Monday, November 11, 2013

Eaten Alive! (1977)

Hell o Prisoners

Time for Disc #1, Movie #10, 50 Horror Classics

"Things happen...All accordin' to instincts. They're ain't no, ain't no stations. Ain't no stations. Gotta do whatcha gotta do." Judd 

Virgo International Pictures
A Mars Production
Presents Neville Brand
Tobe Hooper's
Eaten Alive

Down on the Bayou, Buck's (Robert Englund) a lookin' for something a little extra special tonight from Miss Hattie's (Carolyn Jones- Woot!) newest little filly, Clara (Roberta Collins). Well, that sure as hell ain't gonna happen, and after quite a ruckus, and a lot of whinin' and cryin' from the sweet little gal, Miss Hattie done shoos her off and gives Buck the pick of the litter...or two. 

A runaway, and one none too familiar with trade, Sweet Clara best be beatin' it down the road, cause she ain't makin' no money for Miss Hattie. Ruby (Betty Cole), the House nurse, donned in a white nurse's uniform and orthopedic shoes, sees she's got a couple a bucks, and points her in the direction of the Starlight Motel just down the road. "But don't you let on you're one a Miss Hattie's girls, now, child." 

Scared as a kitten in a wolf den, Sweet Clara mosies on down and meets Judd (Neville Brand), owner of this here fine establishment.

Well, Judd ain't no Einstein, but he's on to our Sweet Clara in a flash, and figures since she's one a Miss Hattie's girls, he can, you know, have his way, but Clara's seen as much action as she can handle, and some she can't, I'd bet, and she don't go down without a fight. Unfortunately, she's no match for Judd's pitchfork. And what's more, Judd's got a pet croc, and it's feedin' time at the Starlight. Sweet Clara is, yes, folks, Eaten Alive!

So whats Judd do? Well, he does what any god-fearin'-khaki-wearin-backwater motel proprietor would do. He begins to sing.

"Down roun' Tumbledown standin' roun' in the rain. Ain't got no ticket. Aint' got no bag. Still I'm waitin' on the the train...." 

Well, it's 'bout now we get some payin' customers pullin' in. Roy (William Finley) and his lovely wife, Faye (Marilyn Burns), their adorable little girl, Angie (Kyle Richards), and her little dog, too--Scuffy. But straight off the bat, Scuffy gets a little too close to the water's edge and gets Eaten Alive! Right in front of little Angie. Well, she's none too happy 'bout it, as you can imagine, so mom hoists her up and takes her up to their room, where she cries and carries on, while mom smokes and takes her pills, and dad goes into "pity me" mode natterin', "I'm so sorry, sorry, sorry." Yah ya are, buddy. Friggin' wierd, too.

And downstairs Judd is mumblin. 

"Things happen...All accordin' to instincts. They're ain't no, ain't no stations. Ain't no stations. Gotta do whatcha gotta do."

And then Roy starts getting real wierd--spazzin' out mimicking strangling his wife, while their kid looks on, and then he starts in, in this sing-song really freaky voice, "Why don't ya just take that cigarette and grind it out in my eye?" And he laughs. "Was that you're eye? Oh! Oh Honey, I thought it was an ashtray!" And his wife asks, for no apparent reason, "Did I burn you?" And he goes, "No, you didn't burn me. No ya just gouged my eye out! She just gouged my eye out! No wait a second.... heeheeheehee. Nope, nope, ya didn't do that . Oh no, ya did! Ya did! There's a hole in my eye! There's a hole in my eye! Oh ya gouged my eye out!" 
And he starts crawlin' around on the ground, like he's lookin' for crack. "Where is it? Where is it? Where'd it roll to Honey? Honey, let's just take that eye and scrunch it." And the kid's holdin' her ears. And he's freakin' out. And mom's takin' off her wig. And then he starts barking. Barking! She goes, "What do you want me to do? Throw myself to the alligators?" And he starts mimicking biting her with his hand. 

