Eaten Alive (DVD)

Do not see this movie. Don’t let anyone you know see this movie — your despised boss, the ex-girlfriend who killed your dog, even a complete stranger in a coma. Bringing this movie within 100 yards of another human being should be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

I saw part #2 of “Salem’s Lot” on TV and it was drek. “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was a fluke. Tobe Hooper is bad — not even mediocre — bad.

That is a quote from a journal kept by a crewmember of The Evil Dead, speaking of Tobe Hooper’s 1979 television mini-series. It could very well apply to Eaten Alive.

Tobe Hooper made a name for himself in horror movie circles with his first directorial effort, 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Based on serial killer Ed Gein (whose life also inspired Psycho and Silence Of The Lambs), it was a chilling slasher movie classic. His follow-up effort was Eaten Alive. If it says anything, it was released under seven other titles, no doubt to disguise its bad word of mouth. For the record, the other titles were: Brutes and Savages, Death Trap, Horror Hotel, Horror Hotel Massacre, Legend of the Bayou, Murder on the Bayou, and (best of all) Starlight Slaughter.

There are bad movies, and then there is Eaten Alive. I thought I had seen the worst of the bad horror movies when I reviewed Tower of Evil. It looks like Psycho (the original, not Gus Van Sant’s version) next to Eaten Alive. I’d rather sit through a Barney marathon, or be dragged behind a semi, or allow parakeets to eat my genitals than watch this movie again.

The plot, such as it is, revolves around a crazy old guy named Judd who runs the Starlight Motel on a swamp in Florida. He listens to bad country music, talks to himself, and keeps a pet alligator. Oh, and he likes to kill the patrons of his motel with farming implements and feed them to the alligator. That’s pretty much the entire movie. Judd rambles. Country music that you wouldn’t even hear in a truck stop in the heart of Arkansas plays unendingly. Women show their breasts and scream. A fake alligator eats people. And then, mercifully, the movie ends.

Image quality is terrible. Much of the movie looks like it was edited together with scissors and Scotch tape. It’s grainy and washed out and blurry. Audio is presented in two-channel mono, or stereo, I’m not sure which, and I don’t want to risk damaging my DVD player or my fragile mental health by inserting the disc again. The only extra is a theatrical trailer. I felt that watching the movie was bad enough, so I didn’t bother with the trailer.

I’m glad there’s at least one DVD distributor in the world that has the guts to release movies this bad. Elite Entertainment, my hat is off to you.

There are a few other interesting tidbits I’ll include for you movie fans:

Tobe Hooper, director of this mess, is the brother of actor Dennis Hopper. In case you’re wondering, Dennis is the one who changed the spelling of his last name. I can’t confirm this little piece of trivia anywhere, but if you watch Eaten Alive (and I pray to all things sacred and holy that you do NOT), you’ll notice a mannequin in Judd’s living room that looks exactly like the one in Dennis Hopper’s hideout in Speed. I recall reading somewhere that the mannequin in Speed was a specific homage to an earlier movie, but I can’t remember if it was to one of Dennis’ movies or to this piece of garbage made by his brother.

There are a few cast members that were suckered into appearing that you might recognize from other sources. Carolyn Jones, who was Morticia Addams in the original Addams Family television show, plays Miss Hattie, the local brothel-keeper. Neville Brand, the mumbling Judd, appeared in many classic movies such as Tora! Tora! Tora!, Birdman of Alcatraz, and Disney’s That Darn Cat!, and played Al Capone in the original “Untouchables” TV series opposite Robert Stack as Eliot Ness. But most recognizable of all (or maybe not, without any makeup) is Robert Englund. Eight years later, he would create a horror icon as Freddy Kruger in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

There could be no better summary than to say: “It sucked.”

My apologies to the makers of Scotch tape for sullying their product’s reputation by mentioning it in conjunction with this movie.


My brain is still too numbed by the movie to deliver a witty verdict. Case dismissed.


Sudden Death

Here are the top ten things we know: 1) She lives in Ohio 2) She is MWOC unless you count her two dogs 3) Believes Avatar was NOT the greatest movie ever made 4) Operates on a primarily nocturnal basis 5) Wants to write the screenplay for the movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle 6) Watches a variety of shows on television including, but not limited to: Castle, @midnight, Face Off, Sherlock and Whose Line is it Anyway? 7) Does not believe anyone will actually read this besides the editor (hello, Editor!) 8) Has attended more than one N*SYNC concert in her lifetime but only one NKOTB concert 9) Was in a car crash that would have killed her had she not been wearing her seat belt 10) Is in the process of catching up on Supernatural (incidentally would possibly leave her husband for either of the Winchester Brothers depending on the episode in question) and the bonus! 11) Enjoys reading, writing, laying on the beach (long walks tire her out) and assorted snack foods like frozen M&M's.
Average User Rating
0 votes
Your Rating

Lost Password