EATEN ALIVE! (1980)
posted 00/00/2009

Directed by:
Umberto Lenzi

Starring:
Robert Kerman ... Mark Butler
Janet Agren ... Sheila Morris
Ivan Rassimov ... Jonas Melvyn
Paola Senatore ... Diana Morris

Country: Italy
Runtime: 92 min
Original title: Mangiati vivi!

Let me start off by saying that this is not the 1977 film by Tobe Hooper of the same title. This movie boasts a perfect five, on each of the 3B’s categories yet I only give it three coffins. This is because the quality of a film can’t always be fixed by adding a boob or a gross out. Cannibal exploitation fans, already coming into this with huge expectations of barbarism, won’t be let down unless your me. This feels like and is a remake of the cannibal exploitation genre. Lenzi edited in scenes from three other cannibal flicks including Mountain of the Cannibal God, probably my favorite of the genre. He over freaking does it with over four animal cruelty scenes which were utterly displeasing. In other words, we have all seen this before. This film is a stereotype of the genre and I could not find originality for the life of me.

Sheila Morris hasn’t heard from her sister for a while and becomes worried. She learns that she left to New Guinea to join an ecology cult. Just another excuse to send a pretty blonde out to the jungle, with a tough talking kind hearted guide named Mark, whom she meets in New Guinea. They are briefed that Janus, the charismatic (is there any other type) cult leader has rooted his village in the middle of a dense jungle inhabited by...I’ll let you guess...cannibals!

Now the fun starts. Ok I do admit the movie was kinda fun. As the rag tag bunch move slowly down river a croc snatches one of them pulling him out and having his arm for lunch. Now Mark and Sheila must find their way to the village to rescue Sheila’s clueless sister Dianna. After a short while they seem to zig zag through the cannibals and end up at the cult village. Jonas appears to greet them in a long black robe. These cult leaders love wearing robes and always know things ahead of time. They talk and then go outside to see a spectacle. The brother in laws of a widow, played sumptuously by the beautiful Me Me Lai, take turns and rape her on the ashes of her cremated husband. Later that night something strange happens that I bet you never have seen before. Jonas drugs Sheila and has her naked on a bed with her legs open. He then pulls out a homemade snake head dildo dripping with snake blood and thrusts it quite hard up in her. We don’t understand these rituals but we sure enjoy them. The next scenes are cut from Mountain of the Cannibal God where a man gets his toolbox pulled out of place and then the cannibals eat tiny green snakes. I’m not kidding you. How could I make this up? Now if you have seen Mountain of the Cannibal God you will easily get enraged by seeing Sheila bronzed-up like the main woman in the aforementioned film. Then in the next scene she’s washed up and ready to go. Just checking my notes I realize that I have indeed documented six animal cruelty scenes. This has gotten out of hand, but I won't hate on those who dig these scenes.

Mark, Sheila, Diana and Mowara (Me Me Lai) escape by the river. Some tough ogre men from the cult grab Diana, strip her, and aggresively fuck her from behind. Then the cannibals ambush them all eating Diana’s legs, arms and nipples, like a Roman banquet. This is great gore here my friends, I recommend this scene. Later they cut open and gut Mowara in a beautiful display of carnage. Then out of nowhere three helicopters come to rescue Sheila and Mark. Weren’t they lucky!

Cannibal exploitation films are both unique and beautiful. They can show us savagery and grace. Or like this film, they could rehash proven scenes and story lines, add some extra tits and blood and present their shit on a platter. This is a bad cannibal film, but don’t get me wrong, it’s not nearly as bad as Franco's Cannibals aka Mondo cannibale. I suggest to watch this with friends with no expectations. You will laugh and squirm, especially the new guy in the group who’s unaware of our fiendish habits.

- Jorge Antonio Lopez

 

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