A forgotten and underrated slasher film from 1977 directed by the always great Tobe Hooper, this movie has stood the test of time to become something truly unique in the sub-genre.
The film mostly follows a hotel owner in the heart of the Bayou who feeds his guest of a giant crocodile he has as a pet out back. That insane premise makes for a wildly dark, fun, and macabre film. This is the closest I’ve ever seen Hooper to recapturing the insanity of the TCM.
It has a brutal nature, thick atmosphere, interesting characters, phenomenal lighting, and a creative story that always keeps your intention. There’s a kindred spirit to it and TCM that makes his film feel like a darkly comedic blood relative.
The lead is a horrific, confused, racist, despicable, but mesmerizing slasher. His methods are unorthodox and his truly is unique as an antagonist. Just like the Sawyer family, you’ll love his atrocious nature. The protagonist in this film are no doubt all well done.
Each one has a personality and strong character including the ones being eaten. The interactions range from the insane to mad—but all of them are memorable.
The plot is equally praiseworthy. The story is one of the most original ideas I’ve ever seen and the premise turned into a brutally dark blood bath by Hooper’s excellent direction. There’s a thick sense of atmosphere and passion to it all, making it a one of a kind watching experience. The story is straightforward but still creative. Much like the TCM, it’s a simple idea that became so much more.
Overall, it’s not on the same level as the film it’s trying to be, but it captures the same madness and insane essence. It’s antagonist is unforgettable, its characters are fully realized, it’s effects and lighting are a spark of genius, and the story is an original fright fest of brutality. The American dream doesn’t get any better than this! 8.1/10