Posts Tagged ‘Tobe Hooper’

Starlight Hotel. Roberta Collins briefly checks in.

EATEN ALIVE is a totally mean-spirited movie from Tobe Hooper. It is mean to hooers, little dogs, children, teenagers, Crocodiles, the mentally ill, and most of all Judds.

Stylistically, it is a masterpiece of closed sets and flooded lighting. The soundtrack is a barrage of mumbling hums and bug gurgles, and muted screaming. Not to mention the screeching country and western music (sadistically composed by Hooper and Wayne Bell) annoying piped in from the constantly playing radio. The duo collaborated on the a similar auditory assault for TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE.

Every single character in this one is some how tweaking on something and the whole movie simply sweats! Neville Brand, as hotelier Judd, is a monstrous masterpiece of literal scene chewing.  He slouches, he freaks, he pulls it together on the edge of the couch all with a subtle muttering chaos.  Brand’s performance is so good that it should place this creep in the pantheon of famous backwoods jerks.

Plus, we get the tripping balls performance of William Finley who’s fraternal freakout is one of the ickiest moments in the flick.  But if you do not want to slog through the whole 90 minutes, just youtube the bits with Miss Hattie, played by Carolyn Jones – the Addams Family’s Morticia – looking disturbingly saggy in a latex mask.

And this is not even mentioning the buff swagger of Robert Englund who’s butt sex obsessed Buck is like a template on which Matthew McConaughey built a career!

the story is simple enough and the rationale is completely nonexistent, which only plays into the insanity of the action.  The young child in danger provides some real 1970s emotional weight to the otherwise bonkers randomness of the violence.  It is enough to understand that Judd has himself a crocodile.  And that crocodile is always hungry.  Sprinkle with a sickle and leisure suits and you got yourself an excuse to have a madman bursting through doorways and swinging manically at young nubile girls.

In short, Brilliant.


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