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40 user 16 critic

'It's Alive!' (1969)

Unrated | | Horror , Sci-Fi | TV Movie
A loony farmer finds a prehistoric monster hiding in a cavern on his land. To feed his newest critter, the farmer kidnaps three people. The three desperately try to escape and finally, one of them succeeds.

Director:

Larry Buchanan
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tommy Kirk ... Wayne Thomas
Shirley Bonne Shirley Bonne ... Leilla Sterns
Bill Thurman ... Greely / Monster (as Billy Thurman)
Annabelle Weenick ... Bella (as Annabelle MacAdams)
Corveth Ousterhouse Corveth Ousterhouse ... Norman Sterns
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Storyline

A loony farmer finds a prehistoric monster hiding in a cavern on his land. To feed his newest critter, the farmer kidnaps three people. The three desperately try to escape and finally, one of them succeeds.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trapped In a Cave of Terror!

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Filming Locations:

Beaver Lake, Arkansas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Azalea Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This has the unusual distinction of being a remake of a movie that was never made in the first place. When American International made a deal with Larry Buchanan to remake some of their movies ("It Conquered the World" became "Zontar, the Thing from Venus," "The She-Creature" became "Creature of Destruction" and so forth), they evidently included a script based on Richard Matheson's story "Being." The production had gone by several titles, including "G.O.O.", and was to have starred Peter Lorre and Elsa Lanchester. Apparently Lorre's death canceled the project, so AIP earned back some of their money by passing the script on to Buchanan. See more »

Goofs

When Bella the housekeeper first visits the captives in their cell she claps her right hand over her mouth as she realizes she has 'said too much' and, after a cut, removes her LEFT hand to continue speaking. See more »

Quotes

Wayne Thomas: You see, I'm a paleontologist.
See more »

Connections

Featured in TJ and the All Night Theatre: It's Alive! (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nope, it's Dead on Arrival...
14 August 2016 | by brando647See all my reviews

Despite its promising title, "IT'S ALIVE!" is dead on arrival. This late sixties TV creature feature opens with five full minutes of driving footage. Inside the car, outside of the car, just a bunch of driving. It tries to salvage the viewers' interest with an ominous voice-over narration that rambles about rain and sunshine. In the middle of this meaningless driving montage, we're treated to the opening credits where I discovered the one interesting thing about this movie. There's a paleontology credit, and it's attributed to Skip Frazee. A quick glimpse at Mr. Frazee's background and we see he was a sound engineer in the production world with no other paleontological credits before or after "IT'S ALIVE!". This makes sense because the movie's paleontology is limited to the revelation that the creature is a dinosaur and it should've gone extinct 65 million years ago. Good job. When the movie finally kicks into gear, we're introduced to the world's most irritating married couple, Norman (Corveth Ousterhouse) and Leilla (Shirley Boone) Sterns. The two are travelling across the country by car because Leilla loves to see America up close, and Norman never refrains from an opportunity to tell her how much he hates it. With night closing in and the gas tank nearly empty, Norman and Leilla are forced to pull into isolated reptile house tourist attraction in the middle of the woods. Here we're introduced to Greely (Bill Thurman) and his downtrodden housekeeper Bella (Annabelle Weenick), who harbor a deadly secret.

It doesn't take long for things to get weird around the Greely home. He acts shady from the moment he meets the miserable couple and, despite their bad feelings about their situation, they agree to a tour of Greely's "serpetorium". Greely runs a crappy little zoo that might've charmed mid-twentieth century America but has fallen out of favor since a new highway derailed his business. He's proud of his little operation, explaining that he caught all of the animals himself (where'd he catch a monkey in middle America?). His pride and joy rests deep underground in a cavern and he invites the couple down to view it, but surprise! It's a trap. Norman and Leilla find themselves imprisoned in the cavern with helpful paleontologist Wayne (Tommy Kirk), who had been taken captive when he stopped by Greely's to check in on the Sterns' auto troubles. Wayne plots their escape while Norman continues to prattle about how stupid he believes his wife to be, and the trio explore deeper into the cavern where they encounter Greely's favorite pet: a "dinosaur" monster. This monster costume is priceless. Wayne tries to identify the dinosaur species but it was nothing I'm familiar with and I'm sure it was bogus. The creature is your typical rubber suit, but it's got bulbous ping-pong ball eyes and rubber teeth that wobble and bounce in all directions. It shambles toward its victims and, since its face can't articulate, it kills them off screen and we're spared the action.

When that monster appeared, my views on this movie pulled a total about-face. I was willing to forgive the driving montage and unlikeable characters if this monster was going to go on a murder spree. But it never does. It takes its victim and then disappears back into its mud puddle until the final moments of the film. The remaining forty minutes are filler and garbage with yet another driving montage (not as long as the first) and then more than twenty minutes of flashing back to when Bella was taken captive. We spend a sizeable chunk of this crappy movie learning how Bella was a teacher who had the bad fortune to stop at Greely's and became his tormented house slave. None of it has anything to do with the dinosaur monster. Excuse me, "IT'S ALIVE" and director Larry Buchanan, but we came for the dinosaur monster. Give us the dinosaur monster and stop wasting our time. Maybe instead of unnecessary backstory, we could've used that time to show an escape attempt or something to up the tension. There are at least two occasions when Wayne, Leilla, and Norman could've jumped Bella (if she was uncooperative) and escaped through the access hatch she uses in the house's cellar. No, their plans are way more stupid. "IT'S ALIVE!" is seventy-five minutes of mindless filler with maybe (if I'm being generous) five minutes of worthwhile content. The dinosaur is severely underused, the characters are morons, and we didn't get nearly enough of Greely's fantastic maniacal laughter. That laugh and the dinosaur costume are the only reasons anyone should try and watch this movie, and there's barely enough of either in there to justify it.


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