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Home > Movies > 31 Monstrous Failures #21: It’s Alive!

31 Monstrous Failures #21: It’s Alive!

October 21st, 2011

Thinking back to my youth, I realize that I spent a great many nights staying up well past my bedtime. Late night TV was when the weird stuff was on. One could catch reruns of Kolchak and The New Avengers, old movies based on ’40s radio shows,* and even some latter-day exploitation quickies.

Naturally, nothing attracted my attention so much as the promise of a prehistoric monster. Which certainly explains how I managed to stay awake through…

It’s Alive!

This is not the one about the killer baby. This It’s Alive! was released five years earlier and is unrelated except that both films feature creatures which are (SPOILER) alive.

It was directed by Larry Buchanan, who is known to B-movie fans for his uncredited remakes of Invasion of the Saucer Men (The Eye Creatures), The She Creature (Creature of Destruction) and It Conquered the World (Zontar, the Thing from Venus).

Unlike those, It’s Alive! wasn’t based on a previous American International Pictures release. Which is not to say that it’s particularly original. It’s pretty much your standard stranded-couple-captured-by-redneck-who-feeds-them-to-his-dinosaur plot.

The monster is curiously hard to pin down. The costume (pictured above) is recycled from Creature of Destruction, where it was used to portray a gill man ala The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Since it’s obviously a guy in a rubber suit, and is shot mostly in close-up, it’s easy to assume that it’s supposed to be more or less man-sized. Except when Buchanan goes to the trouble of staging a forced perspective shot, when one realizes that it’s actually meant to be a giant dinosaur. With ping-pong ball eyes.

*I blame my dad for my youthful interest in movie adaptations of The Great Gildersleeve. He bought a big stack of 8-track tapes of old radio shows from Stuckey’s, and would play them whenever we were on a long car trip.

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