Eaten Alive (1977) Movie Review


Robert Englund plays an extremely disgusting guy named Buck who has a very funny line at the beginning of the movie. When talking to the unlucky prostitute Clara Wood played by Roberta Collins. He says to her, “I’m Buck and I’m ready to f ** k,” to Clara, the hopeful prostitute.
Buck tries to have anal sex with Clara, but she refuses and fights him. She is then thrown out of the brothel by Madam, Miss Hattie, played by Carolyn Jones (Morticia on the old TV series – The Addams Family).
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Clara makes her way to the run-down hotel and meets the local city weirdo, Judd (Neville Brand), who for some reason doesn’t explain in the Eaten Alive movie that he doesn’t like prostitutes. When he realizes she is one, he enters into a violent expense. Judd kills Clara by stabbing her several times with her pitch fork and feeding her to her pet Nile Crocodile.
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Soon afterwards, a couple who have quarreled with each other, Faye (Marilyn Burns) and the disturbed Roy (William Finley), arrive at Judd’s crazy hotel surrounded by a swamp with their young daughter Angie (Kyle Richards).
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I really hate this part of the movie Eaten Alive, because after their daughter’s dog is eaten by Judd’s crocodile, the young daughter almost ruins the movie with her extremely annoying cry. The couple brings Angie into the room they checked into the hotel and tries to calm her down. The couple continue to argue with each other.
Eaten Alive cuts to the stage with Harvey Wood played by Mel Ferrer and his daughter Libby, seeking information on where his other daughter, the now deceased Clara, is. Judd doesn’t offer them any information about Clara’s whereabouts, so they leave his hotel.
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Harvey and Libby drive to the brothel to see if Clara is there. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Roy decides to shoot the crocodile and is then immediately stabbed by Judd with his Scythe and fed to his crocodile.
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Faye puts Angie to sleep and then takes a bath. She is then beaten and tied to the bed by Judd. Little Angie escapes from Judd and hides under the hotel. Harvey Wood and his daughter Libby, along with Sheriff Martin (Stuart Whitman), return to Miss Hattie’s brothel and ask her about Clara. Mrs. Hattie always denies having seen Clara.
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Libby leaves his father Harvey and heads to the local hotspot, the bar with Sheriff Martin. Harvey is then killed by Judd when he returns to the hotel after hearing Angie’s cry. He is then eaten by Jud’s crocodile while Sheriff Martin and Libby are in the local bar.
Buck “The Alpha Male” is also there with his girlfriend and is bullying some other guys. Buck is confronted and kicked out by Sheriff Martin. Buck and his trashy girlfriend go to Judd’s hotel. Buck was already warned not to return there earlier in the movie by Judd. Judd doesn’t like Buck for inexplicable reasons.
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While Buck is in his room with his girlfriend, he hears some crying nearby. Buck investigates and is attacked by Judd. He is pushed into the swamp and eaten by the crocodile. Libby comes back to the hotel and discovers that Faye is bound. She loosens Faye from the bed. Judd opens the gate to the swamp to give his crocodile free access to eat the young girl Angie. Faye and Libby try to leave.
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Judd chases after them and injures Faye with his Scythe. Libby escapes and helps Angie get free and out of the swamp. He struggles to get to Libby and Angie, who are at the top of the fence, who make up the crocodiles for the swamp enclosure. Judd falls down on the crocodile’s side of the cage and eats by his crocodile. The sheriff arrives and the movie ends with some more of Angie’s terribly annoying cry. Jud’s artificial legs show up on the bloody water.

The review
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In general, I thought this movie was very entertaining. I think it should have received the same respect that Tobe Hooper’s previous film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, received. Neville Brand was a riot like Judd. I love the bizarre and funny facial expressions he gets throughout Eaten Alive.
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Neville Brand is a great character actor and with the Eaten Alive movie he is very credible as a local town grower. The scene where he sits on the bed and sloppily sings a tune with these lyrics, “Don’t have any ticket, don’t have any bag”. Simple scenes like these, and as he speaks / exorcises himself, are highlights for him in the movie Eaten Alive.
I also like his surprised reactions when people ask him something, “Oh! Oh!”, He replies. He makes the Eaten Alive movie campy and entertaining with his great ability to get into the character.

Neville Brand then looks lost in his own world and crazy in those scenes and throughout the Eaten Alive movie. Robert Englund is very memorable in this movie and you can see the raw talent he had at the time when he would soon become a Horror and B-Movie icon.
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I don’t recognize actress Roberta Collins who played Clara, but she certainly did an excellent job that seemed genuinely scared and looked very uncomfortable before her character was killed by Judd.
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I own the 2-Disc Special Edition by Eaten Alive, it is restored and remastered somewhat. The Eaten Alive movie is so grainy and the film process so primitive that it comes out on screen and is very dark and without any details.

Due to these harsh conditions that Eaten Alive was filmed under, I doubt it would look much better on Blu-ray every time they release it in that format. The second disc features several features, including interviews with Robert Englund, director Tobe Hooper, and Mariyln Burns, who discuss their experience of filming Eaten Alive.