Eaten Alive! (1977)

R | 90 mins | Horror | 1977

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Cinematographer:

Robert Caramico

Editor:

Michael Brown

Production Designer:

Marshall Reed

Production Company:

Mars Production Corp.
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HISTORY

Working titles included Death Trap and Slaughter Hotel, as noted in 18 Aug 1976 DV and HR news items.
       Opening credits list Carolyn Jones as “Miss Hatty.” However, in the end credits, the character’s name is spelled “Miss Hattie.” End credits include the following acknowledgment: “Special thanks to Hal Freeman of Cin Kay Records; Mac Adams, Bros. Sound, Austin, TX.”
       According to a 22 Apr 1976 DV story, the film was then half-finished, and shot, in part, on a soundstage, using dry-ice fog effects in the style of earlier Hollywood, CA, horror films. A sixteen-to-seventeen foot mechanical crocodile, along with a three-foot “walking” model, were used to simulate the killer reptile. A 13 May 1976 HR news item reported that the film was shooting in Amarillo, TX.
       A 1 Apr 1978 LAT article reported that Eaten Alive! was part of a challenge to a Chicago, IL, law that allowed the city’s film review board to rate films as “adult only” based on violence. The city sued after New World Pictures refused to accept the classification restricting anyone under age eighteen from seeing Eaten Alive! and Devil Times Five, aka People Toys (1974, see entry). A 12 Apr 1978 Var news item reported Judge Raymond K. Berg upheld the 1976 Chicago ordinance banning the exhibition of violent films to minors.
       According to the 18 Aug 1976 DV, producer Mardi Rustam set up his own distribution company for the film, originally planning an 8 Sep 1976 release in 600 theaters. The 5 ... More Less

Working titles included Death Trap and Slaughter Hotel, as noted in 18 Aug 1976 DV and HR news items.
       Opening credits list Carolyn Jones as “Miss Hatty.” However, in the end credits, the character’s name is spelled “Miss Hattie.” End credits include the following acknowledgment: “Special thanks to Hal Freeman of Cin Kay Records; Mac Adams, Bros. Sound, Austin, TX.”
       According to a 22 Apr 1976 DV story, the film was then half-finished, and shot, in part, on a soundstage, using dry-ice fog effects in the style of earlier Hollywood, CA, horror films. A sixteen-to-seventeen foot mechanical crocodile, along with a three-foot “walking” model, were used to simulate the killer reptile. A 13 May 1976 HR news item reported that the film was shooting in Amarillo, TX.
       A 1 Apr 1978 LAT article reported that Eaten Alive! was part of a challenge to a Chicago, IL, law that allowed the city’s film review board to rate films as “adult only” based on violence. The city sued after New World Pictures refused to accept the classification restricting anyone under age eighteen from seeing Eaten Alive! and Devil Times Five, aka People Toys (1974, see entry). A 12 Apr 1978 Var news item reported Judge Raymond K. Berg upheld the 1976 Chicago ordinance banning the exhibition of violent films to minors.
       According to the 18 Aug 1976 DV, producer Mardi Rustam set up his own distribution company for the film, originally planning an 8 Sep 1976 release in 600 theaters. The 5 Dec 1977 LAT review called the film, “one horrendous and ludicrous movie where bondage, brutality and sadism are rampant.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Sep 1977.
---
Daily Variety
22 Apr 1976.
---
Daily Variety
18 Aug 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 May 1976
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1976.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Dec 1977
Section 4, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
1 Apr 1978.
---
Variety
18 Aug 1976.
---
Variety
12 Apr 1978.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Mardi Rustam presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Pres/Prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Co-prod
WRITERS
Adpt for the screen
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit cam
1st ass cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Asst photog
Grip
Grip
Gaffer
Gaffer
Best boy
Best boy
Processing by
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set dec
Asst prop man
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp, cond and arr
Mus comp, cond and arr
Mus ed
Radio song by
Radio song by
Radio song by
Radio song by
Radio song by
Radio song by
Radio song by
Radio song by
Radio song by
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Sd eff
Rerec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opticals
Mechanical alligator and crocodile furnished by
MAKEUP
Make up/Hair
Make up/Hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod facilities by
Dog trainer, owner
Auditor
Prod secy
Utility person
STAND INS
Stunt co-ord
Stunt double
Stunt double
Stunt double
Stunt double
Stunt double
Stunt double
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Death Trap
Horror Hotel
Legend of the Bayou
Starlight Slaughter
Slaughter Hotel
Release Date:
1977
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 30 November 1977
Production Date:
began spring 1976 in Amarillo, TX
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
International Film Laboratory, Inc.
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
24685
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At a brothel, a young man, Buck, assaults Clara, a prostitute. Miss Hatty, the madam, breaks up the altercation, allows Buck to pick out two other girls, and kicks Clara out. Ruby, the housekeeper, gives Clara money and sends her to the Starlight, a rundown hotel that sits beside a fenced-in swamp, where the one-legged proprietor, Judd, keeps a crocodile he claims came from Africa. When Judd realizes that Clara is one of Miss Hatty’s girls, he becomes enraged and attacks her, and they wrestle down a flight of stairs. Clara attempts to escape, but once outside, Judd repeatedly hacks at her with a rake, before feeding her to the crocodile. Later that night, a family stops at the hotel so that Roy, the father, can use the restroom. The family’s dog gets loose and their young daughter, Angie, chases it, while her mother, Faye, looks around the property. Meanwhile, Buck drives up and gives an agitated Judd some money, before Judd chases him off. The dog gets through the fence and is eaten by the crocodile as Angie watches in horror. The family gets a room, and they calm Angie while Roy becomes upset and acts strangely. Meanwhile, an older man, Harvey Wood, and his daughter Libby, arrive at the hotel looking for Clara, his other daughter who ran away. Harvey shows Judd a photo of Clara and asks if he has seen her. Judd deflects the question and tells Harvey that if he wants a prostitute, he will have to go to the brothel in town. Harvey angrily informs him that the woman in the picture is his daughter and takes Libby into town, leaving their luggage ... +


