Deep in the swamp there is the Starlight Hotel ran by the deranged Judd, who keeps a crocodile in the water alongside his establishment. A prostitute gets kicked out of the local brothel and makes her way to the hotel where is is soon attacked by Judd with a rake and fed to his croc. Shortly after a young family arrive and their pet dog is soon gobbled up. Judd gives them a room and soon enough he kills the Father and ties up the Mother. More visitors turn up looking for the prostitute as she is a runaway, the local sheriff gets involved and poor old Judd starts getting pestered by the local stud wanting a room for some love.
Tobe Hooper follows up one of the greatest films of all time (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) with this crazy hillbilly horror which is stacked with blood and boobs, a total departure from Chainsaw. Hooper once again casts Marilyn Burns as the victim and after being tied to a chair before, this time around she is tied to a bed. Old pro’s Stuart Whitman, Mel Ferrer and Carolyn Jones provide support but Neville Brand as Judd steals the entire film with his barking mad portrayal of the scariest hotel owner since Norman Bates and Basil Fawlty.
Arrow’s impressive restored release is stacked with extras, including archive and new interviews, an introduction to the film from Hooper and trailers under the film’s various titles. Eaten Alive was one of the original video nasties and considering the sheer stupidity of that era, it’s hard not to see why. It is pretty violent and there are a couple of ‘women in peril’ scenes which some people may find questionable.
In all fairness, I think it’s a minor 70’s horror classic and at times rather funny.
- Starring Neville Brand Robert Englund Marilyn Burns Kyle Richards
- Director Tobe Hooper
- Distributor Arrow Video