Evan finally got a good one!

It’s October, and to help celebrate, we at BAD want to bring you just a shitload of horror writing. My contribution will be Sequels in the Dark - a weekly column (conceived by Phil Nobile Jr.) in which I discuss a late sequel from a horror franchise I don’t know at all or know just a tiny little bit. Will it be fun? So far - no Yes!

Now THIS is what I’m talking about. What a perfect movie for this column. The moment I started It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive, it was pretty clear I was getting into a horror sequel which relied on past information to make total sense. Also, unlike the past two entries, this one is a for real movie. You can tell because it has Michael Moriarity and Karen Black in it.

So It’s Alive III begins with a lady giving birth in a taxi cab. A fellow jumps in to help deliver the kid, but as soon as it pops out he gets all disgusted, yelling ‘It’s one of THEM!” So I guess these mutant babies are known to the world at this point.

Then, to my supreme joy, he pulls his gun without hesitation and starts shooting the baby and (I assume) the mother. The baby eats him anyway. While I appreciate Wishmaster 4 and Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong’s willingness to offer boobs in their opening moments, this first It’s Alive III scene is miles better than both of those put together. If I have to turn in my gamergate card for that admission, so be it.

From this we jump to a courtroom scene in which motherfucking Gerrit Graham wants to convince a judge to kill the five (!) mutant babies the government has in custody. One of these babies is the child of motherfucking Michael Moriarity. To maintain the ignorance this column requires, I have purposely not looked up whether Moriarity is in the first two films. I assume he is though.

Here’s the deal - I first came across Michael Moriarity in a very serious TV miniseries about the Holocaust. It didn’t really give me any indication that he was a fucking awesome, kind of batshit crazy actor. I know better now, and It’s Alive III offers a pretty perfect illustration of that Moriarity hilarity. He starts off right away through some great swearing. To convince the court that his kid is more human than monster, he has to approach his caged child even though he’s “scared shitless.” When he does, he starts telling the baby, hey man, if you don’t let me touch you affectionately “this asshole” is going to win this court case. It works! Both on the judge and my heart.

So the judge decides that he can’t murder these mutant babies. But they can’t live in our society either. Instead, he has them quarantined on a remote island. This leads to a pretty great scene where the scientists who created these babies in the first place (I think? I don’t know if we’re supposed to recognize these guys or not) ascertain the location of the island and try to hunt the babies. They get their asses killed instead, and it’s awesome. One guy almost gets away in his helicopter. BUT! There’s a mutant baby on board. As soon as it makes its presence known by eating the guy, the helicopter explodes midair. Damn straight.

Meanwhile, most of the movie focuses on Michael Moriarity’s life as it falls apart. Financial pressure forces him to write a soul-crushing tell all book about his son. His ex-wife (Karen Black) wants nothing to do with him. People equate the fact that he made a mutant baby with having an STD. And at one point, he has to take a job as the very worst shoe salesman ever put to film. Plus, I think he really misses his mutant kid.

This is all kind of sad, but Moriarity ameliorates it by being an extremely sardonic asshole who we can’t help but love. Also, it turns out he’s so good in bed that a hooker offers to cook him breakfast.

Five years pass and scientists come to Moriarity for some help. They want to check up on the mutant babies and need him to keep them docile. He says yes and spends the long journey to the island hitting on one female scientist way too hard, leading drunken sing-a-longs, and grilling the guy driving the boat on how steering works. Like I said, Michael Moriarity is fucking awesome.

Want more proof? The moment they land on the island, Moriarity strikes out on his own, and immediately starts trying to hang out with the mutant babies regardless of what happens to the humans in his company. Of course they all die. Five years have gone by and the mutant babies are now just plain old mutants. We don’t get to see them very well, but they seem pretty hardcore.

Moriarity survives the onslaught and takes all the mutants back to America. There are more of them now because his child and a lady mutant had a baby, making Moriarity a proud grandfather. As their journey progresses, the other mutants grow less inclined to let Moriarity live, so his son throws him and a flotation device overboard. This saves his life, but also gets him picked up by Cuban authorities, so we get to enjoy a scene of Michael Moriarity trying to explain his situation to a bunch of Castro-loving Cubans. This movie has everything.

The mutants don’t really do much once they reach Florida. Their killing focuses almost exclusively on would-be rapists and cops, and no one likes them to begin with. Eventually we discover that they are dying of natural causes and the whole point of the trip is to deliver the new baby mutant to Karen Black for safekeeping. Isn’t that sweet? At its core, this really is a movie about heart. And Michael Moriarity being abusive to people.

I’ve heard this is the weakest of the series. I find that hard to believe, but I’m super excited to see what other joys the It’s Alive movies have to offer. Since I started with part three, I think I might just keeping watching them backwards for maximum confusion.