SEE YOU IN HELL, SUMMER

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 in 80's Horror, All Reviews, Giant Turds | 2 comments

BLOOD BEACH (1980)

Well, there’s no denying it, Linus. Another summer has come and gone.

The massive heat wave the nation underwent this season has finally succumbed to cool mornings and relaxed afternoons. The pumpkin beers and hay bales are out. You can’t buy a swimsuit at the store – all they have now are sweaters. Tarps are going over the pools, the school buses are rounding the corner, and Labor Day looms.

Fall is starting and if you’re like me then you couldn’t be happier. Autumn is my favorite season, and I just hate sweating so I’m never really sad to see summer go. Still, the kid in me always wants to have one last hurrah before the sunshine takes a hike.

I love pairing up horror movies with seasons too. Summer tends to be my summer camp revisiting time. I pal around with Friday the 13th marathons and some Sleepaway Camp parties (if you can call me, my dog, and a six pack a party, which I sure as shit do).

But you know I like to keep things fresh and interesting here on the site, so I selected a lesser-known horror flick to review for a final summertime romp before we kick into that glorious season of the witch.

The movie I chose was the out of print Blood Beach, a 1980 film that was part of the Let’s capitalize on the Jaws craze train. I recently obtained a bootleg of this movie, having long ago ogled the incredible cheese of its box cover art. The tagline is gold medal stuff: “just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… you can’t get to it”. As a kid, I always dreamed that the beach itself was actually eating people. That’s the kind of camp I was hoping for with this little curio.

Did it live up to my b-movie expectations? 

Read more…

The film starts with the beach, of course. The film quality is insanely blurry even for a bootleg. I’ve heard of using petroleum jelly on a camera lens but director Jeffery Bloom seems to prefer using mold. We watch as our main character, Harry, says good morning to an older woman who is then swallowed by the beach itself.

No shark. No Gillman. Just the beach. So far, so good.

We find out that Harry was once involved with this woman’s daughter, Cathy, who returns to the beach to look into her mother’s mysterious vanishing. We get some sensuous 80’s saxophone music and some dialogue that couldn’t be more boring. More people start getting sucked up by the beach and so the police get involved, including Burt Young (Paulie of the Rocky movies) and genre veteran John Saxon.

Chief Saxon is none too happy that his beach community has become a danger zone. Sergeant Young cracks wise and suggests that neo-Nazis are behind the disappearances. Other theories abound, including one about sea creatures leaving the ocean to live and feed within the sand.

Here the film gets a little too serious.

Listen, Blood Beach, you are not Jaws no matter how hard you want to be Jaws. Shit, you’re not even Orca. You need to bring the camp. When you name your movie Blood Beach, there is an expectation, and it isn’t too see politically charged city council meetings (although it is fun to watch Saxon tell rich old women to go fuck themselves). I don’t care that Cathy is going through a divorce, just have the beach eat her fuckin’ ass.

Harry spends way too much time stumbling under the boardwalk in the dark looking for clues. You’ll find yourself either trailing off or reaching for the fast forward button. Then a worthless song and a romantic dinner further slows down the film.

Eventually they discover a subterraneous lair where they suspect that some sort of beach monster lives, but we still don’t get to see it. Nope. The suspense continues to annoy us and you even get a fake-out moment where you think they’re offering an open-ended finale, which really would have pissed me the fuck off.

But at long last, at the goddamned hour and a half mark, we get to see the monster and SPOILER it is basically a flower-shaped dinosaur. It’s on screen for about thirty seconds and then they blow it up.

The end. Or is it? Who gives a shit? Pull that sax back out and roll the credits.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As your bartender I thought I would take one for the team and finish watching this turd-burger. I’d hate for any of my loyal patrons to be at a horrorcon and piss away cash on a bootleg of this stinker. It’s not so bad that it’s good – it’s just bad. A real bore.

In the end, this is no Don’t Go Near the Park or Things but it still deserves a footnote in trash cinema history. If only it wasn’t so highfalutin’ in its ambition then it could have been camp movie paradise. Instead it takes itself seriously and tires the viewer out as we wait for our barely glimpsed monster. All in all, Blood Beach probably won’t entertain you – it will just get sand in your vagina.

  • CHICK OF THE LITTER: Meh. The stewardess, I guess.
  • RATING: 1 out of 5. The poster is all you really need. Tremors or Humanoids From the Deep are better alternatives to this one.

BARTENDER’S NOTES

As long as we are bidding a sweet farewell to summer, we may as well have a send off to a sweet summertime ale. My favorite sunny afternoon beer is Wachusett’s Blueberry Ale. It sports American two row and white wheat, Perle, Tettnag, and Liberty Hops. Not too sugary and well balanced for a light beverage, this is a solid seasonal that is available all year long in New England. Unfortunately, this is hard to come by down south.

The wife likes Victory’s Prima Pils. So there’s a summer option for you that might be easier to locate. I find it tastes too much like bitter grass, but I don’t know everything. If I did I wouldn’t have spent an afternoon watching Blood Beach.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m just thankful you shared the poster. It gives me an hour of entertainment so I can skip the movie.

  2. Truly, you can!

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