An absolute classic (albeit dated) horror film that helped launch the careers of both director Cohen and make-up effects master Rick Baker. Cohen exploited our fear of chemicals and pollutants with this story of a monster baby that starts killing the moment it emerges from the womb. The opening scene, where the creature comes out and kills the medical staff at a hospital, was the talk of the teenage community in the mid-1970s.
Ryan plays the father who still loves his monster son even though police are on a mission to kill it. Baker created the baby which is only briefly shown in the film, but it was enough to scare most of us. Baker worked on an incredibly low budget, but his creation was so good that he went onto bigger and better films, such as "An American Werewolf in London."
Even better than the movie itself were the trailers shown on TV. A camera slowly revolved around a baby carriage, until it finally revealed a giant claw coming out of it.
The best thing about the film, however, was the score by the great Bernard Hermann, the man who wrote the music for many of Hitchcock's films, including "Psycho." "It's Alive" would be one of the last pictures he would work on.
An equally fine sequel boasting even more monster babies came out four years later.