The mutant babies have been placed by court order on a deserted island. Appalled by the cynicism and exploitation of the children by the legal system and the media, the man responsible for them leads an expedition to the island to free them.
Frank Davis (John P. Ryan), the father of the child in the original It's Alive, is trying to make up for his part in the life and death of his child by warning parents of the conspiracy to murder their mutant children. Parents like Eugene (Frederic Forrest, The Conversation) and Jody (Kathleen Lloyd, The Car), who are met at the hospital not by doctors and nurses, but by police officers. She's rescued by Frank just before she goes into labor and delivers her child in a specially made vehicle.
The trouble is, even the calmest of people can spook these mutant children, who are nature's most perfect apex predator. Now that there are three of these babies, things are even more intense than the first film.
Like always, Larry Cohen can take an idea that sounds ridiculous when read and make a movie that completely works. He's honestly one of the directors I depend on most, because no matter the genre or budget, his movies are always something that entertains and makes you think.
Of course, there would have to be a third film in this series and, spoiler warning, I ended up enjoying it even more than this one.
Reviewed by bkoganbing5 / 10
Third time the charm
Third time was the charm of sorts for Larry Cohen. The first It's Alive film was interesting, the second I thought stupid. But in Island Of The Alive Cohen found the tone he should have used for the two preceding films and the right actor to set the tone.
Michael Moriarty and Karen Black play a parents of the latest mutant baby and Moriarty goes to court on a preventive strike to win his kid's life. He does, but it and some other mutants are placed on a Caribbean island in exile to be studied to find a solution to a growing problem.
Moriarty with his swaggering style dominates this film. The writers took special care of him with the script and he delivers their lines at his sarcastic best. The film takes a couple of real good jabs at contemporary America of the Reagan era.
Sad the film's antecedents retard its ratings. But this is clearly the best of the series. If another is done, hopefully it will be in the same vein.
Reviewed by Coventry7 / 10
Great sequel...excellent black comedy!
I can't possibly figure out why the movie is rated so low here on IMDb... It's a very entertaining movie and an excellent closure to Larry Cohen's wild 'monstrous infants' trilogy. It already starts out terrific with a brilliant casting job: Michael Moriarty ("The Stuff") and Karen Black ("Burnt Offerings") together as parents?? No wonder that results in murderous offspring! This quirky B-movie implements a great tempo right from the beginning, with the cliché delivery of a killer-baby in a cab, and becomes even better when the entire freakshow is replaced to a courtroom. In this particularly fantastic opening, Stephen Jarvis (Moriarty), father of a mutant-baby, defends the rights of these ugly creatures and wants to prevent that more unfortunate babies are destroyed immediately after birth. After a powerfully scripted emotional speech, he wins the case and the babies are quarantined on a secret island location, down South of Florida. Five years later, Stephen Jarvis is forced against his will to join a scientific expedition towards to island to see how the babies have developed. The expedition crew will soon find out that the former babies still have ferocious tendencies but Jarvis equally discovers that they gained telekinetic powers and that they formed a community on their own...
Larry Cohen's still growing sense of black, offbeat humor is terrifically illustrated through some of the deranged plot-twists and especially through Moriarty's eccentric character. His sarcastic one-liners about his unsuccessful acting career or his unwanted popularity as the "father of the monster" makes this "Island of the Alive" one of Cohen's wittiest achievements to date. Also, this final chapter obviously disposed of a much larger budget as the previous installments which allows Cohen's to zoom in more on the malevolent babies and the mess they make when slaughtering. Keep your eyes open for all the ingenious little ideas Cohen adds during the trip to, and return from the island! There are too many to list, such as a side-trip to Fidel Castro's Cuba, a demented singing choir (which looks like it's spoofing "Jaws") or Jarvis' self-indulgent harassing-efforts towards a female scientist. Naturally, this movie has its flaws I can't overlook.. Maybe the finished product is a little long and some sequences should have stayed in the cutting room. Like for example a totally unrelated hunting-trip of greedy thrill-seekers to the island early in the film or a study of Karen Black's troubled love-life after giving birth to a monster. The climax is great, rewarding and makes Cohen's "It's Alive" circle complete. If you appreciate imaginative plotting and absurd horror tales, I recommend the entire It's Alive-cycle as well as every other production Larry Cohen was ever involved in.