Monday, July 20, 2009

Fantasmo Episode 48: It's Alive!

As we close out the summer here at Fantasmo HQ, your Team Fantasmo felt a great way to go out with a bang would be a little 70's horror. With that in mind we've settled on a double-feature from one of the great B-horror series of all-time, the It's Alive films from auteur extraordinaire Larry Cohen (Q: The Winged Serpent, Return to Salem's Lot). Cohen shocked audiences in 1974 with the initial entry which introduced a monstrous newborn that mutated as a result of inadequately tested prescription drugs. The film functioned both as entertainment and an exploration of parental fears. Plus it had cool effects from future Oscar winner Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London). It Lives Again expanded the concept by having an all-out conflict between rival groups attempting to protect or destroy the mutant newborns which are popping up all over the country. While there was an apocalyptic third entry, It's Alive 3: Island of the Alive, your Team Fantasmo is going to let you discover that one on your own : ) We can safely say that it's better than Smokey and the Bandit Part 3! On that note here are your full Episode 48 details:

When: Friday, August 14th

Where: Chesapeake Central Library, 298 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322


8:00 p.m.: It's Alive! (1974) – Rated PG

9:45 p.m.: It Lives Again (1978) – Rated R

So there you have it Superfans, another perfect lineup! But that's not all! The next several months are going to be VERY special Fantasmos. For September we're aiming to attempt a bold "environmental" change to recapture a unique filmgoing experience from a bygone era, in October we've got Monster Fest on deck, and in November we'll be launching a regularly occurring event celebrating all things zombies (films, games, costumes, etc.). So prepare yourself for a fall lineup that is going to be nothing short of mind-blowing!


george booker said...

"it's alive" got one of the nicest receptions in my misguided halloween klaxar klipshow at the boot (i showed the horrific discovery of the blood soaked, corpse ridden delivery room), and i think stands as a fine example of that '70s trend that died as soon as "temple of doom" and "gremlins" inspired the spielberg-friendly "pg-13" designation, the "hard pg". indeed, "its alive" is a "pg", but would probably earn an "r" today. the "pg" indicates, like "jaws", that most of the gore is post-thrashing and it makes great use of subtlety.

Jim Blanton said...

That opening scene is truly horrific, and has stuck with me since I saw it back in the early 80's. It is interesting how the PG-13 really killed that phenomenon. In a strange sort of way it was almost a creative damper, as trying to achieve a PG yet include those sorts of scenes inspired a lot of ingenuity.

Larry Cohen is somewhat of an unsung genius, who doesn't really get his proper due in my opinion. There's a great book on him by Tony Williams called Larry Cohen: The Radical Allegories of an Independent Filmmaker. If you get a chance it's definitely worth checking out. Plus it has a wonderful interview with Michael Moriarty who worked with him on Q and The Stuff.