It’s Alive Trilogy

Larry Cohen’s utterly bonkers, utterly wonderful killer-baby-based It’s Alive trilogy comes to Blu-ray box set courtesy of Scream! Factory. Cohen, the B-movie auteur behind movies like The Stuff and Q, took a simple/silly premise – what would happen if someone gave birth to a murderous mutant baby – and spun it into three wacky, entertaining films. The first, 1974’s It’s Alive, is the best of the bunch, because it plays its ludicrous premise 100% straight. This works primarily due to John P. Ryan’s earnest performance as a father trying to deal with the shock of having a killer mutant baby as offspring. It’s Alive 2 is a bit derivative, even though it does turn the premise on its head – this time, people are trying to protect the killer babies rather than destroy them. But the best sequel is It’s Alive 3: Island of the Alive, which goes all-in on the craziness. In this film, the babies have grown to full, mutated adults, and are dwelling on an island. The mutants are really secondary – the main draw in It’s Alive 3 is Michael Moriarty’s extremely baffling performance as a father of one of the mutants. It has to be seen to be believed. This box set is a glorious treat for anyone who loves B-movies.

Special Features to Note: The box set comes with a lengthy interview with Larry Cohen, as well as actors James Dixon, Michael Moriarty And Laurene Landon, and more. Cohen is the main draw here, as he nonchalantly recounts the making of the trilogy. When it came time to design the killer baby, Cohen says he drew concept art that resembled “the star child from 2001 and a wolf.” Cohen also reveals that he shot most of the first film at his house, simply because he just liked to be home.

In this featurette, we learn that Warner Bros. was not happy with the first film when Cohen had finished it, and they planned to dump it entirely. But, oddly enough, the foreign office of Warners took the film and entered it into European film festivals, and it ended up winning awards and doing well internationally, while still being ignored domestically. As luck, or fate, would have it, a regime change took place at Warners, and Cohen seized the opportunity to ask the new execs in charge to give It’s Alive another chance. Which they did, with better marketing. As a result,the film became a box office hit, and the demand for a sequel was born. 

“Nobody bothers me, I just go out and make my movies,” Larry Cohen says over the course of the interview. We should all be so lucky.

Special Features Include:

DISC ONE: IT’S ALIVE

  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Cohen’s Alive: Looking Back At The It’s Alive Films Featuring Interviews With Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen, Actors James Dixon, Michael Moriarty And Laurene Landon, And More…
  • NEW It’s Alive At The Nuart: The 40th Anniversary Screening With Larry Cohen
  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen
  • Radio Spots
  • TV Spots
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

DISC TWO: IT LIVES AGAIN

  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

DISC THREE: IT’S ALIVE 3: ISLAND OF THE ALIVE

  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Interview With Special Effects Makeup Designer Steve Neill
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen
  • Trailer
  • Still Gallery

 

Wild At Heart
(on Blu-ray May 22, 2018)

How does one explain Wild At Heart? Imagine Bonnie and Clyde meets Badlands, recounted by a lunatic Elvis fanatic, and you might come close. If you’ve never seen a David Lynch film, Wild At Heart would not be the film I’d recommend you start with. In fact, while there’s plenty of weirdo grace to embrace here, this isn’t even close to being one of Lynch’s best. But it is worth seeing, primarily for the whacked-out lead performances of Nicolas Cage, who is doing some sort of bizarre Elvis impersonation here, and Laura Dern, who spends multiple scenes screaming her head off. Cage and Dern play Sailor and Lula, a couple of crazy kids in love who get themselves mixed-up in all sorts of madness and violence. Along they way, they hook up with a madman played by Willem Dafoe, sporting a set of the most disgusting teeth you’ll ever clap eyes on. Oh, and there are Wizard of Oz references peppered in as well. What’s it all mean? Only David Lynch really knows, and he’s not telling.  

Special Features To Note: The only new special feature here is an interview with Barry Gifford, author of the book that inspired the film. Gifford says the book was drawn from a William Carlos Williams quote: “The pure products of America go crazy”, then goes on to say it’s a “true love story.”

Gifford confirms he had no problems with the way Lynch changed the novel, saying that muich of what Lynch portrayed were events that happened “off page” in the novel – that is, elements that were “suggested” in the novel. Gifford also adds that 80% of the dialogue is taken right from his book.

Beyond this, there’s 1990 documentary about the making of the film, ported over from a previous DVD release. It features interviews with Lynch, Cage, Dern, and Dafoe, and more. Willem Dafoe talks about those disgusting goddamn teeth he wears. It’s also revealed that Lynch would sometimes changed scenes on the day of shooting, like the scene where Dafoe threatens Dern, in order to create a sense of spontaneity.

There’s also over an hours worth of deleted scenes, most of them involving more sexually explicit or violent scenes. Fun for the whole family!

Special Features Include:

 

  • NEW Interview With Novelist Barry Gifford
  • Extended And Deleted Scenes (76 Minutes)
  • Love, Death, Elvis And Oz: The Making Of Wild At Heart
  • Dell’s Lunch Counter: Extended Interviews
  • Specific Spontaneity: Focus On David Lynch
  • Lynch On The DVD Process
  • Original 1990 Making Of EPK
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Image Gallery

Pages: Previous page 1 2

Cool Posts From Around the Web: