It’s Alive (1974 and 2009)

It’s Alive (1974) is so pro-choice that it approves of infanticide. A woman gets pregnant and the possibility of abortion is contemplated but ultimately decided against. Then the woman has the baby, and it is a monster.

No sooner does the horrible creature exit the birth canal than it kills every doctor and nurse in the delivery room. It escapes from the hospital and starts killing everyone it meets. At one crime scene, a detective mentions that his wife is upset because she is eight months pregnant, and his being on the case bothers her, especially since she lost their first baby. To this the other detective, who is obviously lacking in tact, says that people who don’t have children don’t know how lucky they are.

Lenore, the woman who has the baby-monster, was taking birth control pills for thirty-one months before she got pregnant, and the suggestion is made that the pills were what caused the baby to develop into a monster. This might seem to be a disconnect. How can the movie be both pro-abortion and anti-birth control at the same time?

The answer is that it is not birth control that is evil, but rather it is the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the pill. The company representative is worried about a possible lawsuit, and he convinces Lenore’s doctor that he too may be in jeopardy, and therefore it would be better if the baby-monster is killed so that it cannot be studied for medical purposes, which might reveal the company’s and the doctor’s culpability.

Frank, Lenore’s husband, comments that when he saw the movie Frankenstein, he thought the monster’s name was Frankenstein, but when he read the book, he realized that was the doctor’s name. In other words, it was not the monster of that book who was the cause of all the evil, but the doctor. And that is the case with this movie: the baby may be the monster, but the doctor and the pharmaceutical company that created the monster are the villains.

The baby-monster instinctively tries to make its way back to its parents. Lenore loves the baby-monster, and eventually Frank does too.  They want to keep it and raise it. This is reminiscent of Rosemary’s Baby (1968), in which Mia Farrow is raped by Satan, but when she has his baby, her maternal instincts take over, and she has deep affection for it.  That movie, however, is pro-life, saying that if a woman is forced to have a baby, then even if her pregnancy was the result of a rape, she will love it.  But, as It’s Alive points out, love is not an unqualified good. In fact, sometimes love is evil.

Anyway, Frank tries to escape with the baby-monster to keep the police from killing it, and then, when surrounded, tries to talk them into letting it live. But when that fails, he throws the baby at the evil doctor. When the police let loose with a fusillade of bullets directed at the baby-monster, they end up killing the doctor too.

In the last scene, the police detective gets word that another woman has had a baby-monster.

In the sequels, It Lives Again (1978) and It’s Alive III:  Island of the Alive (1987), more baby-monsters are born, while their parents love them so much that they do everything they can to protect and nourish them.

It’s Alive was remade in 2009.  It is interesting to note some of the changes that were made.

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