Blood Beach (1980)

Blood Beach (1980)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water – you can’t get to it

People are disappearing on a beach. Some bodies are found but most just disappear without a trace. Something is lurking beneath the beach and sucking people to their death!

 

Blood Beach is the silliest of the Jaws clones yet turns out to be the one with arguably the best plot – kind of like a pre-dated Tremors – and easily the best tagline with “just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…you can’t get to it.” But what has potential to be a bad ass monster flick is just washed away with the tide. Whereas Spielberg’s classic didn’t feature the shark a lot during the first half of the film, there was still a great story, excellent script and some awesome acting whenever the film became landlocked. The film felt like it was always moving forward even if the shark wasn’t around. So the idea behind Blood Beach could have worked….if it wasn’t so damn boring and dull.

Hardly anything happens during the film worth mentioning save for a few ridiculous death scenes. The film runs in a continual cycle: there is a death scene with some random extra pathetically struggling waist-deep in sand. Cue some scenes of cops talking with each other and then some scenes of the uninteresting main characters talking about their previous relationship. Then throw in another random death which springs from nowhere and features a character introduced about ten seconds before getting killed. Then repeat the cycle.

The deaths are absurd as the actors clearly have no idea of what is supposed to be happening to them before they are pulled into what is obviously some sort of trapdoor. It looks reasonable the first time but soon gets nonsensical as every attack is the same. At least Jaws varied its approach to the attack scenes so that they were all masterfully done. Here there’s just no tension or attempt to create any atmosphere or sense of dread – the attacks just happen. It would have been better if they actually showed us or told us what was supposed to be lurking under the sand. Most monster films give some glimpses or hints at what the threat is but here there is no sign of the monster for the bulk of the running time. When we finally see the monster, which looks like a giant sea shell or plant, we see it for about ten seconds at most before it gets blown up. This comes about a minute before the end of the film. It starts to emerge from the sand and you’re thinking “great, finally a payoff” – but it gets blown up and the film just ends suddenly as if the true ending had been edited or accidentally missed off. It has to be the worst ending I’ve seen in a long time and made me realise what a waste of time it had been for me to view this tripe.

As I’ve already stated, hardly anything happens so the bulk of the screen time is taken up with uninteresting plots, love stories and cops being baffled. Even veteran actors like Burt Young (forever known as Paulie from the Rocky films) and John Saxon can’t save this rubbish. The human subplots are just terrible and a complete waste of time and energy. The film has no pace whatsoever because it’s just in the constant stop-start loop that I’ve already talked about. The characters do little to uncover the monster and are more pre-occupied with their own love lives and police work. There is no real effort in building up the monster as a force to be reckoned with. It’s almost as if the monster element was an afterthought to a very rubbish drama.

 

Blood Beach should have been a whole lot better and as we saw in Tremors, about creatures that live in the ground and kill people, it’s not overly difficult to do. They managed to get people disappearing into the sand but they just forgot to show us what was actually doing the sucking. It’s a horrible, boring mess of nothingness which only gets marks because of its tag line and clear inspiration to Tremors.

 

 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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