Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eaten Alive

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Eaten Alive - 2 out of 5

Fresh off the success of the groundbreaking horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper brought nearly the same formula of gore and screaming to a little film called Eaten Alive.  The story is about a homicidal man named Judd who owns a dilapidated hotel...and a crocodile.  Well, this crazy man likes to kill people and feed them to his little pet.

Is Judd's hotel on Mars?

There's really not much story going on here but most slasher horror films don't offer much meat (no pun intended) in their stories.  Basically people come in to Judd's hotel, he kills them and his croc gets dinner.  Sure there's a glimmer of story as the movie opens with Judd killing a runaway turned prostitute and her family is trying to locate her but, for the most part, people just seem to wander into Judd's place like they just escaped a mental institution.  Why a mental institution?  Because most of the people that arrive at the croc's feeding ground are about as mentally stable as Judd himself.  That's right, this movie has victims that are just as bat shit crazy as the killer...and Neville Brand (Judd) plays this role wildly crazy!

"You can't find my daughter?  My mustache is concerned with this."
"I'm sorry, sir...I can't hear you over my eyebrows."

Was there ever a point in Robert Englund's life where
he didn't look like a creepy rapist?
This movie has all the makings of being an absolutely terrible film...and it is.  But it is such a wild ride in its terrible presentation that makes it something unique to watch.  Brand's portrayal of Judd is fun to take in but to see potential victims attempt to out-crazy him seems so out-of-place that it makes the film feel like it's from another world.  In typical Hooper fashion, the film is filled with almost nothing but screams (seriously, I don't remember any dialogue in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) only taking breaks for breath before the screams of murder start again.  However, this is expected because of who was at the helm and the subject matter of this movie.  What makes this movie truly something capable of creating a drug trip without the actual ingestion of drugs is the mixing of screams to some of the strangest sound-effects I've ever heard put on an audio track.  Sounds will bombard you that can only be described as people farting into a microphone and people smashing guitars into industrial fans.  And when all this is combined together into one film, you have something that is either amazing or too horrifying for words.

Great creature effects.  That croc looks so real.

Believe it or not, the film isn't that violent--at least not by today's standards.  However, it's the strange presentation that Hooper delivers that makes this movie something to take in.  It's nothing like his other work, both past and present.  The movie has the makings to give the viewer a headache but if you can push past the aneurism forming in your brain, you might find the film entertaining in that it is something so different despite the straight forward story the movie promises.   In fact, it's is so wild with it's strange audio and performances that one can easily overlook that bad puppet that is suppose to be the crocodile.

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