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Eaten Alive Reviews

Reviewed By: Buzz McClain

Back in the heyday of drive-ins, the cinema offerings projected onto those outdoor screens were very often movies such as director Tobe Hooper's horror cheapie Eaten Alive. Watching the flick now, it's no wonder there are very few drive-ins left. That's not to say Eaten Alive is bad; it's terrible by today's horror standards, but it has a rough-hewn charm that makes the ineptness forgivable. Indeed, there are so many fans of this film it's considered "cult." The star of this no-apparent-budget endeavor is Neville Brand's pet crocodile, which is about as scary as the fake one in front of the average mall's Rainforest Café. But when bug-eyed Brand, brandishing sharp weapons and a toothy smile, chases unsuspecting hicks off his deck and into the water, the horror factor rises a notch or two -- and of course, so does the comedy factor. Some of the scenes -- especially those involving children and pets -- are disturbing and done for cheap thrills, but director Tobe Hooper manages to get away with murder, literally. Carolyn Jones, so smoldering as Morticia Addams on TV's The Addams Family but hideously unrecognizable here, and Stuart Whitman, a previous Oscar nominee, lend legitimacy to Hooper's further pushing of the off-Hollywood bloodletting envelope. Perfect for watching on a hot summer night from the front seat of a car, Eaten Alive is similarly ideal for a night of low-brow expectations and a bowl of popcorn in front of the TV.