This week on TCM Underground: God Told Me To (1976) and It’s Alive 2: It Lives Again (1978)

pizap.com14616989654611

It’s always a party when Larry Cohen is in the house.

dvd_god

Back in December — two days before Christmas, in fact — TCM Underground ran a double shot of Larry Cohen 70s horror/sci-fi: GOD TOLD ME TO (1976) and IT’S ALIVE (1974). Both films reflect on the miracle of birth by way of dramatizing its nightmarish flipside and asking us to ponder the awful possibilities: a.) either our beloved issue is hopelessly contaminated by the folly of our industry and inexorably alien or monstruous or b.) we are not who we think we are; we are alien; we are monstrous. Cohen being Cohen, neither film is a detached Kubrickian-Cronenbergian clinical examination but a sweaty, lumpy, angry polemic, delivered in the bait-and-switch of a B-grade entertainment. We  bring back GOD TOLD TO (click here to read my thoughts from last year) this weekend, accompanied by IT’S ALIVE‘s first sequel, IT’S ALIVE 2 (1978), aka IT LIVES AGAIN.

It Lives Again

IT LIVES AGAIN picks up the narrative thread of Cohen’s original a few years afterwards, with Frank Davis, the protagonist of the first movie (John Ryan) and the father of a mutant/monster baby that claimed several victims before being gunned down by the LAPD, reaching out to other families in the same, er, situation. Though the decision to green light a sequel to IT’S ALIVE probably had more to do with the unexpected success of that film in re-release in 1977, IT LIVES AGAIN is no crass cash-in but a thoughtful continuation of the themes set forth in the original. The sequel even feels timely, with expectant parents (THE MISSOURI BREAKS costars Frederic Forrest and Kathleen Lloyd — hey, John Ryan was in that movie, too, come to think of it!) finding themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war between opposing forces of control and order (cult icon Eddie Constantine even turns up in this, trading his Lemmy Caution porkpie for surgical scrubs), their private joy turned to public pain, the imminent birth of their first child pre-judged, assessed, and classified by strangers, and the baby’s fate or destiny taken out of their hands. What could be more nightmarish than that?

pizap.com14617021929371

Our Larry Cohen kickoff is at 11:15pm PST/2:15am EST but there are a lot of good sci-fi/horror films on TCM throughout that day, among them THE FLY (1958), SOYLENT GREEN (1973), FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH (aka QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, 1968), and THE UNINVITED (1944). Gather the family, stay inside, and make a day of it!

2 Responses This week on TCM Underground: God Told Me To (1976) and It’s Alive 2: It Lives Again (1978)
Posted By Chris Wuchte : April 27, 2016 9:06 pm

That’s a lot of good cult movies for one day.

I’m a little shocked to realize that I’ve never seen The Fly, which surprises me with the amount of horror movies I watched on television when I was a kid. I wonder if wasn’t included in as many syndication packages as the rest of the classics

Posted By Murphy’s Law : April 29, 2016 1:59 am

Rather than Christmas, It’s Alive would be perfect for Father’s Day weekend.

Leave a Reply

Current ye@r *

Streamline is the official blog of FilmStruck, a new subscription service that offers film aficionados a comprehensive library of films including an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic art house, indie, foreign and cult films.