Mar 16, 2021

Eaten Alive! (1980)

 


It had been less than two years since Jim Jones People's Temple cult in Guyana committed mass suicide resulting in the deaths of over 900 people. It was clearly still fresh on people's minds, and fodder for exploitation films.  This is an Italian production filmed in Sri Lanka featuring VZ1 MVP Paola Senatore.


The beginning is cool, but largely irrelevant to the rest of the movie.  It features a guy shooting people with his dart gun.

Sheila Morris (Janet Agren) strolls around Times Square

We love marquees here at VZ1, and there are some great ones.  "Disco 9000"

"Bizarre Sex Games Gone Too Far, Cry Rape"

Sheila meets with Detective Creal (Gerald Grant) and Logan (Jake Teague) of the FBI regarding her missing sister, Diana.

They inform her that she was last seen on tape with a cult in New Guinea. 

Sheila is shown footage of her sister, Diana Morris (Paola Senatore).

Sheila works with Professor Carter (Mel Ferrer) to gather clues on the cult and its whereabouts.

A group of bitter hippies provide the information they need.

Sheila travels to New Guinea and gets Mark Butler (Robert Kerman) to be her guide.

They travel far from civilization in search of Diana.

The expendable paddler is killed by a fake-as-hell crocodile.

A native girl (Michele Schmiegelm) is gathering fruit when she is come upon by a group of cannibals.

The girl is stripped, raped and then eaten.


Mark and Sheila come upon this gruesome sight.

They're captured - but not by cannibals, but rather the cultists.

They are greeted by the Jim Jones styled cult leader, Jonas Melvin (Ivan Rassimov).

Sheila is informed that her sister Diana is still alive.

Diana Morris (Paola Senatore) emerges from the hut.

Diana is clearly not the sister she once knew; brainwashed and topless.

They witness a ceremony performed by the "Purification Villagers" where a widow, Mowara (Me Me Lai), takes part in a sacred ritual.

In front of everyone, Mowara is tripped nude.


She lays on the altar where she is to be fucked by the dead husband's brothers.


Diana and the other topless headband girls watch with blank stares.


Quite a scene. The native Sri Lankans who served as extras got an eyeful of Me Me Lai.



Later, Diana tells Sheila in secret that this place is a living hell.  Jonas is a fucking psycho and she wants to escape but the surrounding jungle is crawling with cannibals.

Meanwhile, back in NY these old fart detectives continue to do nothing.

Jonas requires all his followers to have a sacred drink.

Jonas loses his shit when Mark refuses to drink it.

A cannibal is captured.  He's dealt with by the cultists of Purification Village.


Sheila is drugged up and stripped nude.


Jonas dips the sacred dildo into a bloody concoction.


Jonas inserts the wooden phallus into Sheila. 

Mark escapes but finds the jungle teeming with cannibals.

Mark returns to Purification Village and begs for mercy.


Mowara and the other cultists sing a cheesy Jesus Freak type song.


Still completely stoned, Sheila is painted gold.


Jonas enters with a whip.

Diana tries to stop him.


Mowara plans for an escape by triaging supplies and a canoe. 

Jonas is acting suspicious of Mowara.

Jonas preaches.

Diana got Jonas his start, paying for him back in NYC as he built his following.  Now he has no need for her.

Mowara, Mark and Diana escape - but have difficulty brining Sheila who is still brainwashed and stoned.

Sheila has to be gagged as they trek through the dense jungle.


They finally take off her gag, but it proves to be a bad idea.  Screams and runs for the hills.

Mark hilariously chases after Sheila.

This leaves Mowara and Diana alone, and they are surrounded by the cultists.

Diana is stripped.



Karan (Franco Coduti) gives Diana one helluva smack.

She's subsequently raped by Karan.


Mowara watches in horror.


Little do they know, they are surrounded by a horde of cannibals.

Karan is decapitated and eaten.

Diana is next on the menu.







It's pretty obvious her leg is just buried.  They could've done better.

They have Mowara for dessert.


Just like the Jonestown Massacre, Jonas has them all drink poison.

Sheila tries to make it to he rescue chopper with an army of cannibals chasing her.

Pretty impressed with the stunt work here; Robert Kerman doing it himself.

Back at Purification Village 

When the soldiers arrive they find everyone dead.


While this film is plenty trashy, it doesn't have that nihilistic grittiness of Cannibal Holocaust and some others within the genre.  It actually felt a little campy.  The main complaint is that it takes thirty minutes to get going.  After the blow dart stupidity at the start, you have to endure those cobwebbed cops and eye-watering boredom until Mark and Sheila make it up the jungle. From there, it's a wild ride and worth the wait.

★★★★★☆7/10

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