Quentin Tarantino Praises Forgotten Horror Classic That’s Now Free-to-Stream

Quentin Tarantino
Director Quentin Tarantino, 2018. © Juno Films / courtesy Everett Collection

I developed a newfound appreciation for Tobe Hooper after having the privilege to read Jacob Trussell’s Poltergeist release for DieDieBooks. While the thrust of the novel was on Hooper’s experience with Spielberg and company while filming Poltergeist, insights into his early career were most welcome.

Hooper wasn’t just an intelligent man—he was a damn good filmmaker. Even in the backwoods of Texas (where, of course, his most famous movie is set), Hooper found the humanity and humor in even the strangest of horrors. Just check out The Funhouse to see what I mean.

His career, like many, is full of ups and downs, though there’s always something worth recommending, even if the entire movie doesn’t quite work. Take 1975’s Eaten Alive, for instance, a movie even Quentin Tarantino is quite fond of.

Per Tubi: The short-fused owner of a dilapidated hotel in East Texas goes on a killing spree and uses his victims’ bodies as chum for his pet crocodile.

Quentin Tarantino is so fond of Eaten Alive, he even ripped a line directly for use in Kill Bill. While discussing Grindhouse with Entertainment Weekly way back in 2006, Tarantino broadly remarked, “Our original idea was to do a horror double feature. The genre I wanted to tackle was slasher films, because I’m a big fan of late-’70s, early-’80s slasher films. The only thing was, what makes them so good is the genre is so rigid.”

Tarantino points out Halloween (obviously) as an inspiration, though My Bloody Valentine was his favorite at the time. As the conversation continued, Quentin Tarantino additionally pointed out Hooper’s Eaten Alive. Far Out Magazine reports (per Jimmy Kimmel Live) that Tarantino shared, “We laughed about that Buck/fuck line for the first whole 20 minutes of [Eaten Alive]. Consequently, we didn’t love the movie, but we loved watching the movie.”

And that, I think, best conceptualizes even the weakest among Hooper’s filmography. Even when you don’t love the movie, it’s impossible not to love sitting down and watching such sterling craftsmanship on display. And leave it to Tarantino, one of cinema’s greatest living champions, to spotlight that.

What do you think? Do you agree with Quentin Tarantino? Where does Eaten Alive rank for you among Hooper’s filmography? Let me know over on Twitter @Chadiscollins, and if you need a refresher, you can catch Eaten Alive streaming free now on Tubi.

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