Well, Roy, the friggin' wierdo, runs out and grabs his shotgun. "Daddy's gone off to slay the dragon" mom says. Judd's none too happy 'bout it. "...ain't no common gator. No, no, that Croc he came all the way from Africa. He don't come from around her t'all. Frank Buck. Frank Buck. Ya know 'bout him? Brang him back alive! Frank Buck they call him. Come from up in Gaines ville....They'll never die...!" So Roy, with all his good intentions, is buckin' I mean barkin' up the wrong tree, and Judd pull's out his trusty pitchfork, right? No! Judd's got a reg'lar tool arsenal. So he whips out his trusty scythe! All god-feari'n-khaki-wearin'-backwater motel proprietors got scythes, right? I mean we're in the Bayou. Ya gotta have a scythe! But after unloadin' his shotgun in the swamp, Roy gets a little too close to the edge, and with a little help from Judd, he is Eaten Alive!

Well, no wonder Judd does a lotta singing and smilin' and killin'. Judd's got a habit, and once he gets back to his room, he opens up a packet a powder and pops the whole dang thing into his mouth! "That big C made 'me feel better already." And he proceeds to take his leg off. Yes, folks. Judd's done missin' his leg from the knee down. 

Well, of course, the first thing I'd do in this here fine establishment, would be to leave my kid in the room while my husband was off slayin' the dragon and some friggin' perv is runnin' around take my clothes off and take a bath, right? And that's just what Faye decides to do. But Judd goes on in, knocks her down, wraps her in a tarp, and starts whackin' the daylights outa her. 

Angie hears her mom screamin' her head off, and runs outside, so Judd goes chasin' her with his scythe all over the property, until she holds up under the motel. And I'm not sure why Judd went to all the trouble of bundlin' mom up so nice and pretty like, since he just unwraps her and ties her to the bed posts, binds her feet, tapes her mouth shut, and then starts tauntin' her. "Your little girl.. She done run under my place. 'Spect I gotta go in and pull her out. It's best I go...I go on..." But not before he wipes her face gently and sweetly says, "Judd knows. He knows what he knows." 

Back in town.....Clara's got fam. She's got a sister, Libby (Crystin Sinclaire), and a Dad, Harvey Wood, (Mel Ferrer), who didn't give a rat's ass about her leavin' to begin with, but since he's been sick, and nearin' death, he wants to make amends and bring her home, so they visit the local sheriff. They'd asked for Clara at Judd's, but I expect you know how that panned out. Sheriff Martin ( Stuart Whitman) takes them on over to Miss Hattie's.

Miss Hattie checks out Clara's picture, and without skippin' a beat, reports "Never saw her before in my life" and proceeds to try and sell Mr. Wood some property. She learns they're stayin' at Judd's. "Old Judd use to be a reg'lar roun' here, but I had to run 'im off. The old fool. All he wanted to do is look and talk his crazy fool talk. Scared the girls, too. Say, ya know what he says? He says that big gator a his is really a crocodile from Africa. He says those things don't die. Ya gotta kill 'em. He's the one tore off 'ol Judd's leg. Tore it clean off an et it." 

It's been a long day. Dad goes back to the Starlight, while Libby and Sheriff Martin go have a bite to eat and a cup o' joe at the local tavern. "I reckon if it was my daughter, I'd do the same thing," he says. 

Meanwhile back at the Starlight, Judd's trying to coax Angie out from under the house. I expect he'd a had better luck had he not been using his scythe, but what do I know? "Oooooh! We got something for ya.  mmmmmhmmmm, yes mam, look 'ere, little girl." Angie's a screamin'. "Mommy! Daddy!" And just 'bout that time Mr. Wood is pullin' in. He hears her. He hears somethin', but he's sick and old and stupid and forgets, just that quick, and enters the Starlight. No wonder Clara ran away. But I guess he simply had a senior moment and returns outside to find the source of the small voice. But Judd comes flyin' out the door and scythes him. And when I say scythes him, I mean he scythes him good, Prisoners. There is no CGI in this folks, and that scythe was past half way through his neck. It was friggn' awesome. It was just stuck there. And he was like holdin' on to it. And it was great. Sorry, mom. And Judd's all, "Ya think it's easy? Ya think it's easy?"

