This” just showed “Frogs” the other day and it was even worse than I remembered.
July 14, 2009, 12:51 a.m. CST
Best Larry Cohen flick:
BONE. Hands down the best flick he ever wrote/directed. If you haven’t heard of it, you need to hunt it down and watch it. It should be a bigger cult hit than it is.
July 14, 2009, 12:52 a.m. CST
More of that? Its about time.
July 14, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST
If you gotta remake the Stuff…
Only one man can play Mo Rutherford: Josh Brolin.
Maaaaaybe Thomas Jane. With Mike Epps as Chocolate Chip Charlie.
July 14, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST
It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive
It’s my fave of the original three, prolly because it’s got Michael Moriarty (and Gerritt Graham & Neal Israel & Karen Black) in it. It’s also pretty batshit crazy, too.
Best Line: “Shark? Shark? Sure, what the hell good’s being shipwrecked without the fucking shark?!?!”
July 14, 2009, 4:46 p.m. CST
2nd Fave line:
Neal Israel assures Moriarty, father of one of the ‘Island Babies’ the team is being sent to investigate after marooning them for five years, that the tranq guns are perfectly painless.
Moriarty shoots him in the arm, point blank. “See you in the morning.”
It’s better when you see it, I promise.
July 14, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST
One of the most underrated genre filmmakers ever, imo. Anyone ever see his Masters of Horror ep, ‘Pick Me Up’, with Moriarty and Fairuza Balk? Not bad for a MoH.
July 14, 2009, 5:14 p.m. CST
I’m starting to lean back towards Thomas Jane in ‘The New Stuff’. I liked the character stuff he did at the beginning of his ‘Punisher’.
Oh, but I guess I should wait until I hear Brolin’s southern accent in ‘Jonah Hex’ before passing judgement.
July 14, 2009, 5:28 p.m. CST
I’ve become a huge Cohen fan in the last two or three years, but I still haven’t seen ‘God Told Me To’, which is supposed to be awesome. Nor have I seen ‘Bone’, which a TB’er above suggested, tho I have heard of it. I haven’t even seen his blaxploistation films, and I love me some Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson.
Well, I didn’t say it was laugh-out-loud funny.
July 14, 2009, 6 p.m. CST
I look forward to the DTV reviews.
More than the ‘weekly’ dvd/BLU RAY BLU RAY BLU RAY BLU RAY BLU RAY OMG OMG fkn fuckEN OMG BLU RAY!!!! column that gets dropped in every so often.
July 14, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST
I’d like to dive into her Bijou, if you know what I mean…
July 14, 2009, 7:08 p.m. CST
I mean her vagina.
July 14, 2009, 8:23 p.m. CST
Island of the Alive
by mr. smith
best sequel name ever
July 15, 2009, 12:47 a.m. CST
‘God Told Me To’ is pretty cool. I’ve also seen both his blaxploitation flicks, which are good in their own right. Nonetheless, serious: ‘Bone’. Amazing.
July 15, 2009, 1:07 a.m. CST
Once more….into the breach….
Or in other words, AssimovLives (AssimovLoves) to be fucked/fisted in his shithole (No, not his cave) that gaping orifice that spews the utter drek, tripe, e.t.c. that defines him!
July 15, 2009, 10:25 a.m. CST
they should remake God Told Me To
by The Amazing G
seriously, I had wanted to see it for years and when I finally did I learned that despite the great premise the movie sucks pretty badly, definitely a big disappointment
July 15, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST
Yeah, it’s a little boring but it’s still pretty awesome. And yes, they did put some sort of make up on the ants’ heads. I still don’t know how they did that. SSSSSS was cool just to see Starbuck turn into a giant snake then get beaten to death and I love FROGS. Ray Milland plays an awesome grumpy, old coot in that one. As far as 70’s animal revenge films go, i still love DAY OF THE ANIMALS, FOOD OF THE GODS and EMPIRE OF THE ANTS. Check those out. And THE OTHER gets my vote for best evil child film.
July 15, 2009, 1:19 p.m. CST
“The Milkman Go-eth!” and “IA” funfacts
…which is what Bernard Herrmann
titled his music cue for the milkman’s death.
Warner Bros, not realizing what they had in “It’s Alive”, intitially dumped it into theatres as a double bill with “Craze” (Jack Palance going nutty from a voodoo statue, I think)
A year or two later, WB re-releases it solo, backed by a brilliant funny/scary ad campaign (“There’s only one thing wrong with the Davis baby…IT’S ALIVE!”) I saw it then in a packed theatre, and the audience went wild for it…jumping, hooting, screaming, laughing(in the right places…as when an army of cops, guns drawn, corner an actual real, harmless baby)
So let’s hear it for Larry Cohen, who was Mr. High Concept decades before that phrase ever entered the movie lexicon…and at a time when symphonic movie scores were way out of fashion, he reached out to Herrmann, who was in virtual exile in England.
July 15, 2009, 8:07 p.m. CST
Mr. High Concept…Exactly.
I love Larry Cohen, and yes, the Herrmann score in ‘It’s Alive’ is amazing. The score to Island of the Alive is pretty great too, even after it’s done riffing on the Herrmann score.
Jarek-Hear ya, man. I’m all over it.
July 15, 2009, 8:25 p.m. CST
It’s Alive III is fucking legendary…
When they’re all on the boat singing that crazy fucking sailer song…when Moriarty punches the cameraman in the eye…when he shoots the dude in the arm. That’s just classic stuff right there man.
July 15, 2009, 8:27 p.m. CST
The Stuff! A Return To Salems Lot! Q-The Winged Serpent! Man, they don’t make them like him anymore.
July 16, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST
Another turd in the waterpipe of remakes.
by Yoda’s Ball Sack
I wouldn’t wipe my ass with this remake or the original film.
July 16, 2009, 8:01 p.m. CST
‘Grace’ trailer online…
It’s on YouTube and probably a few other places. Creepy and kind of gross but I guess that’s the point.
July 17, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST
Original poster freaked the shit out of me as a kid…
by Cellar Door
For real…that baby sleeper/cradle thing with the oddly large “hand” with 2 digits and those huge talons hanging loosely over the edge of the cradle. The marquee text is corny sure but the photo is kick ass.
July 20, 2009, 5:25 p.m. CST
There’s only one problem with this remake…
Feb. 15, 2010, 3:13 a.m. CST
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Feb. 15, 2010, 3:14 a.m. CST
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