Eaten Alive provides a grotesque and singular hallucinatory grindhouse experience. To watch Eaten Alive is to bathe in a mosquito-infested pool of the trashy macabre. It’s leering and sticky and bathing should be required post-viewing.
As Kenny Rogers once said, “You’ve got to know when to fold ’em / know when to walk away / know when to run the &#*$ away from the Pet Sematary.”
Some genres and some narratives can feel so routine that they’re more akin to slapping an abrasive alarm clock and falling out of bed to blearily brush one’s teeth. I’m not equating watching Dracula: Prince of Darkness to the drudgery of routine hygiene, but there’s a certain amount of standard exposition required to propel a Dracula story forward.
Associate producer Barbara Sachs took this lazy premise, and according to screenwriter Daryl Haney, aimed to win Academy Awards. Most unbelievably, the production team reportedly batted about candidates like Federico Fellini to direct Friday the 13th Part VII.
Part VI has a defined identity and a purposeful sense of humor about itself. Humor had been a component of the series, but it had always taken itself just a little too seriously. Even as the characters kept getting dumber and more deserving of a machete attack, the films as whole failed to embrace humor beyond lazy stereotyping and broad stabs at humor. (Get it? Stabs?)