HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
Early Man
Killdozer
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Eaten Alive Gator CuratorBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones, Marilyn Burns, William Finley, Stuart Whitman, Roberta Collins, Kyle Richards, Robert Englund, Crystin Sinclaire, Janus Blythe, Betty Cole, Sig Sakowicz, Ronald W. Davis, Christine Schneider, David Hayward
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: Clara (Roberta Collins) is now regretting ever offering her sevices as a prostitute to the brothel keeper Miss Hattie (Carolyn Jones) now that Buck (Robert Englund) has entered the room, told her to get on her hands and knees and informed her he is about to do something she definitely does not want to happen. He is determined, but after a struggle Miss Hattie barges in to see what the fuss is about and orders Clara away, sending her downstairs and right out of the door. The maid takes pity on her and offers her a bit of cash, enough to put her up for the night, but Clara makes the mistake of checking into the Starlight Hotel...

Eaten Alive was known by many titles, probably too many, including Death Trap and the imaginative Horror Hotel, but it's by that original title that most recognise it today. It was important as Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel's follow up to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a huge success for them that they never really capitalised on, not least because Hooper was in conflict with his producers while making this. It was not a sequel, but did set its sights on the same atmosphere of senseless violence as the predecessor, and for some it very nearly achieved it. Yet there's a slapdash feeling to the film which coupled with a resolutely setbound appearance means it's claustrophobic but not in a helpful way.

There are no exterior shots whatsoever in this, offering some scenes the air of a filmed play with its obvious prop alligator (or is it a crocodile?) doing the planned thrills no favours. That huge reptile is the creature which eats the characters alive as the title indicates, so there is no cannibalism here, although you do get Neville Brand as wooden-legged hotel owner Judd (he lost a limb to the croc, we surmise) charging around waving a scythe in a Leatherface style. His first victim, the one we see at any rate, is poor Clara, who when Judd realises where she has come from thinks nothing of attacking her and feeding her body into the animal in the swamp at the side of the building.

But Clara's death will not go unavenged, as her father, Harvey Wood (Mel Ferrer, adding to the selection of hasbeens appearing) shows up with his daughter Libby (Crystin Sinclaire) in tow trying to track down his runaway offspring. Naturally they check in at the hotel, unaware that there has been not one murder there recently, but two as a family had arrived a few hours before, headed by an extremely bizarre William Finley. His weird behaviour could be down to the fact that his daughter Angie (Kyle Richards) has just seen her pet dog swallowed by the crocodile, but he seems to have a history of some sort that it transpires is utterly unimportant to the rest of the plot. For Texas Chain Saw fans, though, his wife should seem familiar.

She is Faye (Marilyn Burns), continuing her trend of being much abused in Tobe Hooper movies when Judd bumps off her husband and ties her to the bed where she spends just about the rest of the running time struggling and trying to make herself heard through her gag. The little girl, meanwhile, ends up hiding under the hotel as Judd attempts futilely to entice her out. There could have been a seam of pitch black comedy to be mined in Eaten Alive, but outwith the murder sequences there's a curiously shapeless quality to the film, leaving Brand to too often command the screen by wandering around and muttering to himself, as if they didn't have enough story and were reduced to padding out what they did have. It could be that Hooper's original vision for this would have been far tighter, but novelty value with this cast and these filmmakers is about the best it has going for it. Music by Hooper and Wayne Bell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2152 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Tobe Hooper  (1943 - )

American horror director who has spent his whole career trying to live up to his electrifying The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. After the similar but not as good Eaten Alive, he directed the miniseries of Salem's Lot, slasher The Funhouse, and blockbuster Poltergeist (despite rumours of producer Steven Spielberg's hands-on involvement).

Then a string of under-achievers: vampire sci-fi Lifeforce, sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and remake Invaders from Mars led to mostly straight to video or television work: Spontaneous Combustion, Night Terrors, The Mangler and Crocodile. In TV he has directed episodes of Dark Skies and Taken. A remake of The Toolbox Murders went some way to restoring his reputation with horror fans.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: