70’s B Movies: It’s Alive

The below trailer scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. I had that scream in my head at night and I peeked around every corner. This is a 70’s B Drive-in type movie…but I enjoyed it. I could not talk my mom into taking me to see this one in 1977.

It’s Alive was released in a limited run in 1974. It was reissued with the below commercial in 1977 and that is when I heard that damn scream. The budget was $500,000 and the US gross was over $14,000,000 and by 1977 it climbed over $30,000,000 worldwide. Mr. Cohen did very well… there were sequels….but of course.

The Davises have had a baby but they are not sending out any announcements. Most new parents are a little scared when they have a baby. The Davises are terrified. You see there is only one thing wrong with the Davis baby… IT’S ALIVE…(insert scream)

The movie is about a couple who have a killer mutant baby but it does have some social commentary about the medicines and chemicals we take that will cause trouble…as in mutant killer babies.

It was written, produced, and directed by Larry Cohen. The couple’s name was Frank and Lenore Davis…Lenore had been given contraceptive medicine and the doctor who prescribed the drugs to Lenore is contacted by a pharmaceutical company executive. The executive acknowledges that the child’s mutation may have been caused by the drugs. He tells the doctor that the child must be destroyed to prevent the discovery of the company’s liability.

It’s Alive Cast… Cast. John P. Ryan as Frank DavisAndrew Duggan as the Professor. Sharon Farrell as Lenore DavisGuy Stockwell as Bob Clayton.James Dixon as Lieutenant PerkinsMichael Ansara as the Captain.William Wellman Jr. as Charley.

The film was followed by two sequels, It Lives Again (1978) and It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987) and a remake, It’s Alive (2009).

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70s B Movies: The Car

This haunted car movie was before Christine and though it’s not as good it is entertaining. It was panned when released but it does have a 6.1 in IMDB which is not terrible. The movie resembles Jaws but with a driverless demon car instead of a shark.

It’s a cross between a science-fiction and a horror film about an angry, driverless automobile that terrorizes a small Utah town for several days, squashing one hitchhiker, two bicyclists, one sheriff, one school teacher, and assorted policemen.

While much of the plot and dialog in The Car is pretty silly, there are some terrific moments in it, like the opening scene, where two bicyclists are rammed off a high bridge, which was reportedly the highest free fall stunt of its time. There’s also a scene where the car hides in the dark, then it flies through the window of a house, running over a woman in her kitchen.

The Car cast James Brolin, Ronnie Cox, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley, R.G Armstrong, John Rubinstein, and Elizabeth Thompson.

I talked my mom into taking me to see this movie when I was ten in 1977. She gave it a big thumbs down. As B movies go you can get much worse than this movie.

The Star of the film is The Car! Designed and engineered by legendary car builder George Barris, who was also responsible for such iconic movie vehicles as the Batmobile, The Munster’s Koach and many others, The Car began life as 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III Coupe.

Guillermo Del Toro is known to drive a replica of the Lincoln from the film. He is a fan of the movie.

It has its fans and detractors but it is remembered. Below The Car in this Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode with Maggie driving while chasing and hitting Millhouse.

Hall and Oats – Rich Girl

I remember watching “Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie” and hearing this song…this song was their first number 1 hit on the Billboard 100 and it peaked at #5 in Canada in 1977. This song and Sara Smile are my favorites by them.

This song had a strange connection to the Son of Sam… from songfacts.

Daryl Hall was shocked to find out that the infamous serial killer David “Son Of Sam”

Berkowitz claimed he was inspired to murder by this song. It is unlikely that this song actually compelled Berkowitz to kill, as it was released after he started his killing spree, and Berkowitz cited many influences, including his neighbor’s dog, when asked why he killed. Nonetheless, it was very disturbing for Hall and Oates to have their song associated with Berkowitz, and they made reference to this in their 1980 song “Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)” from their Voices album in the lyrics: “Charlie liked The Beatles, Sam he liked Rich Girl.”

