Plot: Judd (Neville Brand) owns and operates the Starlight Hotel, a remote little place out in the bayou. He doesn’t get a lot of customers, but Judd does have one special resident, his beloved pet crocodile. His pet is for more than companionship however, as Judd has quite a temper and when he snaps, he can do some violent things. But after he attacks his victims, he can simply drop the bodies in the water and that’s that. As his crocodile eats all the evidence, Judd can protect himself and his business, while still indulging his blood lust from time to time. But when a girl runs away from a brothel and seeks shelter at the Starlight, Judd’s actions might finally catch up with him. Soon after her disappearance, her family starts asking around and trying to find her, to take her back home. Of course, they’re unaware that she’s already been devoured. As the truth closes in, can Judd keep himself out of trouble, or has he claimed his last victim?
Entertainment Value: As a fan of rednecks and animals on the attack, Eaten Alive is a natural choice for me. The story is a simple one, as a guy feeds corpses to his lovely pet crocodile to hide his murders, while surrounded by all kinds of colorful folks. You can only cover up so many deaths though, right? This movie has a great cast, most of whom are given lively, memorable roles. Neville Brand as the sadistic hotel owner, Robert Englund as the sleazy smart ass, Stuart Whitman as the long suffering local lawman, plus Marilyn Burns, Mel Ferrer, William Finley, Carolyn Jones, Robert Collins, and more. That is a dynamite lineup, without question. As I said, most of the roles are colorful and interesting characters, so they’re given a lot to work with. The rural, small town vibe feels authentic, while the locale is shot in ways that makes you feel like you’re as fenced in the crocodile. While the movie has some dark humor and strange moments, it also has some effective horror and tension. This might not be as talked about as some of Tobe Hooper’s pictures, but Eaten Alive more than holds its own. If you’re a fan of rednecks or hicksploitation, flicks with killer animals, or just love horror movies, this one more than warrants a spot in your collection.
Not a parade of naked flesh, but we do have a few topless scenes and even a bare ass, so some nakedness to soak in. The blood flows often however, between Judd’s scythe and his crocodile companion. One scene that stands out has Judd almost decapitating a poor guy, shoving the scythe so far into his neck, it just wedges in there. Most scenes don’t have that much bloodshed, but we do have more of Judd’s rampages and a little more fun when he feeds the bodies to his pet. Other violence includes a good deal of female suffering, from being slapped around to near rape scenes. Nothing overly graphic or disturbing, but its there. As colorful characters tend to lead to colorful dialogue, we have some fun lines in this one. Englund has most of the best ones, which he delivers with just the right dose of sleaze. His character is such a scumbag, but he’s also likable and a lot of fun to watch here. On the crazy scale, the merry band of characters alone earn some points, let alone the crocodile effects that never fail to entertain. Not as balls out wild as some movies, but some solid wackiness present in this one.
Overall Insanity: 4/10