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Eaten Alive - Eaten Alive( Blu Ray) [Severin Films - 2018]

After Cannibal Holocaust, and Cannibal Ferox 1980ís Eaten Alive stands as one of the classic examples of the Italian cannibal genre that flourished in the late 70ís to early 80ís. Here we have a much deserved first ever Blu Ray/ HD release of the film- it offers up a new, great & vibrate uncut print of the film, as well as a good selection of juicy extras.

Eaten Alive was directed in 1980 by Italian exploitation director Umberto Lenz- it was the second cannibal film he did after 1972ís Man From Deep River(aka Sacrifice! ), and before he directed 1981ís Cannibal Ferox(aka Let Them Die Slowly). The plot revolves around Sheila(Janet Agren) who is trying to track down her sister whose been lured by a Jonestown like cult to the jungles of New Guinea. She enlists the help of ex- Vietnam vet/ now arm wrestler Mark (Robert Kerman)- to lead her through the jungle. And what unfolds is an enjoyable & sleazy romp, which blends together adventure, gut munching, gore, liberal female nudity, and a fair bit animal torture/ cruelty.

The whole thing really feels like a half-way house between the grimmer & at times emotional adventure focused Man From Deep River, and the more campy & cheesy sleazy of Cannibal Ferox. And while it lacks the stand out gore/ shock set-ups of either Cannibal Holocaust's female impalement, or Cannibal Ferox's breast hooking- there are a good selection decapitations, male castrations, general gut munching/ limb chewing, and body splitting going on. And throughout the whole thing moves along at a rapid & often suspenseful pace- starting in New York City, before moving onto New Guinea (Sri Lanka).

This new print of the film certainly looks great & crisp with good definition & clarity throughout- from the bustling & over grounded New York, with some great footage of Time Square during its grindhouse glory. To the lush  & layered greens of the jungle, onto to the vivid reds of the gory & OTT slaughter.

We also get a good selection new extras- the most substantial of these is Me Me Lai Bites Back- this is an hour & twenty-minute doc about actress Me Me Lai who appeared as a female native in three cannibal films- Man From Deep River, Jungle Holocaust, and Eaten Alive. The film tracks her recently rediscovery in Essex, the three films, and her appearance at horror conventions. The docs a blend of lengthy interviews with Me Me Lai,  discussions about the films from genre experts/ fans like Eli Roth & Calum Waddell, footage from the films themselves, and footage of convention interviews. On the whole, itís an informative & interesting doc, though on a few occasions the same points/ stories do get discussed more than once.

Other extras take in two recent stand-alone interviews- one with director Lenzi, and one of the films production designer. Then we get a 2013 convention Q&A with Lenzi that runs around half-an-hour. A few short archive interviews with two of the film's actors, and a trailer.

There is also a ltd edition of this release- which comes with a soundtrack CD, and slip sleeve- we where only sent the stardard edition, so I canít comment on the ltd edition...but it looks neat from the pictures I've seen

So, in conclusion, itís great to have Eaten Alive in Blu Ray form, and Severin films have done a great job on the films remastering & the selection of worthy extras.  Really this release is a no-brainer for any fan of Italian gore 'n' sleazy.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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