ZombiSurvivor’s Retro Review: Eaten Alive! (1980)

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Those of you that continually read my horror movie bile, know of my adoration for the Italian horror film scene. With names like Fulci, Argento or the Bava’s, you really can’t go wrong. But, it is this same horror scene that also forever established a foothold in the cannibal film sub-genre, when Ruggero Deodato unleashed Cannibal Holocaust to the world in 1980. This film completely shocked audiences all over the globe. Causing the film to be banned in dozens of countries for the shocking images of animal cruelty. Holocaust set a mold of many cannibal films that would follow and Eaten Alive! Is one of those many.

Eaten Alive! (1980)

Synopsis

After a couple of mysterious assassinations in New York city by blow darts tipped with cobra venom, the police are at a loss. Soon after though, the killer himself is permanently silenced and it is determined that he had belonged to a bizarre religious cult, that resides in remote jungle location in New Guinea. Later, Sheila (Janet Agren, City of the Living Dead) reaches out to authorities, looking for her missing sister Diana (The Flower with Deadly Sting) that has joined this doomsday cult. Ultimately the authorities cannot help. So, Sheila enlists Vietnam veteran Mark (Robert Kerman, Cannibal Holocaust) to travel with and aide her in her search. What are these two getting themselves into and who will make it out alive?

What follows next, is for the most part a stereotypical cannibal film. Naïve Americans enter the jungle and are witness to some violent and graphic animal on animal deaths and eventually stumble upon, well…. Cannibals. But the main aspect that sets this film apart from its other contemporaries is the doomsday cult. A cult founded upon supreme loyalty, which is aided by some psychedelic drink, to cult leader and self-proclaimed deity Jonas played by Ivan Rassimov (Spasmo, Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key). Rassimov’s performance was so commanding and familiar, that I could not help but recall The Wicker Man (1973) during these cult scenes.

I’ve seen quite a few cannibal movies and Eaten Alive! is a much more tamer film than other entries of the cannibal genre. With the cannibal violence and gore being sparse throughout. But when the blood does begin to flow, it was quite entertaining. Directed by Umberto Lenzi (Nightmare City, Black Demons), whose similar films have often ridden the coattails of other more popular Italian flicks. Eaten Alive! felt like a cash grab for the sub-genre that was quickly losing popularity. But, at the same time it was just original enough to not feel repetitive in such a pigeon-holed thematic movie experience.

If you are into these types of movies, you will find enjoyment. But don’t go into it expecting it to rival Cannibal Holocaust or Cannibal Ferox (1980).

IMDb: 5.2/10

ZombiSurvivor: 6.4/10

 

Trailer below is NSFW and contains nudity. Viewer discretion is advised for those under the age of 18!!!!!!

As always, thanks for reading! And remember…

STAY SCARED!

-ZS

 

About Jared Letourneau 166 Articles
Hey there boils and ghouls! My love of horror films came on a dark and stormy night.... ....Truthfully, it probably happened in 1980-something during a sunny day when I was 5 or 6. That movie was JAWS. I had never been so terrified to go swimming and I live in a land-locked state! I have been a Horror Hound ever since. Having seen hundreds of films, some good and some downright dreadful, my love for horror cinema has grown stronger than ever! I have a Sci-Fi nerd wife, which allows us to share movies with each other(while she puts up with MOST of my movies). A couple of my favorite directors are Lucio Fulci and John Carpenter. Contributing here at T.H.S and being able to work with these other folks will be a treat I look forward to. I will share secrets after a few drinks and I also enjoy long romantic walks in dimly-lit cemeteries. My fave top 5 films are: 1)Dawn Of The Dead (Original) 2)The Thing (Carpenter's Remake) 3)Zombie 4)Texas Chainsaw Massacre (O.G.) 5)Friday the 13th pt IV: The Final Chapter Stay Scared! -ZombiSurvivor