It's Alive!

Year Of Release: 1969
Running Time: 80 Minutes
DVD Released By: Retromedia
Directed By: Larry Buchanan
Writing Credits: Richard Matheson, Larry Buchanan
Filming Location: Tennessee, USA

Starring: Tommy Kirk, Shirley Bonne, Bill Thurman, Annabelle Weenick, Corveth Ousterhouse

Tagline: I was unable to locate any taglines for this film.

Alternate Titles: I was unable to locate any alternate titles for this film.

Interesting Bits of Trivia:
The monster in this movie originally appeared in director Larry Buchanan's earlier movie Creature of Destruction in 1967. Shirley Bonne only appeared in five films throughout her career, ending with this one. But what you may not know is that she appeared as "Ruth" in the "Shore Leave" episode of the original Star Trek television show in 1966. She also appeared in an episode of Mannix, and an episode of Bonanza.

 

 




Cast Of Characters
Wayne Thomas: No you're not seeing things. It's Tommy Kirk starring in yet another one of Larry Buchanan's turds. This time he's playing a paleontologist who happens to be up in the mountains farting around when he meets up with the Sterns as they're passing by. That in turn led him to get caught up in all the rest of this mess. Oh well, since I doubt he was being inundated with acting jobs, this probably got him an extra month's worth of rent at least.

Greely: This guy was just a nut. See, he's got this big lizard man thing in this cave, and he feeds it. He started out by feeding it cattle and sheep and the occasional coyote, but then when some nosy busybody happened along one day, he discovered that the thing preferred to eat people. So now he basically kidnaps people who end up at his little place in the mountains and locks them in a cell at the top of the cave complex where the monster is so the monster can have a nice people buffet anytime it gets hungry. Basically he's insane and his character is so boring, I can't think of anything overly funny to say about it. I guess I could rip on that stupid lookin' hat, or his complete lack of any fashion sense, but those jokes tell themselves.

Norman Sterns: This guy is just a bitch. There's no other word for it. He bitches from the opening scene right up until he becomes monster chow. He's one of those characters where you just know after about the first ten seconds that he's going to be the first one killed by the monster, and you count every second after just waiting for that to happen.

Leilla Sterns: This is Norman's wife, unfortunately for her. She's actually a nice girl and not entirely stupid or unlikable, but then again, she doesn't do a whole lot to help their situation either. Now normally, a woman would be sad to see her husband die, but Norman was such a jerk that she didn't even bat an eye when he got killed. She just set her sights on Wayne and moved on. I mean after all, she was a widow for a whole twenty minutes or so before she started flirting with Wayne. Twenty minutes is an eternity for a poor widow woman.

Bella: When the movie starts out, you're basically led to believe that this woman is Greely's wife. That turns out not to be the case. The fact is, he kidnapped her, starved her, beat her, and basically tormented her until her will was so broken that she just gave up and did whatever he told her to do. She hates what he's doing and he's constantly yelling at her and threatening her and basically just abuses the hell out of her to keep her in line. At the end though, she finally gets enough guts to betray him...right before he shoots her.




Screen Shots

Greely took Norman and Leilla on a tour of the place and they ended up at some local bars. You'll wish you had a nice stiff drink just to make it through this film. Anyway, this is where he trapped them in the cave so that the monster could eat them. So far, this movie is so boring that I'm having trouble coming up with any amusing screenshots. So I'll apologize right now for the lameness of this one and the ones to come.

What in the hell are you shootin' at? The monster's over this way you moron!

After Greely held Bella captive in his house for three days without food or water, she finally got him to give her some food. So what does he bring her? Soup d' jour? Roast brisket with carrots and potatoes? Maybe a nice lemon pepper chicken with some extra sour french bread? Well, as you can see in the screenshot, it was none of those things. It's too bad the mouse wasn't alive when he gave it to her. She could have waited around a little while and had some mouse beans for dessert.

You know, I was wondering why the monster was so angry all the time. Now I can totally see why. He needs some high quality dental work like NOW! Them teeth are even affecting his speech, the poor thing. Check out this actual sound clip of what the monster really sounds like...




Best Quotes

"There is a legend in these hills, that when it rains and the sun shines at the same time, the devil is kissing his wife."

- This was from the narration at the beginning of the movie. - (Reviewer's Note: The Devil has a wife? No wonder he's pissed off all the time...)



 

Video Clip
When prompted, enter bmovie for the username and central for the password.

It's Alive
Greely comes to the realization that maybe the monster isn't his friend after all. Come to that, he finally realizes that Bella's not his friend either. In fact, his whole life takes a pretty crappy turn at this point. As for me, I'm just wondering how Bella lit the fuse on the dynamite.



Summary and Conclusion

I apologize for the lack of humor in this review, but it's really hard to come up with funny stuff to say when you're reviewing a movie as completely and utterly boring and stupid as this one was. Larry Buchanan has done it again. It wasn't bad enough that he made me suffer not once, but twice with his incredibly inane Mars Needs Women, but now he's done it to me a second time with this peanut covered turd. I can pretty much cut anyone some slack for having one bad movie, but this is the second film of his that I've reviewed, and they were both just absolutely pathetic.

