Sunday, August 27, 2017

croc-o-shite.

Sad to hear about the death of terror titan Tobe Hooper today so thought I'd revisit my fave film of his as way of a tribute.

Unfortunately the twins didn't want to watch LifeForce and Cassidy will still only watch films featuring animals so had to make do with this.

Rest in peace Mr Hooper.

Eaten Alive (AKA Death Trap, Starlight Slaughter, Horror Hotel, Horror Hotel Massacre. 1977).
Dir: Tobe Hooper.

Cast: Neville Brand, Marilyn Burns, Carolyn Jones, Stuart Whitman, Janus Blythe Betty Cole, Kyle Richards, Roberta Collins, William Finley, Mel Ferrer and Crystin Sinclaire.
"My name's Buck and I'm rarin' to fuck!"


Welcome to the small US town of Tossburgh (near Texas I'm assuming from the fashions and accents), it might not be much to look at but it has everything a weary traveler will need.

On main street there's the world famous Bad Place Brothel run by Miss Hattie (Morticia Addams herself, Carolyn Jones looking for all the world like a half melted Truman Capote waxwork), a bar cum diner that appears to have only one song on the jukebox and a, um, police station run by Mark Forrest from Invaders of The Lost Gold.

On one of his rare, sober days obviously.

If you need somewhere to relax after a hard days boozing and shagging then the town boasts a fantastic place to stay that's just a few minutes away, the terrific Starlight Motel, located in an incredibly secluded wood just outside town.

Let's be honest tho', the reason it's so secluded is that it's actually in a studio, miles away from any live action shots.

Oh  and it's lit like something from Crossroads.

Run by the enigmatically bowl haired ex-soldier Leslie Judd (Neville Brand, star of Stalag 17 and father of Russell and Jo), the establishment boasts hot and cold running mentalism, flock wallpaper, an old sofa on the porch and a mini petting zoo consisting of a giant crocodile.
Just the place to take the kids.

Or it would be if Judd could go longer than ten minutes without offing somebody.


"Where's me washboard?"

Anyway, on with the plot where good ol' boy Buck Buckley (Sir Robert of Englund) is just about to get his end away with a pink babydoll nightied, bubble permed prostitute by the name of Clara (Death Race 2000's  Collins) on one of his frequent visits to the aforementioned Bad Place Brothel.

So far so seventies fashioned.

It's the poor gals first time tho' and Buck doesn't make it any better by roughly rolling her over and trying to do her up the arse, which as we all know is most definitely second date stuff.

Terrified and helpless Clara begs Buck to stop but our pervy pal is adamant that he wants his full hours worth of fun and tells her as much whilst trying to stick it in her.

Which would probably be a lot easier if he wasn't wearing his trousers and her a big pair of black granny pants.

But hey, that must be how they do things in the south.

Attracting the attention of Miss Hattie, Clara announces that she no longer wants to be a whore, most definitely doesn't fancy a wee bit of anal violation and wishes to return home.

Being a caring, sharing kinda boss, Hattie offers Buck a fantastic two for one deal before kicking poor Clara out into the street.

Jon Pertwee's initial costume choice was quickly vetoed by the producer.

With only some stamps, twenty pence and a hairy mint in her purse poor Clara trudges up the street in the hope of finding somewhere to stay.

Cut to a dimly lit backlot and our failed floozy is soon outside the Starlight Motel and it's oddball owner.

All's going swimmingly (well as swimmingly as a conversation between a bewigged block of wood and a man so over the top he's in orbit can go) until Judd realizes where Carla used to work.

Baring his yellowing teeth he picks the poor girl up off the floor and squeezes her arse before bludgeoning her to death with a scythe and feeding her whole to his croc.

And you thought they spat that bit out.

No sooner has Judd cleaned up the mess that was Clara's bowel than more guests arrive.

Albeit ones driving very slowly for fear of knocking down the cardboard trees.

Please welcome Mr. and Mrs. Des Functional, their daughter Angie and pet dog.

