The second and third parts of Larry Cohen’s It’s Alive trilogy are by turns silly and sublime. The third film in the series, It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive, stretches the darkly comedic aspects of the trilogy to the breaking point. Five years after the second film, It Lives Again, the mutant children have begun to grow up, and placed on a secluded island, where they’re now starting families of their own. Overwrought and narratively awkward, the film’s clumsy attempts at humor only blunt the film’s satiric bite. Most of the blame has to be laid at the feet of Michael Moriarty’s mumbling, sleepily neurotic performance as a father whose life is ruined by his need to protect his child. Yet Cohen also seems at a loss to take his story in any substantially new direction. Island of the Alive feels like a mish-mash of themes already explored far more cogently in the previous two films. This is not to say that the final part of the trilogy is without any merit (the brief sequence in Cuba and its narrative resolution is an absurdly brilliant move on Cohen’s part, as is Karen Black’s heroically grotesque performance as one of the creatures’ mothers), but that the spark has dimmed and what is left in its place is a warmed over collection of almost meaningful moments.
- Warner Bros.
- 95 min
- Larry Cohen
- Larry Cohen
- Michael Moriarty, Karen Black, Laurene Landon, Gerrit Graham, Macdonald Carey, James Dixon, Neal Israel
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