It’s Alive (1969) [REVIEW] | Farmers and Fishmen

Enough with the regular kind of crappy B-movies, let’s crank it up to uber shlock, with the misleadingly titled It’s Alive, not a Frankenstein style crap-fest like The Body Shop, it’s actually more a 50s style B-movie about a couple that runs out of gas in a remote rural town, and stumbles upon a crazy farmer, his imprisoned “wife” and his private zoo, which also includes a Gillman style monster.

I did watch it on Amazon Prime Video, which has the 2020 restored version, i can only imagine how worse the more common prints of the movie are. I truly can, it’s a cheap made for TV monster movie that seems to stem from a 50s script, but was clearly shot in late 60s /early 70s. Dat film grain, though.

Now, the question is: how bad does the monster look? Like the mermen with mouth-tentacles that look more like hot dogs from Horror At Party Beach?

Worse than Monster Of Piedras Blancas?

Actually, a mix of the latter and the one found in Creature From The Haunted Sea, but that was made as a comedy horror movie from the offset, so the ridiculous creature in it it’s goofy by design (though i have no doubt this also helped in cutting costs, it’s Corman), here it’s just peta cheap, but i guess you would expect no less from a self-proclaimed shlockmeister like Larry Buchanan.

Right about what you would expect when even the lead actor describes it – accurately so, i might add – as “a monster movie so cheap that the monster wore a scuba suit and had ping-pong balls for eyes”, and the laughable, downright hilarious creature suit was recycled from one of the director’s previous films, Creatures Of Destruction. Which happens to be an uncredited color remake of The She-Creature, another familiar name for Mistery Science Theather 3000 fans.

Also, the paleontologist character, whom manages to see this creature in full and clear sight has the gall to say it’s a Mosasaurus… yeah, despite being a byped, humanoid thing. But then again, the creature is barely in the movie, it’s on screen for less than 2 minutes tops, and these people aren’t too bright, so…

Wanna talk about scrounging for scraps? You can’t go much lower and poorer than this, at least it was distributed by American International Pictures, and not left to rot for decades until someone decides to cut footage from it and attach it to another, unrelated movie, like Curse Of Bigfoot or the usual Godfrey Ho dealio.

Which accounts for something, maybe?

Still, it’s so cheap that some sections are either narrated via voiceover that also includes exchanges between characters that could… just speak, and others were you see characters talk and flapping their lips but don’t hear anything aside from an ill fitting music and badly timed audio clues that are just off.

In the case of the lady prisoner Bella’s backstory (which it’s way too long and stupid), this is even weirder because she narrates over a part of the flashback…..but then just stops and it’s just bad music (without any sound effects) that isn’t timed to anything happening in the video portion, if the two sync up is more by chance than actual design. Until she decides to start narrating again, that is.

I was wondering if this is a case of the crew losing big pieces of the audio recordings, like what happened for the MST3K fan favourite The Creeping Terror, but no, i think everything here is as it was intended to, which is even worst. To say nothing of the horrendous “cinematography”, horrendous, horrendous editing, asinine writing and incredibly poor, lethargic direction.

Of course it wouldn’t be truly bad without also having some really god awful acting to go along with the senseless plot, and a small array of badly written characters, not that you will care for any of them, either because they’re designed to be unlikeable or because they act like brainless idiots anyway.

It’s a REALLY bad one, and very hard to sit through, even at 80 minutes.

Only for die-hard monster movie fans weathered and shaped by years of fossilized cinema crap. We are resilient, if nothing else.

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