Eaten Alive (1977) Movie Review


Robert Englund plays an extremely obnoxious guy named Buck, who has a very funny line at the beginning of the movie. When he talks to the unfortunate prostitute Clara Wood played by Roberta Collins. He says, “I’m Buck and I’m ready to fuck,” to Clara, the would-be prostitute.

Buck tries to have anal sex with Clara, but she refuses and rejects him. She is then kicked out of the brothel by the lady, Miss Hattie, played by Carolyn Jones (Morticia in the old television series: The Addams Family).

Clara heads to the ruined hotel and meets the local town freak, Judd (Neville Brand), who for some reason not explained in the movie Eaten Alive doesn’t like prostitutes. Realizing that she is one, he goes into a violent spiel. Judd kills Clara by stabbing her multiple times with his pitchfork and feeds his pet Nile Crocodile.

Soon after, a couple who have been arguing with each other, Faye (Marilyn Burns) and the disturbed Roy (William Finley) arrive at Judd’s shitty hotel surrounded by a swamp along with their little daughter Angie (Kyle Richards).

I really hate this part of the Eaten Alive movie, because after her daughter’s dog is eaten by Judd’s crocodile, Angie the young daughter almost ruins the movie with her extremely annoying crying. The couple takes Angie to the room they checked into at the hotel and tries to calm her down. The couple argue with each other again.

Eaten Alive appears on the scene with Harvey Wood played by Mel Ferrer and his daughter Libby searching for information on the whereabouts of their other daughter, the now deceased Clara. Judd does not offer them any information about Clara’s whereabouts, so they leave their hotel.

Harvey and Libby head to the brothel to see if Clara is there. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Roy decides to shoot the alligator and is then stabbed multiple times by Judd with his scythe and fed his alligator.

Faye puts Angie to sleep and then goes to bathe. Then Judd hits her and ties her to the bed. Little Angie runs away from Judd and hides under the hotel. Harvey Wood and his daughter Libby along with Sheriff Martin (Stuart Whitman) return to Miss Hattie’s brothel and ask her about Clara. Madame Hattie denies having seen Clara.

Libby leaves her father Harvey and heads to the local hot spot, the bar with Sheriff Martin. Harvey is later killed by Judd when he returns to the hotel after hearing Angie’s cry. He is then eaten by Judd’s crocodile, while Sheriff Martin and Libby are at the local bar.

Buck “The Alpha Male” is also there with his girlfriend and is bullying other guys. Buck is confronted and expelled by Sheriff Martin. Buck and his bad girlfriend go to Judd’s hotel. Buck was already warned not to go back there earlier in Judd’s movie. Judd doesn’t like Buck for inexplicable reasons.

While Buck is in his room with his girlfriend, he hears a nearby cry. Buck goes to investigate and is attacked by Judd. He is pushed into the swamp and eaten by the Crocodile. Libby returns to the hotel and discovers Faye tied up. Untie Faye from the bed. Judd opens the door to the swamp to allow his alligator free access to eat young Angie. Faye and Libby try to leave.

Judd chases after them and hurts Faye with his scythe. Libby escapes and helps Angie break free and out of the swamp. Fight your way to Libby and Angie, who are at the top of the fence that forms the enclosure of the crocodile swamp cage. Judd falls onto the side of the crocodile’s cage and is eaten by his crocodile. The Sheriff arrives and the movie ends with a little more of Angie’s horrible, annoying crying. Judd’s artificial leg appears out of the bloody water.

The revision

Overall, I thought this movie was very entertaining. I think it should have earned the same respect that Tobe Hooper’s previous film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre received. Neville Brand was a rampage like Judd. I love the weird and funny facial expressions he makes throughout Eaten Alive.

Neville Brand is a great character actor and with the movie Eaten Alive he is very credible as a city maniac. The scene where he’s sitting on the bed and slurring a tune to this lyric, “I don’t have a ticket, I don’t have a bag.” Simple scenes like these and when he’s talking / ranting are just highlights of him in the Eaten Alive movie.

I also like his shocked reactions when people ask him something, “Oh! Oh!”, He responds with. He makes the movie Eaten Alive cheesy and entertaining with his great knack for getting into character.

Neville Brand looks so lost in his own world and crazy in those scenes and in the entire Eaten Alive movie. Robert Englund is very memorable in this movie and you can see the raw talent he had back then as he would soon become an icon of horror and B movies.

I don’t recognize the actress Roberta Collins who played Clara, but she sure did an excellent job of appearing genuinely scared and looking very uncomfortable before Judd killed her character.

I own the 2 disc special edition of Eaten Alive, it is restored and remastered a bit. The Eaten Alive film is so grainy and the filming process so primitive that it comes out on the screen very dark and without some details.

Due to these harsh conditions Eaten Alive was filmed in, I doubt it will look much better on Blu-ray, as long as they release it in that format. The second album has several features, including interviews with Robert Englund, director Tobe Hooper and Mariyln Burns talking about their experience filming Eaten Alive.

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