“Rich Girl”

You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far
‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
You can rely on the old man’s money
You can rely on the old man’s money
It’s a bitch girl but it’s gone too far
‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
Say money but it won’t get you too far
Get you too far

Don’t you know, don’t you know
That it’s wrong to take what is given you
So far gone, on your own
You can get along if you try to be strong
But you’ll never be strong ’cause

You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far
‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
You can rely on the old man’s money
You can rely on the old man’s money
It’s a bitch girl and it’s gone too far
‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
Say money but it won’t get you too far
Get you too far

High and dry, out of the rain
It’s so easy to hurt others when you can’t feel pain
And don’t you know that a love can’t grow
‘Cause there’s too much to give, ’cause you’d rather live
For the thrill of it all, oh

You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far
‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
You can rely on the old man’s money
You can rely on the old man’s money
It’s a bitch girl and it’s gone too far
‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
Say money but it won’t get you too far
Say money but it won’t get you too far
Say money but it won’t get you too far
Get you too far

And you say
You can rely on the old man’s money
You can rely on the old man’s money
You’re a rich girl, a rich girl
Oh, you’re a rich, rich girl yeah
Say money but it won’t get you too far
Oh, get ya too far

My Memories of 1977

In 1977 I turned 10 years old. It was the first year I wanted to know what was going on in the world. I started to watch Walter Cronkite reporting the world news. Keywords I remember were Sadat, Middle East, Son of Sam, Concorde, and Inflation. Local news would be Chris Clark on channel 5 an affiliate of CBS…keywords locally… Snow, Ray Blanton (the name would be more popular the next year…in a bad way), and Larry Schmittou…who would bring Nashville minor league baseball the following year with the “Sounds” a Reds farm team.

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I missed around 3 weeks of school because of it being either closed or the bus would not run down our rural road because of snow…sledding and exploring time! In Middle Tn… 1 inch of snow will shut down a city.

I remember Star Wars hit the theaters with lines around the corners. I didn’t see it the month it was released but soon afterward. It was everywhere and the talk of the school. We had never seen anything like it before.

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I remember Queen releasing News of the World. A friend of mine brought the album to school and we studied every inch of the cover (by Frank Kelly Freas), a giant robot picking up the bodies of the band. We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions played non-stop on the radio. This is when I started to explore other bands that weren’t named The Beatles.

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The TV mini-series Roots was huge and historic.

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I was watching Gilligans Island and it was interrupted by sad news. Elvis Presley was dead at 42 years old. My mom and other grown-ups around were really upset. I knew his songs and it was sad but I didn’t understand everyone’s reactions for someone they didn’t know. Three years later when I was 13 I understood perfectly clear when John Lennon was murdered. Three days after Elvis died Groucho Marx passed away…In October Bing Crosby passed away.

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I paid attention to the inauguration of Jimmy Carter as President in January. I would hear about peanuts, teeth and his brother Billy for the rest of the year…and about one of those keywords again…inflation.

I remember the Son of Sam killings. In August of that year, David Berkowitz was finally apprehended. He killed six people and wounded seven others. I also remember the blackouts in New York in July…

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The Concorde was all over the news that year. To a 10-year-old in 1977, it looked like something out of a sci-fi movie.

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In March of 1977, I started to follow baseball. I’m not from California but my Dad always rooted for the Dodgers and it was passed down to me. I read from a young age about Babe Ruth, Christy Matheson, and the older players… but this was the first year I followed modern baseball from start to finish. Cey, Lopes, Garvey, Russell, Yeager, Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith, Don Sutton, Tommy John…I loved that team. I still can imitate the batting stance of all of the starters. Ron Cey was my hero and I played 3rd base in Little League because of him.

Our insurance salesman would come to our house every now and then and he knew I was a Dodger fan. He said he went to games in LA and would bring back something for me… I believed him totally. My mom told me not to get my hopes up as he was busy and might forget… A few weeks later…there he was with a Dodger 1977 pennant in his hand to give me…I still have it. I couldn’t believe the pennant in my hand came from the mythical Dodger Stadium where my heroes played.

They had four players with 30 or more home runs that year…Cey, Garvey, Smith, and Baker. They made it to the World Series but broke my heart. They played the Yankees and Reggie Jackson (it still hurts to type his name) hit three home runs in the sixth and deciding game to beat my Dodgers. It took a while to get over that…well I’m still writing about it 41 years later…but it’s always next year.

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I’ll close it out on Matchbox and Hot Wheels…I had a huge collection that I carried to friends houses to trade and race.

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If only life was that simple again…