Croc. near a Cathouse.......................
George Carabetsos | Chicago Ridge, IL USA | 07/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Psycho Judd is a man with a pet crocodile. When Judd kills someone he just feed them to his pet. Not Tobe Hooper's TCM. But it still got its creepy touch to it. Even with the crocodile looking fake, still it's a good flick with gore, and nudity. Plus you can't go wrong with a all star cast. Also the special features alone is worth to own. Hooper's interview, and Joe Bell story. The man who may actual feed his victims to a bunch of alligators. I recommend this forgotten horror film to all horror fans."
Blah...what a BORE!!
Graboidz | Westminster, Maryland | 11/20/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Where do you begin with this flick?
Let me give the uninitiated a quick rundown, crazy hotel owner on the bayou feeds various guests to the crocodile living on his property. Hmmmm did I leave anything out? Nope, that just about covers it. Oh, I should mention that each of his guests is more annoying than the next, and each seems to get progressively more stupid as the film plays out. Let me present a few lowlights:
1. Who knew you could light an entire film scrictly with those red heating lamps they use at McDonalds to keep the McNuggets warm? Seriously, the cartoonish lighting in this flick is headache inducing! This lighting worked okay in "Creepshow", but it's so overpowering in this film, it's distracting. Its like that "Seinfeld" episode where Kenny Roger's Roasters opened across the street from Kramer's apartment, and bathed everything in a soul searing red light.
2. "Splatter-fest" - Really? Who describes the film that way? If so, they haven't seen a genuine "splatter" movie. This flick can't even be considered a splatter flick for it's time...not with "2000 Maniacs", "Blood Feast" and Hooper's own "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" preceeding it. If there is blood shown, the lighting is so funky it will look black or cartoonish red.
3. Neville Brand, Carolyn Jones & Stuart Whitman all deserved much better than this. At least Brand gets to act all kinds of psycho, the others are simply wasted. Robert Englund I will give a pass, as a young actor just starting out, he probably grabbed this role with both hands.
4. Fans of 1970's Country Music should be pleased with soundtrack. Others...not so much.
5. If you thought the "lagoon set" from Gilligan's Island looked fake...wait til you get a look at this "hotel in the swamp" set!?!? It was really nice of the community theater to let them borrow it for the film.
6. What the hell is up with all the actresses wearing curly haired wigs? Was that some kind of early 70's fad I missed out on?
Honestly, there is nothing to recommend about this film. Gore hounds will be disappointed, the suspense found in Hooper's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is absent, if they are going for dark humor in the flick...they failed. It's just a bad film, badly shot, badly written and badly acted. Not in a so-bad-its-good way either....just boring-bad.
Hooper's "forgotten film" for good reasons!
J. Meeley | WA, USA | 04/30/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"As a bit of a horror film buff, I'm always looking to check out some of the older b-movie horrors of the past, both to learn more about what makes for a good scare, as well as to get interesting insights into exactly how and why those things have changed over the decades. And I can safely say that "Eaten Alive" provided none of that for me.
This is the third film from Director Tobe Hooper (known mainly for his cult classic "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"). Once again, the film revolves around a mentally disturbed person, living within the southern part of the United States. This time around, the story is about a deranged inn keeper who, for reasons never explained, keeps killing the guests who come to his motel and feeding them to the large crocodile in the swamp next to it.
Those who are familiar with Hooper's style, will see a lot of similarities between this film and his most famous work, "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre", which was the film he made directly preceding this one. It is filled with the kind of strange and oddball cinematography, with weird neon lighting and close-up focusing shots on weird images throughout, that Hooper is known for. But unlike the previous work, it doesn't really gel here. What once might have been directorial excess, is simply pointless and unintelligible nonsense. It is obvious he's trying to set an eerie and creepy atmosphere, but it is just so poorly crafted and lacking in any sense of commonality, that what is meant to feel bizarre and surreal, feels completely unbelievable instead. The script for this must have been about one page long, as that is how bad the plot and storytelling here is.
The acting is, also, very much below par, even by low budget horror film standards. It is shown that the inn keeper (played by Neville Brand) is out-of-his-mind, but we never come to understand why or what it is the guests do that sets him off. This lack of context makes it almost impossible to be scared by his crazy (re)actions and leaves you more inclined to scratch your head in puzzlement, than to feel any sense of dread or menace. None of the other characters really gets enough development for you to care about them, save that of Buck (played by a then unknown Robert Englund). His performance is the only one to have any real resonance at all and even that isn't very much.
Perhaps Hooper thought he could capture lightning in a bottle for a second time, like he did with "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" a couple years earlier (even going so far as to bring back Marilyn Burns to play the part of a victim once more). But as this film shows, it isn't something you can force or easily recreate. As a result, "Eaten Alive" never really comes to life or finds it's own voice (a point only belabored, by the fact this film had been renamed many different times). It just stagnates and meanders, providing no real thrills, scares, or even the macabre tone of TCM. If you are a Hooper completist, you might derive some kind of enjoyment or interest from this outing. Otherwise, you are best just to skip on this uninteresting and plotless bomb. The reason this film is highly overlooked, isn't because it was ahead of it's time. It is because efforts this poor are better off being forgotten."