Night #21: Blood Beach (1980)

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Hey, Harry! What color eyes your stewardess have… had?”

Directed By: Jeffrey Bloom

See, this is what happens when you watch a movie based solely on its poster. I had actually seen that awesome image above years ago and, having been schooled in the ways of how these things grossly misrepresented themselves, knew better than to expect what delights that art offered.

Taking place on perhaps the most deserted beach ever, Blood Beach does more or less exactly what it promises, which is that something under the sand is sucking people in. That’s…kind of it.

The thing with a movie like this is that it sort of needs to lean into its premise a little bit and embrace the inherent silliness of it. Sadly such moments are few and far between. The movie instead presumes that you’re going to be far more interested in the central romance between a drippy lifeguard and his former flame than, and let me reiterate this, a beach that kills people. Said lifeguard already has a girlfiriend, but luckily for him that problem is solved when she gets murdered…by SAND!

So it’s all a little self serious, except when it suddenly isn’t. There are lots of long dialogue scenes as the would-be lovers get to know one another again, punctuated with a scene where an attempted rapist gets his dick eaten off.

Therein sort of lies the problem. This is a beach that kills people, in case I haven’t mentioned it. But it can’t move, it’s not proactive. It just sort of sits there and waits for someone to cross it (There is no rhyme and reason to it. We see a packed beach where something happens but then another time when it doesn’t). It would be like watching a slasher movie where the guy just hangs out in an alleyway and waits for someone to come along.

It’s all very low effort, mainly because it essentially treats everything else that’s going on like it would in something like Jaws, which is why you get scenes like the local councilwoman asking why nothing has been done about the ‘menace’, as though the police are going to go out there with guns and shoot holes in the sand. There’s something about it I found hilarious as though they wrote the movie around a shark or something instead and realised someone has already done it, so they quickly changed it and just didn’t alter the rest of the script.

To that end, the only watchable version is on YouTube. It was billed as an ‘uncut’ copy which is kind of true. In reality the German release of the movie has some of the kill scenes ‘enhanced’ by footage from another movie entirely. It’s completely terrible and doesn’t match what’s going on at all, and is so brief (Literally about 3 seconds in total) that it seemed pointless including it at all.

Still, it was good to see John Saxon show up again, even after yesterday’s misfire. As well as Burt Young (From Rocky) as a cop constantly lamenting the fact that he isn’t in Chicago. Perhaps unsurprisingly a sequel was never made, despite the end of the movie finishing with the promise of more shenanigans to come. I guess you could say that when it came to the box office, this movie sunk faster than quicksand.

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