It's Alive remake:Upcoming Horror Movies recently sat down with writer/director Larry Cohen to discuss the proposed remake of the classic horro flick, It's Alive...

I shudder to think of an IT’S ALIVE remake without your involvement.

Well, I’m going to both write and direct the remake. I want to make it my way, and this is the best way to do it so it will be kept under control. It’ll be fun. I haven’t directed a picture in about five years, actually, so it will be nice to get back into it. Certainly we’ll use CGI, but I expect to use it in a more creative way. I’ll keep the creature in the shadows so you won’t get a good look at the thing thru most of the picture. And when we pay it off, of course, it will be excellent. But it could hardly be better than some of the shots of it in the original. They were few and far between, but what you did see made it look like it was real.

Which made the whole movie work. If that creature hadn’t delivered the goods…

I used to like to walk in the theaters and watch just to see the scene where the piñata falls in the basement and lands on John Ryan. Its nothing, except it just scares you, and then you realize it’s a piñata and you laugh. It always worked. Every show. They would all scream, and then they would all laugh. I loved that, cuz we made them believe that there was really a monster baby lurking around. I mean, it’s an absurd subject, and I’m sure the audience would walk in skeptically. “I’m not gonna let this scare me. Who’s gonna believe in a monster baby?” But after watching the picture for twenty minutes, suddenly everybody in the theater screams at once and acknowledges to everybody else that they really believe that this story is happening. They’re really caught up by this subject and they’re really scared. And that’s what’s great about a horror movie. It’s a unifying force for the entire audience. Everybody’s joined together in a mutual experience. They’re all being scared at the same time.

What’s also great about horror, particularly your horror films, is that in the guise of an entertainment, you can deal with social issues in an indirect manner that you wouldn’t be able to get away with otherwise.

Yeah, well IT’S ALIVE had a lot to say about the period during which it was made. Indirectly, it’s about the issue of abortion. You can’t make a movie about abortion and have it be a successful commercial film if it was just a polemic. You have to embody the theme in a thriller. A motion picture that has entertainment value and suspense value. And then you can deal with the theme and explore it as deeply as you want to. So that’s what I did. That subject matter is very important and probably one of the most crucial being debated in our lifetime. And I think its certainly worthy of continued examination as people’s attitudes change. Now, with the remake, we’re living in a time with DNA and genetic research where people can have custom designed babies. They can pick and choose hair color, eye color, they can pick and choose the sex. And if they find out there’s gonna be certain defects with the child ahead of time, they can abort the pregnancy. They’re even saying they’re at the verge of being able to define homosexuality, which a parent might say they don’t want to get in to raising a child with those tendencies and they won’t have this child so they’ll abort it… I mean, this is pretty horrible when you think about it. If it was up to parents to make those kind of choices, some of the greatest people that ever lived would have never been born. So that’s what I’m exploring with the remake.

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Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.