Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blood Beach (1980)

Blood Beach (1980)
Directed by Jeffrey Bloom
Starring John Saxon, Burt Young, Marianna Hill, Lena Pousette
Rated R 

"Real men don't believe in monsters."

Man, I've been waiting to see this movie for decades. The poster, the tag line (“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…you can’t get to it!”) hell, even the title is exploitation gold. No wonder, really, since it was a late in the game grinder from Jerry "I Drink Your Blood" Gross. So, can the movie possibly live up to the hype? Of course it cannot. Not even close. Not a bit. Directed by the redoubtable Jeffrey Bloom (ugh, Starcrossed), Blood Beach bucks the early 80’s gore trend and shoots for a 50’s style creature-feature, complete with all the tedium, stiff dialogue, and murky photography you’ve come to love/loathe from those creaky monster flicks.

Lady out walking her dog gets sucked into the sand. By who? Or what? Who knows, but a trio of beach cops, including the dude from Rocky, Burt Young, are on the case. The dead lady's daughter Cathy (Marianna Hill, Messiah of Evil) drops by to pick up her mom's dog. She used to date Harry (David Huffman), the main beach cop, and the ostensible hero of our story, many moons ago. They have a monotone conversation that goes like this: "You look different, Cathy." "You do too, Harry." Anyway, she's gonna stick around in the off chance that her mom is just missing, and not in the belly of a beach monster.

Cathy wanders around on the beach when a crazy shopping cart lady tells her that her mom was raped and murdered and buried under the sand. And then she cackles and wanders off, squeaky shopping cart wheel and all. You know the type. Cathy is naturally shook up, but she continues  searching for her mom’s dog, who won't stay outta the hole Cathy’ s mom got sucked into. Meanwhile, Harry's at home, boning his stewardess girlfriend Marie (Lena Pousette), who keeps her hair in a very intricate bun. Life goes on, man.

Anyway, the stupid fuckin’ dog get his head ripped off. Which is what happens when you keep sticking it in a murder hole. Next day, a bunch of bikini chicks are on the beach, burying one of their buds in the sand. Naturally, she starts to get eaten by whatever is under the sand. Luckily, everybody rallies and yanks her outta there, leaving her with legs covered in spaghetti sauce.

And then John Saxon, who is the police chief or something, decides to take action. He hires a bunch of bulldozers to dig up the beach. Meanwhile, Burt Young is ranting about how it's not something under the beach, it's the "goddamn American Nazi party." Seems valid.

There’s a stoner harbor patrol night watchman in this movie, too. Why wouldn’t there be? Later that evening, his girlfriend drops by for a visit. When she splits, he tells to go straight home and don't make any stops. So what does she do? She sees an injured bird under the pier and she fucking stops to check it out. A goddamn rapist jumps outta nowhere and tears her shirt off, but before he can get any further, he gets sucked into the sand and there's nothin' left but jelly. By the way, that’s the only nudity in the movie, one raped boob.

And then Marie, on her way to Harry's for dinner and sexytime, takes a shortcut through the beach and meets her bitter end in the sand. Goodnight, sexy stewardess. Harry figures he's been stood-up, and pays Cathy a visit. He finds out she's getting divorced. He's still hung up on her, so this is good news. And now his girlfriend is dead, so, you know, serendipity.

Next day, Harry goes looking for clues in the basement of a mystery shack on the beach where he used to hang out with Cathy when they were kids – seriously - and sees something in the cracks, but it's so fucking dark that who knows what it is. Honestly, it's like ten minutes of this fucker rooting around in pitch black darkness.  And then he takes Cathy out to see Barbara Mandrell or somebody and then they go home and fall in love. Big day for Harry, a painful eternity for you and me.

Meanwhile, Blood Beach Mania is taking hold. The press is all over the place and folks are reporting sightings of "the creature of Blood Beach" by the hundreds, all of which sound insane. And then, a break in the case! One of the guys who got sucked into the sand emerges from a manhole, still alive! Now he can tell us what the hell is going on!

No, wait, he's got severe brain damage and his tongue is missing. Never mind.

Cathy decides to dig around in the shack too, only she uncovers a pile of dead bodies and severed heads and whatnots. Pretty bad day for Cathy. John Saxon decides their best bet is to just blow the whole fuckin’ shack, and whatever's in, it to smithereens.

They set up the explosives and wait. The whole town gathers. And then...

Well, I'll give Blood Beach this much. I had no idea what was under the sand until it showed me. The problem is, I still didn't after it did. Well, I kinda did, but it definitely wasn’t worth the wait. Blood Beach is severely hampered by a glacial pace, stiff acting (except for Ward and Saxon, who are their usually weird/awesome selves), lame dialogue, no nudity or gore (despite an R rating) and a “monster” that’s about as scary as a trip to the florist. Blood Beach? More like Bummer Beach, amirightpeople? Blah Beach. Lame. Buzz.

- Ken 

Stacey says:
Wow, what a snore-fest! This movie is super slow, really boring and the dialogue is like listening to some strangers try to make awkward conversation.  The characters are all one-dimensional. I didn't care what happened to any of them, except the cute dog.  I was hoping there would be some weird twist at the end to save it... No such luck.  This one gets the buzzer... Bzzzz.

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