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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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…