Back at the bar......

These two guys are playin' slap. That's all I can think of to call it. They were like slappin' each other in the face. It was some dumb guy game. Girls don't play slap. It's stupid. hahaha. (Sorry Brandon, Grimm, Jeremy, and James.:)) And our ol' friend Buck's there, and he picks up this chick. Buck does alot of that, I think. Libby and the Sheriff are still there, and she explains about Clara runnin' away and her dad bein' sick and all, and how he's spent a ton on private investigators, etc. Before they leave, Sheriff tells Buck, who's a big fat jerk, to take the chick and split. So, he does, and since the Starlight seems to be the only place in town, that's where they head.

Well, Judd may love his Croc, although, I'm not sure why since he "'et his leg clean off," but he hates Buck, even though Buck gave him his beloved pet, so when they arrive, Judd tells him to take a hike. But poor old Judd. Nobody takes him seriously, and so Buck says, "I may have to do what 'ol Hattie says I oughta..I oughta put a stick o dynamite up that 'ol Croc's ass o yers." Well, Judd sure don't want to risk that, so Buck goes on in. "They could do it right there in the dirt, if they gotta a mind, too." Judd says. Maybe he's not so dumb afterall.

Sheriff Martin (and yes, folks, Mom is still upstairs tied to the bedposts makin' quite a racket every time she hears Angie scream, which is ongoing.) drops off Libby, promises he'll send out an APB, and tries to reassure her. "Lot's a teens run away these days...she'll turn up." 

While mom's strugglin' next door, and Libby's gettin' ready for beddy, Buck's in his whitey tighties tryin' to get that something a little extra special from a little filly whose a little more accommodatin', but he starts hearing things. He's hearin' mom and Angie, and he simply can't concentrate, so he goes lookin' for the source. Judd's millin' about like a freak and wipin' the mom's tears, and the country music is playin', and things are getting really creepy. 

Buck, he goes outside, and starts lookin' 'roun, and just as he's about to look under the house, Judd comes out. "Ya hear that?" Buck asks. And Judd, who never makes much sense whether he's talkin' to someone or talkin' to himself says, "You think I don't know. 'Ol Croc'll eat anything, even old Buck." And since Buck was a little too close to the water, he is Eaten Alive! This makes Judd very happy, so he does the two step with his scythe. Don't y'all?

Buck's gal is still there though, albeit not for long. She actually gets away. She had enough sense to stay away from the water. She ran through the swamp, into the woods, onto the road, and since this must be a very busy swamp road, a car comes by and picks her up. 

Since Judd's outside, he might as well try and get that persnickety kid out from under his motel. And Judd has a flash a brilliance. We simply don't give Judd enough credit. He takes his scythe and cuts the wire fencing enclosing his Croc to free his fine pet. This does not sit well with Angie t'all, and she begins to scream...again. Mom's fit to be tied, hahaha, fit to be tied, which in turn grabs Libby's attention. She's wonderin' whether or not to go in. I mean is someone in trouble, or is someone having too much fun and just sound like they're in trouble? She took a chance and entered and then just kind of looked at her like, "uh, do you need help?" Afterall, it's perfectly normal for a woman to be tied to a bedpost with her feet bound and electrical tape on her mouth on the bayou, right? "Oh, Jesus. Jesus," she says, and cuts her loose.

And then all hell breaks lose, Prisoners. Judd's back inside, and he's swinging his scythe about, and chicks are flying through banisters, and chicks are crawling because they're legs are all sliced up, and Angie's screaming, and the Croc is swimming, and chicks are climbing fences and trying to get little girls away from big Crocs that don't die, and then Judd gets a little too close to the water and falls in head first and gets Eaten Alive! And then the movie stops. Yes folks, the movie stops before the end. I guess when you pay $25 bucks for 50 Horror Classics you can't expect perfection. But wait! It is 2013 and we have YouTube! So I search, and I find a part nine final cut of Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive, and we're back in business. 

