|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (August 2015)|
- For the television special, see Eaten Alive (TV special).
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tobe Hooper|
|Produced by||Alvin L. Fast
|Written by||Kim Henkel
Alvin L. Fast
|Music by||Wayne Bell
|Edited by||Michael Brown|
Mars Productions Corporation
|September 23, 1977 (USA)|
Eaten Alive (known under various alternate titles, including Death Trap, Horror Hotel, 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 demand for kinky sex from a frisky customer named Buck (Robert Englund), naive prostitute Clara Wood (Roberta Collins) is evicted from the town brothel by the Madame, Miss Hattie (Carolyn Jones). Clara makes her way to a decrepit hotel, called the Starlight Hotel, located deep in a swamp. There she encounters the middle-aged, demented, mentally disturbed proprietor, Judd (Neville Brand), and his pet Nile crocodile, who lives in the swamp beside the porch.
Some days later, a fractious couple, the outgoing Faye (Marilyn Burns) and the disturbed Roy (William Finley), arrive at the hotel, along with their young daughter, Angie (Kyle Richards), and Angie's inquisitive dog. Harvey Wood (Mel Ferrer) and his daughter, Libby (Crystin Sinclaire), also arrive at the hotel seeking information on Clara, who is Harvey's runaway daughter, but leave when Judd denies having seen her. Accompanied by Sheriff Martin (Stuart Whitman), Harvey and Libby question Miss Hattie, who also denies ever seeing Clara. Harvey returns to the creepy swamp hotel alone, while Libby goes for dinner and drinks with the Sheriff. Meanwhile, Buck and his girlfriend, Lynette (Janus Blythe), venture to the hotel, much to the annoyance of Judd. Later, Libby arrives back at the hotel.
Events at the remote, no-diamond-rated swamp hotel include fighting (with a firearm and farm tools), swamp chases (occasionally involving a harvesting implement), interrupted cleaning rituals, attempted sexual assaults, displays of amazing engineering in underground swamp architecture, human bondage, fortuitous revelations and discoveries, and, throughout, a well-fed crocodile.
- Neville Brand as Judd
- Mel Ferrer as Harvey Wood
- Carolyn Jones as Miss Hattie
- Marilyn Burns as Faye
- William Finley as Roy
- Stuart Whitman as Sheriff Martin
- Roberta Collins as Clara Wood
- Kyle Richards as Angie
- Robert Englund as Buck
- Crystin Sinclaire as Libby Wood
- Janus Blythe as Lynette
The film was shot entirely on soundstages at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California. The plot was very loosely based on the story of Joe Ball (also known as the Bluebeard from South Texas or the Alligator Man) who lived in Elmendorf, Texas, in the 1930s after Prohibition ended. He owned a bar with an alligator pit serving as an entertainment attraction. Several murders of women ensued, but it was never proven that the flesh found in the pit was human. Joe Ball committed suicide upon possibility of capture.
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2015)|
Eaten Alive has received a negative response from critics, and currently holds a 18% 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.