Eaten Alive

release year: 1976
genre: horror
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/4/00
what I expected: not much
what I got: dreary, slow, senseless crap with very few entertaining moments

synopsis: A weird grizzled guy runs a hotel in the middle of a swamp and feeds people to his giant crocodile.

impressions: Slow. Plodding. It took 35 minutes for anything of significance to happen. The movie also had periods where NOTHING happened...just aimless switching back and forth between different scenes, none of which had characters accomplishing anything. Since I realize that this sort of movie can't be judged like normal films, I'm going to instead sum it up by offering a list of the principals:

Judproprietor of hotel in middle of swamp; loony; has wooden leg
reluctant whorestumbles through swamp and comes across Jud's place; croc food
giant croceat anyone within range
"Morton"father of family that stops at Jud's place for unknown reason; insane; croc food
blond mothermother of family; stays tied up for most of movie
girldaughter of family...quickly chased under hotel, spends most of movie there screaming; very irritating
Snoopylittle girl's dog; ventures too close to the croc pen and pays the price
Harveyfather of Libby and also missing girl who became reluctant whore listed above; gets scythe through neck; croc food
Libbydaughter of Harvey; talks with sheriff, wears nothing beneath her coat
the Sherifftoken authority presence, doesn't brush his hair often
Hattieextremely ugly owner of whorehouse, lies to sheriff and Harvey
RosaHattie's maid; nice old lady but indirectly responsible for reluctant whore becoming croc food
Bucka young Robert Englund; punk kid with some quirky tastes; finally ends up as croc food
"Clark"geeky cowboy with glasses, pushed around in bar
young buns in barhot young thing, picked up by Buck, runs around a lot
"Weird Al"randomly driving by, he picks up the young buns after she flees from Jud and his scythe

body count: 5, plus a dog

acting: Everybody in this movie acted like a complete moron. Special credit must go to the guy who played Jud, because he made the character an utter cretin. It's entirely possible that the director just found some brain-damaged guy in a swamp somewhere and filmed him for awhile. update/correction/apology: As it turns out, this actor - one Neville Brand - had a pre-movie career as a soldier in World War 2, and was in fact the fourth-most decorated GI of the war. I have to respect and mention that, even if I hated his role in this movie.

final word: The cover states this: "If you are a fan of Tobe Hooper's classic film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre then you are in for a treat." This is absolutely correct: if you liked that other piece of crap, you will probably like this piece of crap too.

rating: D

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