'Eaten Alive' (2-Disc Special Edition)
(Robert Englund, Marilyn Burns, Carolyn Jones, Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, et al / Blu ray / R / 2015 / MVD)
Overview: Deep in the Louisiana bayou sits the ramshackle Starlight Hotel, destination of choice for those who like to check in but not check out! Presided over by the bumbling, mumbling Judd (and his pet croc which he keeps in a large pond out front), the patron of this particular establishment may seem like a good-natured ol' Southern gent - but he has a mean temper on him, and a mighty large scythe to boot!
Blu ray Verdict: Well, in truth, if you saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and were impressed with director Tobe Hooper, your next move might be to view his second film 'Eaten Alive'. I have searched for many, many years for a quality print of this terrific film, and suddenly, and out of the blue, I was lucky enough to have this incredible Blu ray sent to me for review!
You see, the reason for its seemingly firm place in the ranks of oblivion is its numerous title changes. Notwithstanding all this, I was sent 'Eaten Alive' (the name I always knew it as) for review - and IMMEDIATELY watched it. The film is interesting, bizarre, unbelievable, and disturbing. The setting is just a trifle too unimaginative to be taken for real as is the central character of Judd (for the most part deftly played by Neville Brand).
Also, and all these years later, and I can fully admit this, the actual "plot" also seems to be making its viewers accept too much for granted without really giving any knowledge of why Judd is the way he is, etc. Despite these shortcomings, the film has some of the truly most horrific scenes filmed. The scene in which Judd tries in vain to goad a young girl from under his hotel out is sheer terror. Other scenes in which he dispatches some of the hotel guests are equally effective.
The film has a lot more going for it than its oblivious nature would suggest. It has fine performances, an eerier setting and score, and the taught, tuned terror Tobe Hooper realized in his first great film. Go out and buy this incredible Blu-ray + DVD re-release, remastered for your viewing pleasure TODAY - you will NOT regret it, all my fellow lil' horror freaks! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative, approved by director Tobe Hooper
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
Isolated Music and Effects Soundtrack
Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio commentary with co-writer and producer Mardi Rustam, stars Roberta Collins, William Finley and Kyle Richards, and make-up artist Craig Reardon
New introduction to the film by Hooper
Blood on the Bayou a brand new interview in which the director shares his recollections of making Eaten Alive
Gator Bait a brand new interview with star Janus
Monsters and Metaphors a brand new interview with makeup artist Craig Reardon
The Gator Creator an archive interview with Hooper
My Name is Buck an archive interview with star Robert Englund
5ive Minutes with Marilyn Burns the star of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre talks about working on Eaten Alive
The Butcher of Elmendorf: The Legend of Joe Ball featurette looking at the true-life story of the South Texas bar owner on whom Eaten Alive is loosely based
Original theatrical trailers for the film under its various alternate titles: Eaten Alive, Death Trap, Starlight Slaughter and Horror Hotel
TV and Radio Spots
Behind the Scenes Slideshow
Audience Comment Cards
Stills and Promo Material Gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Brad Stevens, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.