Eaten Alive (1977) – By Brian Morton

 When I was told that this month’s Roundtable Review was a Masters Of Horror theme, I immediately jumped to the name John Carpenter, but, when I announced this, my friend, and fellow Rogue, Jordan Garren, pointed out that I’m a huge fan (and actually never shut up about) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so he was surpirsed the I didn’t choose a Tobe Hooper movie! Needless to say, I was shocked and disappointed with myself. I am a huge Texas Chainsaw fan and a huge Tobe Hooper fan and how could I betray my own obession like that?!? So, I withdrew my initial name and reassigned myself to Tobe Hooper, but, doing yet another review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre would only have our most glorious editor, Duane Martin, flying into town and slapping me across the back of the head, and I couldn’t blame him, so I decided to go with Tobe’s second horror movie, Eaten Alive.

Eaten Alive is the tale of Judd, Judd lives in a small Texas town, he’s a bit insane and he’s been killing people for years…sound familiar? Well, Eaten Alive feels like a riff on the Texas Chainsaw story. You see, while Judd is an insane maniac, he lives alone on the edge of a small town and he’s got a swamp around his house, a swamp that he keeps his pet crocodile in, a crocodile that has a taste for human flesh! Judd runs a small hotel and when people come for a room, it’s the crocodile that gets the room service!

The real gem in this movie is the performance of Neville Brand as Judd, Neville plays it perfectly as the scythe weilding Judd, which makes it a surprise that Eaten Alive has been largely ignored by most people, even I hadn’t seen this movie in years. Eaten Alive is a strong sophomore effort by Hooper and it’s available now on a special edition DVD, if you’re a fan of Tobe Hooper then this is one that you might not have seen that deserves a second look. Take it from me, it’s not Texas Chainsaw, but it’s a close second. And, until next time, when we’ll talk some more about my love of seconds…and thirds and I’m not even talking about movies, remember that the best movies are bad movies.

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Rogue Reviewers Roundtable Topic: Masters of Horror

Brian’s Review Site: The Bad Movie Guy