Blood Beach (1980)
Directed by Jeffery Bloom
I remember going to see this in the theaters when I was a young ‘un and thinking it was pretty good, Jaws made you scared to go in the water, and now this flick made you scared of the sand. The tagline for the film, (also one of John Saxon’s lines) “Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, you can’t even get to it.” For whatever reason, the thought of people being sucked down into the sand and the simple practical effect of the film worked for me at the time. However, this is a B-movie in every sense of the meaning, from hokey characters, to bad acting, to a lame monster that they show only once at the end. If you can find the VHS, the film quality is horrendous and I don’t believe it has ever been released on DVD or Blu-Ray. The whole film is on you tube, but the original bad quality is made even worse by the digital compression needed to post it. It takes place at Santa Monica Beach, right near the famous pier. Some unknown worm-like creature, with a head like a sunflower (?), has taken up residence beneath the sand and picks off beach goers (mostly) in the wee hours of the night. Between John Saxon’s stiff acting as the police captain and Burt Young’s ‘so loose, I might not even be following the script’ performance, any scene with either of them is a train wreck. Burt Young plays Sergeant Royko like a NY Crime Boss, oddly out of place in the Cali setting. David Huffman plays a romantic who’s girlfriend disappears (is eaten) by the beach creatch, but that’s okay ‘cause his ex-fiancé is here and he is on the prowl for the hook up. The flick still retains the casual feel of movies from the 1970’s, which makes it all the more bizarre (and boring). The one tell-tale sign that lets you know it was an 80’s flick is, it ends with explosions! As they blow up the pier and the beach. Halleluiah!