‘Trapped in a cave of terror!’
It’s Alive! is a 1969 American horror film written, edited, produced and directed by Larry Buchanan (The Loch Ness Horror; Zontar: The Thing from Venus; The Naked Witch; et al). It stars Tommy Kirk, Shirley Bonne, Bill Thurman (The Evictors; Keep My Grave Open; Night Fright), Corveth Ousterhouse and Annabelle Weenick (Don’t Look in the Basement).
The film’s screenplay was apparently based on ‘Being’, a 1964 script for a film production of Richard Matheson’s story of the same name. Much to AIP’s chagrin, ‘Being’ had to be shelved after lead actor Peter Lorre passed away before filming could commence. Buchanan inherited the project for one of AIP’s TV cheapies.
A mad farmer finds a prehistoric monster hiding in a cavern on his land. To feed his critter, the demented farmer kidnaps three people who desperately try to escape…
“The monster is a guy in a rubber suit with fangs and ping-pong balls for eyes. Even a barely adequate director would have realised such a shoddy monster required the use of lightning-fast cut-aways in order to diminish its comical potential, but Buchanan presents us with lengthy head shots so that we can examine its awfulness in detail.” Richard Cross, 20/20 Movie Reviews
“Thurman’s performance aside, however, the movie is a stinker, with too many dull stretches and a particularly ill-conceived monster. The latter uses the same outfit that Buchanan used for Creature of Destruction; it was a lousy monster suit to begin with, but at least in that movie it made a little sense. Here, it’s supposed to be a giant dinosaur, but it never once conveys any sense of real size, and it looks not the least bit dinosaurish.” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
“Brave viewers are advised to fortify themselves with caffeine or other stimulants before attempting the scene where Thurman’s housekeeper recounts her kidnapping and abuse, an endless flashback told in almost complete silence. Keep telling yourself: it’s only a movie…” Videohound’s Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics
Narrator: “There is a legend in these hills. That when it rains and sun shines at the same time, the Devil is kissing his wife.”
Eureka Springs and Beaver, in Ozark Mountain area of northern Arkansas