At a brothel, a young man, Buck, assaults Clara, a prostitute. Miss Hatty, the madam, breaks up the altercation, allows Buck to pick out two other girls, and kicks Clara out. Ruby, the housekeeper, gives Clara money and sends her to the Starlight, a rundown hotel that sits beside a fenced-in swamp, where the one-legged proprietor, Judd, keeps a crocodile he claims came from Africa. When Judd realizes that Clara is one of Miss Hatty’s girls, he becomes enraged and attacks her, and they wrestle down a flight of stairs. Clara attempts to escape, but once outside, Judd repeatedly hacks at her with a rake, before feeding her to the crocodile. Later that night, a family stops at the hotel so that Roy, the father, can use the restroom. The family’s dog gets loose and their young daughter, Angie, chases it, while her mother, Faye, looks around the property. Meanwhile, Buck drives up and gives an agitated Judd some money, before Judd chases him off. The dog gets through the fence and is eaten by the crocodile as Angie watches in horror. The family gets a room, and they calm Angie while Roy becomes upset and acts strangely. Meanwhile, an older man, Harvey Wood, and his daughter Libby, arrive at the hotel looking for Clara, his other daughter who ran away. Harvey shows Judd a photo of Clara and asks if he has seen her. Judd deflects the question and tells Harvey that if he wants a prostitute, he will have to go to the brothel in town. Harvey angrily informs him that the woman in the picture is his daughter and takes Libby into town, leaving their luggage behind. Upstairs at the hotel, Roy acts more irrationally and starts barking. He storms out, gets a rifle from the car, and attempts to shoot the crocodile. On the porch, Judd attacks him with a scythe. The crocodile leaps from the water and eats Roy. Upstairs, Faye takes a bath and Judd attacks her, wrapping her in a shower curtain. Angie witnesses the assault and Judd chases her outside, but she manages to hide in the crawlspace under the hotel. Judd goes back upstairs and ties Faye to a bed. In town, Harvey and Libby visit Sheriff Martin. He takes them to visit Miss Hatty, who claims to have never seen Clara. Back at the Starlight, Judd tries to lure Angie out, but he is interrupted by the arrival of the sheriff’s car. The sheriff and Libby drop off Harvey and leave to get something to eat. Harvey hears Angie’s screams and goes to investigate, but Judd plunges the scythe into his neck and feeds him to the crocodile. At a nearby roadhouse, Buck plays pool with Lynette, a local girl, while the sheriff has coffee and Libby eats. Libby explains that her father is dying and is obsessed with finding Clara. The sheriff runs Buck off for causing trouble. Buck takes Lynette to the Starlight and checks into a room despite Judd’s objections. Judd turns up the radio to drown out the sounds of Faye thrashing around upstairs and Angie screaming under the building. When Buck goes to tell Judd to turn down the radio, he hears Angie and goes outside, but Judd pushes him off the porch into the swamp and the crocodile gets him. Judd then chases Lynette into the woods with the scythe. Lynette flags down a motorist who gives her a ride. Meanwhile, Libby returns to the hotel and goes to her room. Outside, Judd uses the scythe to open the fence and release the crocodile. It crawls under the hotel and chases Angie. Libby hears Faye’s screams and unties her. Libby and Faye go downstairs, but Judd chases them back up. He wounds Faye and throws her over the railing. Outside, Libby sees Angie on a fence with the crocodile waiting below her. As Libby attempts to rescue Angie, Judd tries to knock the little girl off the fence. A bloodied Faye pulls herself onto the porch and knocks Judd to the ground where the crocodile drags him into the water. The sheriff arrives and comforts Faye, Libby, and Angie, as Judd’s prosthetic leg floats to the surface of the swamp. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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