Blood Surf (2000)

Blood Surf (2000)

Ride the next wave in terror

A camera crew travel to some remote islands to make a make a documentary about the new craze of ‘blood surfing’ in which surfers cut themselves and start surfing in shark-infested waters. However they soon find out that it’s not the sharks that they have to worry about, it’s a giant saltwater crocodile which likes the taste of human flesh.

 

Blood Surf contains a half-decent premise (I’m wondering whether anyone has actually picked up on blood surfing for real as an extreme sport) but expectedly the execution has a lot to be desired. Coming hot on the heels of big budget crocodile flick Lake Placid, Blood Surf tries it’s hardest to become a similarly fun creature feature film. But despite its best intentions and blatant pandering to a certain male demographic, quality always tells and sadly there’s a distinct lack of it here.

Blood Surf is a horror film for surfers. The theme song sounds a lot like the Jaws theme, only done in surfing-style music. The two male leads are dumb surfer ‘dudes.’ There’s a lot of surfing dialogue and terminology. And of course, there is plenty of surfing at the start of the film. The actual ‘blood surfing’ of the title is over and done with pretty quickly and then the film drifts straight into creature feature mode, doing its best to channel Jaws complete with a salty sea dog character who is obsessed with killing the croc whatever it takes. Within the first ten minutes, it’s easy enough to decide which characters will become croc chow and when they will bite the dust. They’re all generally unlikeable which makes the process of elimination even more painful. Can’t they all just die at the same time and be done with it?

The crocodile doesn’t really make an appearance until half-way through and when you eventually see it, you know why they kept it hidden. The special effects, not just for the croc, are unimpressive. Watch, laugh and groan as super-imposed sharks swim towards the surfers or see speeded-up (and very brief) shots of crocodiles moving through undergrowth. Worse yet, watch possibly the most fake-looking crocodile ever conceived leap out of the water with absolutely no body movement, grab someone by the head and then drag him into the depths. Miniatures were obviously used in some shots. CGI in others. Stock footage at others. In some scenes it looks as if a giant model is being pulled along on a wheelbarrow. The theory of creating good special effects is to blend different techniques together in order to give on-screen monsters the greatest reality possible. Blood Surf just botches everything together and hopes that it will stick. Unfortunately for the viewer, it doesn’t. Attack scenes are over and done with quickly, lacking any sort of realism or explicit violence. Crocodiles eating meat should never be this tranquil – they’re violent ordeals with twisting, turning and lots of teeth-clenching. The most glaring issue with the crocodile is that the saltwater species are not known for their activeness – they prefer to lay in wait for their prey and strike hard and fast., not leap around and stalk across land like it does here.

The film makers must have thought that gratuitous (and in this case, completely unnecessary) sex and nudity would have made some people forget about the other problems. Wrong. Despite the fact that nearly every female character (and they’re all hot in their own way) get their kit off (or wears revealing swimwear), it is clear pandering. The sex scenes are extended and overlong, bordering on soft core at times. I’m all for a bit of nudity to liven things up but this is shameless!

 

There’s a good ‘bad’ movie lurking around in the shadows of Blood Surf somewhere and, despite the blood and boobs on show, the script is too lightweight for its own good and there are too many inept special effects to consider this anything other than throwaway junk.

 

 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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