Liza Minelli-wigged Mrs. Functional (Marilyn Burns from TCM) desperately tries to hold on to an air of normality whilst her poppy eyed, crow faced hubbie Des (Finley from Phantom of The Paradise) minces around like a drunk Slinky whilst barking at the dog, much to the amusement (oh alright, total apathetic blankness) of wee Angie (latter day babe Richards).

Don't fret tho' cos it's not long before dad's dead, the dogs been eaten, mom's stripped down to her little white undies and tied to her bed, her mouth duct taped up and poor little Angie is trapped under the house whilst Judd menacingly waves his chopper at her.

Cliff Richard, up the casino, last week.

Judd's underage carnage will have to wait tho' as who should turn up next?

Only Clara's dad, the grumpy Mr. Harvey Wood (no shame Ferrer) and his terrifyingly plain younger daughter Libby (Sinclaire).

Father Harvey, obviously annoyed at how his career has gone after divorcing Audrey Hepburn starts shouting at Judd regarding the motel's wallpaper but before it can escalate into a bit of full on topless old man wrestling Libby calms the situation down.

Unfortunately.

Shuffling back to his car in order to get his luggage (which surprisingly isn't kept in the huge leathery bags under his eyes) Harvey comes across Sheriff Martin (movie icon and walking brewery Whitman) who kindly offers to help in their quest to find Clara.

Insert cock here. Again.
 

Harvey decides to rest up in the motel whilst Libby heads into town with Martin for a slap up meal and heartfelt chinwag at the local bar, giving her a chance to experience Buck's chat up skills and marvel at the frankly perfectly pert arse belonging to his date, the luscious lolita Lynette (the yumsome Blythe from The Hills Have Eyes and one of my first major movie crushes).

This sight is, by far the best reason to watch the movie.

You'd have to. Twice. Maybe three times on a Friday.


Unfortunately with no-one to stop them arguing it's only a matter of time before Judd and Harvey are back at each others throats, Harvey using a clenched fist and Judd his trusty scythe.

Unsurprisingly it's not too long before Harvey's bloodied corpse is chucked into the lake.

Bloody hell, that crocodile's gonna burst at this rate.

with Libby heading back to the motel for a snooze, Buck and Lynette heading over for 'the sex', poor Angie still stuck under the floorboards and mum desperate for a wee it can only be a matter of time before someone (anyone? Please?) discovers how far Judd is willing to go to keep his pet happy.

But who will survive?

And what will be left of them?

Or their careers.

Tramp in mah big green mooth!

With a director and writer hot off the back of an all-time cult classic and an ensemble cast to die for, Eaten Alive should be one of the all time greats of the horror genre.

Unfortunately Hooper didn't so much as drop the ball than not actually have a ball to begin with.

Or any idea of what the fuck to do with the ball if it actually existed.

Unlike the hyper real Texas Chainsaw, which made it's lack of budget, non-actors and home-made sets a unique feature of the film, Eaten Alive seems strangely studio bound looking for all the world like it was shot for peanuts in the late sixties by a particularly ham-fisted Herschell Gordon Lewis wannabe; the plotting is nonsensical, the editing obviously done by a hook-handed child leaving long
















pauses













in the middle of scenes and the scratched, outdated film stock (obviously found in a bin) and lack of continuity between studio and location work gives the impression of two different movies shoddily spliced together.

Unfortunately for us neither of them look any good.

Blythe: Nice, milky thighs you could ski down.


But it's not all bad.

I mean, with a cast as great as this how could it be?

Plus it does feature a tiny monkey.

And William Finley (sporting the greasiest barnet even committed to celluloid) barking like a dog in a vane attempt to get noticed by David Lynch and rescued from this madness.

Plus Janus Blythe's oft mentioned perfectly sculptured arse and silky smooth thighs.

And it's strangely hypnotic, like a particularly gruesome car crash drawing you in until you find it impossible to turn away, desperate to find out what Hooper will throw at the screen next.

Nowhere near as great as his Classic Lifeforce but still worth a look.

Especially if you suffer from sadomasochistic tendencies.

Or are a twelve year old boy.

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