Saturday, November 20, 2010

Eaten Alive (1977)

Deep in the Texas bayou, there lies a rusty motel run by a crazy old innkeeper, but while Judd is more than happy to check you in, his pet crocodile will be checking you out! EATEN ALIVE is a dark and oppressive swamp shocker from TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE's Tobe Hooper. Hooper brings back Marilyn Burns and many others to round out the cast in his second feature. While it offers a far more stylized look (particularly in its bold color filters), EATEN ALIVE retains much of the same raw, gritty aesthetic and constant sense of unease brought over from his earlier film. Neville Brand's portrayal of the mumbling schizophrenic Judd wins out over what is otherwise a below average production. The characters scramble about the hotel in a typical fashion before Judd mangles them with the garden tools and feeds them to the croc. Hooper strikes a key note of suspense when the hungry reptile corners the young daughter of one of the hotel guests in the crawlspace beneath the house. EATEN ALIVE is an interesting watch for TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE fans, but a near miss overall.

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.

7 comments:

  1. Sounds like it's pretty generic. I think I shall pass. Thanks for the review.

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  2. I disagree here. I think the seediness of most of the characters (Englund especially) and the off-the-wall madness of Brand, combined with the the creative uses of color on the simple sets make this seem like a sort of stage play for the damned & insane. I think it's a blast.

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  3. I promise I've tried J., this was the third watch and I just can't get in to this one. Oh how I've tried, I even rebought this Dark Sky version in hopes that spending money would equal appreciation lol.. There is certainly more than enough depravity, so let's hope #4 is the charm!

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  4. ah, I just love this movie. It's silly and trashy, but also extremely atmospheric and entertaining - and Robert Englund is just brilliant ("My name is Buck and I'm ready to fuck!")

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  5. Darn, I thought you were going to review the Cannibal classic.

    Sorry, but I've been saving that joke since someone did that in the Comments for my review of the Cannibal/Jungle Peril film of the same name.

    I do want to see this, but it can never freaking stay in-print. When it's not in-print, it means that I have to spend around $20 to buy it.

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  6. It was a long time coming! Honestly, the Deathtrap release is beat but manageable depending on how badly you like this film.

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  7. I rented this on VHS in one of those oversized boxes years ago and didn't like it very much. I later bought the Elite DVD (still got that one) and it didn't improve too much, but then after buying the Dark Sky set, it has grown on me over the years. I do like the atmosphere which gives it this dark fairy tale like quality. And what a great cast, too. Personally, I think it's one of the better Drive In exploitation flicks out there (not great, but better than some others) and a nice companion piece to TCM.

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