It's Alive III: Island of the Alive starts in court as state prosecutor argues that the mutant babies that are being born across the US should be killed at birth & are not human, mutant baby father Stephen Jarvis (Michhael Moriarty) manages to convince the court that the babies have feelings & should be allowed to live. Judge Milton Watson (Macdonald Carey) rules in favour of Jarvis & the babies right to live but orders them all to be placed on an isolated island away from humanity so they cannot hurt anyone & that the location be kept secret. Five years later & Jarvis is contacted by cop Lt. Perkins (James Dixon) who has agreed to go to the island with a team of Government funded scientists to study the babies & how they have adapted, as a father of one of the mutant babies they want Jarvis to accompany them which he also agrees to. Once at the island the team discover that the babies have grown up remarkably quickly, have telepathic powers & have started breeding amongst themselves...
Executive produced, written & directed by Larry Cohen this was the third entry in his It's Alive trilogy, the first It's Alive (1974) is generally considered to be a strong film while it's sequel It Lives Again (1978) expanded upon the original's themes without being quite as good which leaves It's Alive III: Island of the Alive as probably the weakest of the three films in my opinion & I have now seen all three in the space of three days. The script here seems rushed, the film jumps from one random subplot to another, from the court case to Jarvis being rejected by a woman because he's the mutant babies father to a hunting expedition on the island to the scientific research team to a bizarre scene in Cuba to an ending where the mutant baby wants to find it's mother the film as a whole never quite gels together with the various strands of the plot dangling around without nothing to tie them together. It's Alive III: Island of the Alive just seems like a lazy film, it just seems like Cohen had various ideas but didn't quite know how to knit them together so he would just put one idea into the script, get bored with it & have another idea & go with that one instead forgetting about the previous one. At an hour & a half it does drag at times & the biting social commentary & neat metaphors from the previous It's Alive films are notably absent here in what is a much more routine & predictable script.
Made back to back with A Return to Salem's Lot (1987) with many of the same cast & crew that might also explained the rushed nature of the film, even the amusing visuals of the first two films are missing here in what is a fairly bland looking film throughout. The gore is very restrained despite being the only one rated 'R', there's some profanity, one mild sex scene, some slashed faces, some blood splatter & the only real stand out gore moment is a guy seen staggering around with his arm ripped off. Once again the babies are barely seen, this time around there's stop-motion animation & we see them grown up but like when they are babies it's just quick flashes of what they look like.
The island scenes were apparently filmed in Hawaii but the editing is still choppy & it does look a little cheap at times. The acting varies, Michael Moriarty is always watchable but he puts in a crazy performance here, from mumbling to himself to singing songs while on the open sea to various sarcastic one-liners to sexual harassment of female scientists.
It's Alive III: Island of the Alive is the weakest of the three It's Alive films, that's all there is to it really. Watchable in an oddball sort of way but nothing special overall.
Review by Paul Andrews from the Internet Movie Database.