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It's Alive is a 1974 American horror film written, produced, and directed by Larry Cohen. In the movie, a couple's infant child turns out to be a vicious mutant monster that kills when frightened. Notable talents involved in the movie were Bernard Herrmann for the score (noted for his work on many films of Alfred Hitchcock) and Rick Baker for makeup and puppet effects.



The film was a financial failure in its initial 1974 release. Three years after its original release, it was reissued with a new advertisement campaign. The new 1977 TV advertisement showed a baby carriage with the music "Rock-a-bye Baby" playing, then a claw came out and a voiceover said, "There is only one thing wrong with the Davis baby. It's alive". The new ad drew people into theaters, ultimately earning Warner Brothers $7.1 million in U.S. domestic rentals.

Rating for content

Surprisingly, in view of the fact that some countries (Finlandmarker among them) banned the film, the movie received a MPAA rating of PG in the United States. It was also originally given an 18 certificate in the UK, but was recently lowered to a 15.


Two sequels ensued: It Lives Again (aka It's Alive 2) in 1978 and It's Alive III: Island of the Alive in 1987. Like the original, both were written and directed by Larry Cohen.


This film was #43 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.


Relative to the movie, the movie-tie-in novel and two film sequels expound on the dangers of various prescription drugs administered to expectant mothers during the 1950s and early 1960s (i.e. Thalidomide), the use of fertility drugs, and the indirect use of pesticides on people. No doubt, Cohen was inspired by the various and possible iatrogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic effects of these drugs on the unborn baby—especially when these drugs were used either in succession or combination. Fictionally, the mother of this story—Lenore Davis—had a history of taking combined oral contraceptive pills prior to planning her second pregnancy, whereupon she instead began taking an inadequately tested fertility drug to facilitate the conception of her second child.


During 2008, the film was remade in Bulgaria, with Bijou Phillips as the creature's mother. See It's Alive .


  1. 100 Scariest Movie Moments via Internet Archive

External links

  • (1978)
  • (1987)

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