Eaten Alive By Tobe Hooper!

Eaten Alive

By John Saleeby
October 1, 2017


Tobe Hooper died. But practically everybody in every Movie Tobe Hooper ever made dies, why should he be any different? First George Romero and then Jerry Lewis died, why should Tobe Hooper still be knocking around eating Graham Crackers and making Donald Trump jokes? It’s only fair. Except for when I die - That is really gonna suck. Especially if Chainsaws are involved. So maybe I should shut up about Tobe Hooper. Oh, this is going to be an Article about Tobe Hooper? I can’t win!

Have we done more Articles here at Acid Logic about any Director other than Tobe Hooper? I’d go look at the Contents Page but then I’ll be reminded of all the shit I’ve Written about “Star Trek” and The Electric Orchestra and feel like an idiot. I’m pretty sure there are more Acid Logic Articles about George Romero (Nine Hundred pages about George Romero later) and if you don’t agree you can SUCK MY DICK! But as I briefly mentioned about Nine Hundred pages ago we have done more Motherfucking Masterpiece Articles about Tobe Hooper Movies than anybody’s. Was there an Interesting Motherfuckers Article about Tobe Hooper? I think I remember Writing that. Or at least Reading it. Was it in Acid Logic? Maybe it was in my Local Left Wing Weekly. No, that was about a Willie Nelson Concert. Oh, God - Did Willie Nelson die? He was SO GOOD in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”!

But we definitely never did any Articles about “Eaten Alive”. Why? Because everybody says it STINKS! Nobody has anything good to say about “Eaten Alive”, I’d never even seen the damn thing much less Written a really funny Article about it. Hell, I’ve never Written a really funny Article about anything, why should I start with a crummy Movie that I’ve never even seen like “Eaten Alive”? But I must have felt bad about that because the first thing I thought when I heard Tobe Hooper had died was “I gotta see ‘Eaten Alive’!” And it turned out to be a REALLY GOOD MOVIE! Or was I just being sentimental because Ol’ Tobe had died? No, I rewatched “Life Force” and it still sucks! Maybe I’ll give that one another chance if Tobe comes back from the Dead and gives me a lot of Money. Nah.

“Eaten Alive” is a Giant Alligator Movie Starring Neville Brand and why you need an Alligator in a Movie when you’ve already got Neville Brand is a complete Mystery.  “Lake Placid” is probably the most popular Giant Alligator Movie but if it had Neville Brand instead of an Alligator it would be The Most Popular Movie Of All Time. Imagine a Movie where Betty White is feeding Cows to Neville Brand! And then later in the Movie they find out it’s just one Neville Brand in the Lake but TWO Neville Brands! And a big black Hefty Bag full of empty Beer Cans instead of Oliver Platt. Aw, fuck “Lake Placid”!

“Eaten Alive” was the first Movie Hooper made after “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” but, even though it is also set in Texas (What did Texas ever do to Tobe Hooper? Not even Louisiana makes Texas out to be as bad as Tobe Hooper does), it has a guy chasing people around with a Scythe instead of a Chainsaw. Yeah, a Scythe - A long wooden handle with a big metal blade attached. Farmers used em in the Old Days before somebody got tired of the whole thing and invented the Chainsaw. “Eaten Alive” was almost called “Texas Scythe Massacre” but the Alligator said “What am I? Chopped Liver?” and Hooper hid in a Film Can for a Week. Luckily Neville Brand is such a scary guy you could have him running around in a Movie holding an Etch-A-Sketch and people would be terrified. And Neville Brand has LONG HAIR in “Eaten Alive”! NEVILLE BRAND WITH LONG HAIR! He looks like Aerosmith’s Dad! It’s a MONSTER MOVIE!!!

And William Finley is in “Eaten Alive” as if we aren’t in enough trouble around here. Are there any Movies where William Finley showing up is a Positive Development? I kid William Finley because that’s the only way I can talk about the guy without breaking into hysterical shrieking. But I’ve always been a Big Fan of his (John starts shrieking). Yeah, but that wasn’t “Hysterical”! It was actually quite Manly. Like the Vocals on one of the better Whitesnake Albums. Anyway, Finley has the Best Non-People Getting Eaten By An Alligator Moment in “Eaten Alive” when he expresses aggression toward his Wife with Alligator-like Hand Gestures.  These are some SERIOUS Hand Gestures I am talking about and if they don’t show up on CNN sometime soon they will have to start throwing Coffee at each other. Why didn’t they have William Finley in “Jaws” to do some Great White Shark-like Hand Gestures? Why the fuck is Richard Dreyfuss in “Jaws” instead of William Finley? That Spielberg is a retard! “Uh oh! Saleeby mentioned Spielberg in an Article about Tobe Hooper! Here come the “Poltergeist” Jokes!!”  What are you talking about? Oh, yeah. Tobe Hooper Directed “Poltergeist”. I forgot all about that. I’d rather talk about “Lake Placid”.

What makes “Eaten Alive” a Cinematic Feast to be savored like a Great Big Bowl of Skittles mixed up with that Red Mountain Dew? This thing starts off kinda Square and Conventional compared to “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” but eventually achieves an “Eraserhead”-“Pink Flamingos”-“Caddyshack” synthesis that will get you thrown out of KFC for running around yelling at people about Alligators. Yes, it is THAT GOOD! It’s like Tennessee Williams Wrote a Play for a Monster Reptile instead of Marlon Brando. 

“Eaten Alive” bounces in and out of a seedy Hotel in the middle of a Swamp with occasional visits to the local Whorehouse. A “Monster Reptile”? Make that “Bill Clinton”!  HAW HAW HAW! I’m sorry. Everybody is getting eaten by an Alligator, Jokes are the only way to deal with the Trauma! All of the Exteriors are suffused with this creepy Red glow like in a Seventies Ted Nugent Concert when he played the Solo on “Stranglehold”. I’m sure that’s what Hooper had in mind “Like that Ted Nugent Concert when he played ‘Stranglehold!” “Oh, yeah! Cool!”

But . . . But . . . Why does the Monkey die? At the Beginning of the Movie there’s a Monkey on the Front Porch of Neville Brand’s Hotel and then it . . . DIES! Does this Foreshadow all the Death and Destruction that is soon to ensue? What a waste of a Monkey!  Hooper couldn’t do all that “Foreshadow all the Death and Destruction” crap with a Hamster or a Goldfish? If it wasn’t for that Dead Monkey “Eaten Alive” would be PERFECT! There aren’t any Dead Monkeys in “Bio Dome”! At least Neville Brand doesn’t feed the Poor Monkey to the Alligator. Or the Crocodile. I don’t know what the Hell is going on in this Movie.


John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email -

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