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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tobe Hooper|
|Produced by||Alvin L. Fast
|Written by||Kim Henkel
Alvin L. Fast
|Music by||Wayne Bell
|Editing by||Michael Brown|
|Studio||Mars Productions Corporation|
|Release dates||May 1977 (USA)|
|Running time||91 minutes|
Eaten Alive (known under various alternate titles, including Death Trap and Starlight Slaughter) is an American horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper and released in May 1977. It was written by Kim Henkel, Alvin L. Fast and Mardi Rustam and produced by Fast, Larry Huly, Robert Kantor and Mardi, Mohammed and Samir Rustam. The film stars Neville Brand, Roberta Collins, Robert Englund, William Finley, Marilyn Burns, Janus Blythe and Kyle Richards.
After refusing a request from frisky customer Buck (Robert Englund), prostitute Clara Wood (Roberta Collins) is evicted from the town brothel by the madam, Miss Hattie (Carolyn Jones). Clara makes her way to a decrepit hotel where she encounters the mentally disturbed proprietor Judd (Neville Brand) and his pet Nile crocodile in the swamp beside the porch. Upon realizing Clara was a prostitute, Judd attacks her while ranting and raving. Judd stabs her with a garden rake and feeds her to the crocodile.
Soon afterwards a fractious couple, Faye (Marilyn Burns) and the disturbed Roy (William Finley), arrive at the hotel, along with their young daughter Angie (Kyle Richards). They soon experience the trauma of Angie's dog being eaten by the crocodile. Faye and Roy take their daughter to their room to try to calm her down. Meanwhile, Harvey Wood (Mel Ferrer) and his daughter Libby (Crystin Sinclaire) arrive seeking information on Clara, Harvey's daughter, however soon leave to try to locate her at the brothel. Roy decides to shoot the crocodile for eating their dog, and while in the process is stabbed by Judd with a scythe before being attacked and devoured by the crocodile. After getting Angie to sleep, Faye goes into the bathroom for a bath, however is interrupted by Judd who begins to beat her. Angie wakes up and flees the hotel, however is trapped underneath the hotel by Judd, who proceeds to tie up Faye in a bedroom.
Accompanied by Sheriff Martin (Stuart Whitman), Harvey and Libby question Miss Hattie, who denies ever seeing Clara. Harvey returns to the hotel while Libby stays in town to eat. He hears Angie's crying, and while investigating is attacked by Judd who stabs him in the neck with his scythe before being dragged into the swamp by the crocodile. While Sheriff Martin and Libby are at the bar, Martin kicks out Buck and his girlfriend Lynette (Janus Blythe) after a fight nearly breaks out. The pair venture to the hotel, much to the annoyance of Judd who had already warned Buck away from his land. While in their room, they hear Angie's cries for help. Buck goes to investigate and is pushed into the swamp by Judd, where he is quickly eaten. Lynette hears the commotion, and goes outside only to be chased by Judd and his scythe. She manages to flag down a passing car and get away.
Libby arrives back at the hotel and goes up to her room. Judd arrives back also, and opens up the gate for the crocodile to get in under the house so it can eat Angie. Meanwhile, Libby discovers Faye tied up in the bedroom. After untying her, the women attempt to leave, however Judd chases them back upstairs where he wounds Faye with the scythe. Libby escapes and begins to help Angie out of the swamp she has manages to get into. Judd throws Faye off a balcony, before he attempts to push Angie back into the swamp, but Faye arrives and pushes Judd into the swamp, where he is devoured by his pet crocodile.
This movie was one of the so-called "video nasties" in the UK during the early 1980s. The movie was not successfully prosecuted for obscenity. Mary Whitehouse took a personal objection to this movie.
Eaten Alive has received a negative response from critics, and currently holds a 10% approval rating on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on ten reviews. An African hand-made poster for the movie is included in the book Extreme Canvas: Hand-Painted Movie Posters from Ghana by Ernie Wolfe.