Year of Release1980
DirectorUmberto Lenzi
StarringIvan Rassimov

Eaten Alive is another one from the vault of politically incorrect over the top exploitation flicks from the late 70s/early 80’s. This one directed by Italian director Umberto Lenzi. Lenzi was also responsible for Man from Deep River (widely regarded as responsible for starting up the Cannibal film genre and featuring a few of the same actors as this film) and Cannibal Ferox after this film. With that pedigree you know you’re in for a wild ride!


This one follows the story of a wealthy cotton farm heiress, Sheila who is investigating the disappearance of her older sister. Sheila suspects that her sister may have become involved in a strange religious cult in jungles of Asia (New Guinea) run by a mysterious figure named Jonas. Sheila then heads off to to New Guinea find out what has become of her sister. Along the way, she partners up with Mark, an ex Vietnam veteran for protection before making her journey through the savage and cruel jungle. Mark is the typical rugged hard working, hard drinking “Indiana Jones” type. You can bet there’s some sexual tension there. The sexual tension aspect is of course hammy as all hell.

The pair set off through the jungle. Before the real action even starts their guide and boat is attacked by a huge gator. Instead of heeding this as a warning the pair continue on. Other warnings such as a disemboweled corpse, don’t deter the pair. After an eventful run through the jungles, the pair get captured by some of Jonas’ followers in the woods. Upon entry into the camp she finds her sister in a settlement/commune type set up run by a cult leader named Jonas. Jonas protects the inhabitants from the surroundings, populated by cannibals and dangerous animals. In return, the inhabitants (especially the women) are basically his slaves. This is where I start to think I should start my own religion.

Robert Kershaw and Janet Agren in Eaten Alive

Upon entry into the camp Sheila encounters a world of strange rituals and discovers her sister is indeed alive. Maybe not so well, as it seems she has been enchanted by the cult. Upon further discussion it seems Sheila’s sister is not really entranced but too afraid or unable to leave.


Eaten Alive contains the usual assortment of gore, animal killings, ritual sacrifice, nudity, primitive and violet rituals, and of course cannibalism. All the ingredients one would hope to see when watching a film like this are present. It makes this a pretty confronting but entertaining watch. Eaten Alive is shot in fairly similar grizzly style as the other films in the genre.  It does not have quite the same feel as Cannibal Holocaust, but this will pretty much appeal to anyone who liked that film. It’s probably not quite at the same level of extremity of CH, but not far off either. It holds it’s own in terms of gore that’s for sure.

Ivan Rassimov in Eaten Alive


Eaten alive is not recommended for the easily offended or those new to the horror genre. This is some pretty full on stuff. It’s sleazy and filled with atrocity after atrocity. This bad boy would have been one of the most extreme movies ever committed to film at the time. As a film it’s a solid watch and definitely worth the time to watch it.

Robert Kershaw and Me Me Lai in Eaten Alive

This is the second time I’ve watched this and was able to absorb it a little better than the first time I watched and reviewed this film a few years back. One detail I missed the first time around was the number of animal deaths. Ie: animals eating and preying on each other. It really paints the jungle as a violent place and sets the tone for the violence of humans to not seem out of place in the jungle.

Can Sheila save her sister from the clutches of the cult? Well, that my friend you’ll have to find out by watching the movie for youself! It’s a hard one to find`

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