This movie sucked on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin. I guess I'll start with the plot, which goes a little something like this. A couple of city folks are driving around up in the mountains because the wife wanted to go for a drive and enjoy the scenery. The husband, who's basically just a total jerk, is constantly riding her about the trip and how miserable he is and what not. Well these folks almost run out of gas, and they happen along this guy named Wayne who's a paleontologist working up in the hills. He tells them there's a house up the road and that they might be able to borrow gas from the guy that lives there. So they go there, and after a bit of small talk with Greely, Wayne shows up. Greely has his wife keep the couple occupied while he goes out and cracks Wayne on the head so he can drag him down to the cave where the creature lives and lock him up. Once he gets back, Greely, makes up some story about how Wayne left to get some gas for them, and then proceeds to take them out to show him his collection of wild animals. He eventually leads them down to the cave where he locks them in with Wayne and leaves them all for the monster to devour. A whole lot of boring stuff happens, Norman gets eaten, yada yada yada, and there's a final confrontation with Greely and the monster after Wayne talked Bella into bringing him his dynamite from his jeep. He had originally intended to use it to blow the cell doors open so they could escape, but it ended up with Bella using it to destroy herself, and Greely, and the monster by caving the whole place in.

Ok, so that's the basic story in the movie. Unfortunately, the movie was a hell of a lot longer than the description I just gave. It was an eighty minute movie that felt more like eight hundred minutes. I had actually toyed with the thought of giving this movie one bee, just because some of the acting was passable. I say I toyed with it because that was before I reached the part with Bella telling Wayne and Leilla how she ended up in the situation she was in. See, that little story of hers turned into a TWENTY MINUTE FLASHBACK SEQUENCE!!!!!! Now this in and of itself was bad enough, but what made it worse is that there was hardly any talking in it. She would narrate a bit here and there, but basically there wasn't much, and there wasn't any sound on the flashback either. There was some music, but that was about it. Fortunately, they have this thing called a fast forward button, and I was able to compress that twenty minute flashback down into about five minutes, which pretty much saved my sanity. After seeing that, there was no way in hell this movie was getting anything but a bat rating.

Now as I said above, some of the performances in this movie were passable. Tommy Kirk did about as well as could be expected, but he really looked like he'd rather be somewhere else. Bill Thurman, who played Greely, did a good job playing a nut ball, and Annabelle Weenick did a passable job as well playing the abused and submissive Bella. Corveth Ousterhouse was pretty much horrible as the obnoxious husband, and Shirley Bonne did a decent job in her part as Leilla. The problem is, these people didn't have a good script to work with, and that's the basic foundation of any movie. You have to have something good to work from unless you're planning on improvising everything from scratch. In this case, I think they'd have been better off improvising everything.

The monster is yet another problem. It's stupid looking, which is normally a good thing, but they didn't do anything with it. You only see the monster a few times in the movie, and when you do see it, you don't actually see it attacking anyone. This is most likely because the suit looked so flimsy that they were afraid that if they did actually attack anyone, all the teeth would fall out or something. The monster in this film appeared in another film as well called Creature of Destruction. They basically snagged the leftover monster suit from that movie and used it in this one. They'd have been better off snagging the turd monster outfit from Creature From the Haunted Sea. That one was pretty much equally goofy looking and it was probably a lot sturdier.

The quality of this DVD release is something else I'd like to mention. I haven't actually looked at the second feature yet, but the quality of this one left a lot to be desired. It looks like it was transferred from old materials and the quality is grainy at best. Occasionally you'll get a clearer looking scene, but it's pretty much grainy throughout. Basically, they didn't spend much time, if any cleaning up the film before they released it. Now I can't really hold this against them considering how crappy this movie is and how cheap the DVD is. It just wasn't worth it to put the time and effort into cleaning it up. But, and this is just my opinion, if a company is going to release these classics in a permanent digital format, they should clean them up and preserve them the best they can before they're released. The film sources for these movies aren't getting any younger, and some of these DVD transfers may be the last time that some of these movies are transferred from their original materials, so every effort should be made to make these transfers as clean and as pristine as possible so the films can be preserved for generations to come. Even movies as bad as this one should be preserved, because they're a part of film history, and should be remembered for better or for worse.

So that about wraps it up. This is just another Larry Buchanan flop, and unless you're into boring movies with extremely boring twenty minute flashback sequences used as filler, then you probably won't enjoy this one in the least. I had no choice but to give this film...

B-Movie Central's Rating: The Bat!

Purchase this film from Amazon:

 

Purchase this film from Movies Unlimited:
or

 

s

Unseen Things: Origins



My series of contemporary fantasy / sci-fi novels, Unseen Things is now available through the official website, Amazon, Smashwords and other online retail sites.

BMC Facebook Page




Donations

If you enjoy this site, please consider making a donation.

alt

Affiliates




Login Form