Eaten Alive! (Mangiati vivi!) (1980): 8 out of 10: I must have much lower standards for the Italian Cannibal film genre than almost any other. Those darn cheesy exploitative jungle pictures just keep putting a smile on my face.
First the bad news, like other films in the genre this movie has many scenes of animal cruelty. Now many of Eaten Alive’s scenes are cribbed (in the form of stock footage) from other cannibal and Mondo films. This still never excuses this remarkably unnecessary and disturbing footage. That aside this movie delivers the goods. The plot consists of a Jim Jones style cult (complete with King Kong masks!) out in the middle of a jungle surrounded by Stone Age cannibals. The cult has been reading up on the Old Testament’s naughty parts, so we get the old brother-in-law’s duty scene among other surprisingly graphic sex. (And of course it’s the jungle, so only the guys wear shirts.).
The acting has some better than expected performances (cannibal film regular Robert Kerman as our prerequisite hero and Ivan Rassimov as the Jim Jones preacher) and everyone else is at least watchable (okay okay Janet Agren looks and acts coked to the gills the entire film and the other (white) female lead is an Italian porn actress but they are both naked for much of the movie and in my book that counts as “watchable”) The over the top cannibal scenes are appropriately gory and graphic but it really is the bizarre twists I enjoyed. The Goldfinger paint job, the death by poison dart attacks at Rockefeller Center, sets that wouldn’t be out of place in the original Star Trek, and of course the giant stone dildo of death.
With enough footage to cause either an animal rights activist or a feminist a brain aneurism and Cannibal watching regulars a serious case of deja vu Eaten Alive is nevertheless an entertaining fun time.