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21 May 2010 @ 09:30 pm
It's Alive (10 Fangirls in Search of a Moral)  
I got back from Toronto and headed off straight away for a Primeval weekend in Birmingham where, among other things we watched It's Alive entirely because it had James Murray in it.

I got rather distracted, early on, by lukadreaming's assertion that it had a Christian moral (said useful fact gleaned from the Internet).

Briefly, in It's Alive, a couple give birth to a demon baby which proceeds to munch upon miscellaneous friends, health care professionals and police men before both Mum and baby die in a fire which has conveniently started up in their home.

I started with the hypothesis that the demon baby was the Wrath of God personified. This, rather entertainingly, provides God's hit list (in order of decreasing plausibility):

1. People who disapprove of Stay-at-home Moms and encourage abortions.
2. People who smoke.
3. Police Psychologists who are "good at getting witnesses to remember things".
4. Miscellaneous household pets, rodents and local wildlife.
5. Policemen who drive really slowly (judging by day night cycles at the family home, it took the local police chief about three days to drive out there - mind you by this point I wasn't paying close attention. It's possible there were just a lot of shots of him in his car).
6. Policewomen who associate with Policemen who drive really slowly.
7. Healthcare professionals who cut umbilical cords (I mean I've heard of attachment parenting, but still!).

It also gave a, somewhat shorter, God's approval list:

1. Crippled Children.
2. Dad's who shut their babies in dustbins, drag them out into the forest, contemplate shooting them but wimp out at the last minute (Dad is maimed but not killed).

So I rejected the hypothesis that the demon baby was the Wrath of God personified.

I then spent a while side-tracked by the possibility that we would get a flying demon baby goes for the jugular scene, much like the Vorpal Bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. To my surprise, I was not disappointed, although Monty Python did it better.

Then we got the crucial info-dump scene in which, in flashback, the friend-who-disapproves-of-stay-at-home-moms-and-approves-of-abortion buys abortion pills off the internet and feeds them to Mum, who instantly changes her mind and prays to God to please save her baby whatever the cost.

Inferred Moral: Do not pray to God. He has a sick sense of humour.

Saner Moral: Don't buy dodgy pharmaceuticals off the Internet.

Conclusion: I'm not sure there actually was a Christian Moral in the film at all.


Internet investigation suggests the version of It's Alive we watched is the remake of a rather more interesting film which was playing with idea's drawn from Frankenstein and was intended, in part, as a parody of Rosemary's Baby, in which the Demon Baby only kills when threatened. That said, it sounds like the emphasis was still primarily on shocks rather than anything more substantial.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/7608.html.
 
 
 
fredbassettfredbassett on May 21st, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
LOL! but James Murray was very cute with a beard. *g*

I am most assuredly NOT shallow.
louisedennislouisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
Yes but, as you pointed out, disturbingly well-clothed. I'm not sure the beard compensates for much of the rest of it.
fredbassettfredbassett on May 21st, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
Less clothes would have been an improvement.
louisedennislouisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
Whereas even Andrew Lee-Potts without a shirt couldn't really redeem whatever that film was we only watched 20 minutes of.
(no subject) - lukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fredbassett on May 22nd, 2010 08:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
lukadreaminglukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
Are you sure you don't want a change of career to lecturing Film Studies? *g*

I did warn you said review was off the internet *g*.

Of course the message might have been: "Try to abort your sprog and it turns into spawn of the devil and you will burn in hell (literally)!"

Or maybe not . . .

Poor old Jim Fenner from Bad Girls was never going to see the end of the film . . .

We're going to have to find another James Murray film for you to deconstruct next time, given you've already done Phoenix Blue and It's Alive!
louisedennislouisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
Well I don't know that I gave Phoenix Blue my full attention *g*

However I'm sure James Murray has been in no end of bad films... really all you need to do is ply me with wine and suggest there is some sense somewhere if I look hard enough.
lukadreaminglukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Heh! You did pick the plot to bits when the rest of us were paying not the slightest attention to said plot *g*.

Well, we could do you Under the Greenwood Tree. Sons and Lovers. And I think I may even have a copy of Nailing Vienna, where he plays some Cockney wide boy *g*.
(no subject) - louisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mysteriousaliwz on May 21st, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
joereavesjoereaves on May 21st, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
Given that he is shirtless and wet for much of PB I think I can categorically state no one else was giving the *plot* their full attention either. I suspect the best most of us could do as far as a review for that is - James is very pretty, isn't he?
(no subject) - lukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - joereaves on May 21st, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mysteriousaliwz on May 21st, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - louisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - louisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - joereaves on May 21st, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - louisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - joereaves on May 21st, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lil_shepherd on May 22nd, 2010 05:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - joereaves on May 22nd, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lil_shepherd on May 22nd, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - joereaves on May 22nd, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Susanlil_shepherd on May 21st, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
I haven't see this, but the babies killing people seems perilously like the Living Dead in the Manchester Morgue which I saw at a con many years ago and bits of which remain with me yet...

"Sarge, sarge, the dead people are killing me, sarge."

And that it was all something to do with a device from the Min of Ag and Fish.
louisedennislouisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
The Min of Ag and Fish seem like unlikely villains. I'm having some vague memory of a horror film in which the villains turned out to be a similar unlikely government department but the brain is refusing to deliver.
lukadreaminglukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, and They Weren't Married!
louisedennislouisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
I felt there were Signs of Repentance which undermined the theory that it was all a Punishment for a Life of Sin.
joereavesjoereaves on May 21st, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
There was definitely not enough sex and nudity in It's Alive, sadly.

I believe the moral may well have been meant to abortion=damnation with the fire being a nice allegory for the fires of hell. sadly, the moral does rather fall down when you consider all the many many people the baby killed who had nothing to do with the abortion and the inevitable conclusion that had she just done a better job with the abortion none of this would have happened and as such the moral appears to be that a) birth control is a good thing and b) should you ever try to have an abortion and fail the correct response is to kill the baby at the first opportunity ... Which is a somewhat ethically challenged moral.
louisedennislouisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
Assuming there was intended to be a moral, rather than just a hodge-podge of tropes thrown together then yes, it was presumably Abortion is Bad but, as you point out, given the baby wasn't actually aborted...
lukadreaminglukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
I think we should possibly vote for the hodge-podge of tropes!

Wonder if the original version of the film sucked so many frogs . . .
(no subject) - louisedennis on May 21st, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - joereaves on May 21st, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - joereaves on May 21st, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lukadreaming on May 21st, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)