Sheriff Martin pulls up and saves the day. And from the depths of the swamp, through the bubbles and the muck, surfaces what looks to be a prosthetic. And if if I'm wrong, please, for god's sake, someone post a comment and tell me what it really is. 

And that Prisoners is Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive! And my faith is restored in my 5 disc set of 50 Horror Classics. 

We all have instincts right? Isn't everything we do an instinct of some kind. So, it must be right, right? Or we wouldn't do it. That means we can justify every single thing we do. Every single thing. Because like Judd said. "We do what we gotta do." Thank you, Mr. Hooper.

And Kyle Richards, if you are out there, you rock, little chick. And if you are not messed up by having to play Angie, well, then, you not only rock, you are a beast, and I just want to give you a great big hug. Four out of five flames on the flame scale. Seriously creeped me out. And the only reason it didn't get five, was because of Robert Englund's whitey tighties. And Mr. Hooper? You're music rocked as well. Chilling.

We are on to Disc #2 Prisoners! Next it's F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu 19 friggin 22. I'm in hell. That's heaven to me. 

Until next time, Prisoners....Keep those fires stoked.
Eternally Yours
Warden Stokely

ps I have to say there were no bras in this movie, even under the dresses. Vasserette and all the other bra companies did not have a good year in 1977. And it sounds gross, but I hope y'all started to wear one, because undoubtedly, if you didn't, your fine breasts did not hold up so well, I expect. 


  1. So it was Hooper's Eaten Alive after all? Man, those 50 movie sets are random sometimes. Glad you liked it. Shame your copy was truncated. Nice job ending the post with the mental image of saggy boobs. Makes me wanna play slap. lol

    1. I knew it was a guy game! Hah! I think the closest I came to that was with Keith Thornton in the cloak room in 3rd grade at St. Luke's. You'da thought we could have thought of something better to do, but naw, we played Stab! we'll call it, which is kinda like Slap! I guess. Enter the cloak from each end, meet in the middle in the dark, and STAB! with a sharp pencil. I've still got the little black mark in the palm of my hand from the lead. You'da thought it would have faded by this time, but nope! And hhhmmmmm. lead...42 years....that explains alot! lol

  2. Wonderful review for a highly underrated 70s gem. It's far from being perfect, but I love the movie's bizarre atmosphere and all the quirky characters. Well done :)

    1. Hey thanks Maynard! And thanks for droppin by the prison. I agree, Eaten Alive! is seriously underrated. Yah, it's got its "quirks" so to speak. The wigs on the girls are just wrong! Well, now that I think about it. I guess I remember hearing the term "falls" when I was just a little girl. I think the older teens, young ladies, and young moms, were wearing long flowing wigs they called "falls" now that I think about it. In fact, I think my older brother's girlfriend had a fall. Hah. She was really pretty and had pretty long blonde hair, so I don't know why she wanted to cover it up with a long blond "fall", but whatever. The 70s were all over the place in the style department. I guess what the bra people lost in revenue the wig makers made up! hah. Cause I just couldn't get over Clara's dofey short blonde wig, and I'm sure it was a wig. And then Faye (Marilyn Burns) had a wig on too. That was the first thing she took off in the swanky motel room of the Stardust. Her brunette hair was pretty, too! No bras, but wigs and falls. Go figure! And seriously, the setting certainly set a bizarre atmosphere. Fog and bog. Recipe for disaster, for sure. Quirky characters? Naw, ya think? Neville Brand's Judd and William Finley's Roy are about as quirky, and downright creepy, as they come, as far as I'm concerned. Wouldn't want to meet either one of them in a dark alley or a foggy bog. Didn't surprise me a bit that Judd had a pet croc. Thanks for the comps! Until next time...Keep those fires stoked.
      Eternally Yours