Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 3rd, 2018
BluRay Release Date: February 20th, 2018
Approximate running time: 92 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English, DTS-HD Mono Italian, DTS-HD Mono Spanish
Subtitles: English, English SDH
BluRay Release: Severin Films
Region Encoding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A woman looking for her missing sister, enlists the help of an adventurer. Their search leads them deep into the heart of a jungle that is inhabited by cannibals. And their only hope of surviving, lays in the hands of the deranged cult leader, whose commune is fortified from the cannibals.
Eaten Alive! was written and directed by Umberto Lenzi is a versatile filmmaker who has worked in just about every prominent genre from Italian cinema’s golden age of cinema. A few of his more notable films include, A Quiet Place to Kill, Almost Human and Nightmare City. Key collaborators on Eaten Alive! include, cinematographer Federico Zanni (Syndicate Sadists, Poker in Bed) and composers Roberto Donati and Fiamma Maglione (Apache Woman, Cannibal Ferox).
With Eaten Alive! Umberto Lenzi would return to familiar ground. Eight years before, he had directed The Man from Deep River, a film that is widely credited as the starting point of the cannibal film cycle.
And though, Eaten Alive! would feature many of the ingredients that were integral to The Man from Deep River’s success. The end result, are two films that couldn’t be further apart, in regards to their tone. With Eaten Alive! taking on a much darker tone than its predecessor.
With that being said, Eaten Alive! for all of its ferocity, when it comes to its goriest moments. It is a film that never reaches the level of depravity of Umberto Lenzi’s most notorious cannibal film, Cannibal Ferox.
Content wise, though the cannibals play an integral role in this film. They are not the main focal point of this film. With the main focal point of this film, being a religious cult leader, who has brought his disciples to this remote area in the jungle.
The premise is superbly realized and the well-constructed narrative ensures that there is never a dull moment. Visually the film takes full advantage of its scenic locations and the scenes where the cannibals attack, are overflowing of gore.
Performance wise, the cast are best described as serviceable. With this film most memorable performance being Ivan Rassimov (Spirits of Death, Spasmo) in the role of a megalomaniac cult leader named Jonas Melvin. Other notable cast members include, Robert Kerman (Cannibal Holocaust) in the role of an adventure named Mark Butler, Janet Agren (The Killer Reserved Nine Seats, City of the Living Dead) in the role of Sheila Morris, the woman who goes into the jungle looking for his missing sister, Mel Ferrer (The Hands of Orlac, The Suspicious Death of a Minor) in the role Professor Carter and Me Me Lai (Au Pair Girls, Jungle Holocaust).
Eaten Alive! comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The back cover for this release has this information about the transfer, “presented uncut, uncensored and now fully restored in HD for the first time ever!”. Print related damaged in minimal and never intrusive. Grain often looks thick; the image generally looks crisp and colors fare well. When compared to previous home video releases for this film, this transfer is a marked improvement upon all previous releases. Most notably, in regards to image clarity and color saturation.
This release comes with three audio options, a DTS-HD mono mix in English, a DTS-HD mono mix in Italian and a DTS-HD mono mix in Spanish. All of the audio mixes sound, clear and balanced. With the strongest of these three audio mixes being the English Language track. Included with this release are two subtitle options, English SDH and English for the Italian language track.
Extras for this release include, a reversible cover art, a trailer for the film (3 minutes 5 seconds), 2013 Q & A with director Umberto Lenzi from the Festival of Fantastic Films, UK (23 minutes 43 seconds, in Italian and English with English subtitles), archive interviews with actors Ivan Rassimov and Robert Kerman (12 minutes 21 seconds, in English with English subtitles), an interview with production designer Antonello Geleng titled The Sect Of The Purification (13 minutes 3 seconds, in Italian with English subtitles), an interview with Umberto Lenzi titled Welcome To The Jungle (16 minutes 36 seconds, in Italian with English subtitles) and a documentary titled Me Me Lai Bites Back (79 minutes 55 seconds, in English).
Topics discussed in the Q & A include, his origins as a filmmaker, his favorite film, the giallo’s he made with Carroll Baker, directors that have influenced him, his thoughts about Cannibal Ferox and the cannibal film genre, the challenges he faced shooting in the jungle, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Ivan Rassimov and Tomas Milian.
Topics discussed in the interviews with Ivan Rassimov and Robert Kerman.
Ivan Rassimov: His thoughts about working with Umberto Lenzi, Eaten Alive! and the cast.
Robert Kerman: How he got cast because of Cannibal Holocaust, his thoughts about the violence depicted in Eaten Alive!, Umberto Lenzi and the cast.
Topics discussed in the interview with Umberto Lenzi include, the origins of the cannibal film genre, The Man from Deep River, why he didn’t make a sequel for The Man from Deep River, The Cannibal World (Jungle Holocaust), Eaten Alive!, what inspired him to make this film, the cast and his thoughts about the film.
The extra titled Me Me Lai Bites Back is an informative overview of Me Me Lai career as an actress and what she has been up to, since leaving acting.
Overall Eaten Alive! gets a solid release from Severin Films, highly recommended.