Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blood Beach


(1981)**

Some mysterious assailant under the sand is terrorizing a Santa Monica beach community – people are literally being sucked into the ground. Two humorless detectives, John Saxon and Burt “Pauly” Young from “Rocky” are investigating this series of bizarre disappearances and munchings. After the local beaches are shut down, a coastguard and his ex-girlfriend conduct their own investigation, eventually learning the awful truth about what is lurking beneath the piers.


Hooray, Blood Beach, finally! Let me back up for a second. When I was 12-years old I vividly recall the ads and posters for Blood Beach. The ad campaign worked gangbusters for me and I desperately wanted to see this film. However, at age 12 I was more likely to win the Nobel Peace Prize than be given permission to see an R-rated film with the word “blood” in its title. Alas, what was surly a magnificent masterpiece came and went with little fanfare. Years would go by. Occasionally I would spy Blood Beach on the shelves of the local video store, but renting R-rated movies as a teenager was as difficult as buying a six-pack and a pack of Marlboros. By time I was old enough to rent Blood Beach I was no longer interested. By that time there were many other horror movies to choose from in the era of Freddy Kruger and my Blood Beach dreams faded into nothingness. Then we started Horrorthon. Blood Beach has been on my mind annually whenever this little contest comes around. The problem is that it’s hopelessly out of print. However, recently I started to notice that more and more out-of –print films are readily (illegally) available online and thus 27 years after first seeing ads for Blood Beach, I finally have it in my possession. So how is it?

Blood Beach stinks. It’s essentially Jaws with a twist – this time you’ll want to stay in the water. The main hook of the ad campaign was that people were being mysteriously sucked into the sand like this,

The reality is that it’s no more convincing than Indiana Jones struggling with that quicksand,

The biggest problem with Blood Beach is not its silly premise, which taken alone is great b-movie stuff, it’s the wasted opportunity for a little camp value. The two detectives treat this so seriously it’s almost like we have to spend our days with them as they conduct their boring investigation (interviewing people, going to meetings, etc). The scenes of people being munched are fun, a dog has his head bitten off at one point, but everything else just grinds the film’s slight momentum to a screaming halt.


I couldn’t find a picture of the sand “monster” but it essentially looked something like this,

Nah, it didn’t even look that good.

Also, Mr. Boom made his appearance in more than one scene,


I am giving Blood Beach a new title, “Crushed Dreams”.

8 comments:

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Another childhood memory ruined... How sad. I had an almost identical experience when I finally watched The Driller Killer last year.

Whirlygirl said...

Funny review! I'm glad you finally got to see it. This is for you what April Fools Days and the Lost Boys were for me, except I wasn’t disappointed with the Lost Boys.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

So then it wasn't really the same thing then, was it Whirlygirl?

DCD said...

I so want to re-watch April Fools Day!

Another review that cracked me up JPX!

JPX said...

Stay tuned for my review of the April Fools Day (2007) remake...

Whirlygirl said...

For April Fools Day it was, Sweatpants!

Julie said...

It's better this way. If you had seen it and liked it, and then you revisited it and hated it, that would be even more crushing. And possibly embarrassing.

A while back, Octo and I finally watched The Tall Guy with Emma Thompson and Jeff Goldblum. Octo had been telling me how great this movie was for years. It sucked so bad that he was mightily embarrassed.

And right now, I'm embarrassed because I could not remember Jeff Goldblum's name and had to look it up on imdb.com. I used to think the worst part of getting older would be losing my looks. But nope, it's losing my mind. (I still look awesome. 'MKay?)

JPX said...

Recently I couldn't remember Kurt Russell's name, it was very depressing.