Sunday, December 08, 2013

Blood Beach

Great title, great tagline (“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, you can't get to it!), but the film never lives up to either. Good cast too, including John Saxon (ENTER THE DRAGON), Otis Young (THE LAST DETAIL), Marianna Hill (HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER), and Burt Young (ROCKY).

The exception is, unfortunately, the star of the picture, David Huffman (LAST PLANE OUT), playing a beach cop named Harry Caulder who witnesses the disappearance of his elderly neighbor. After a few more beach attacks, including a teenage girl and a rapist (who looks like Chris Berman) whose crank is torn off, investigating cops Otis Young and Burt Young (playing a Chicagoan named Royko) start to believe the killer is some sort of monster that crawls beneath the Santa Monica Pier.

The screenplay by director Jeffrey Bloom (FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC) and producer Steven Nalevansky harkens back to the cheap monster flicks of the 1950s, but with humor and occasionally sharp dialogue. The Youngs are entertaining as bickering cops, and Saxon delivers a wry turn as their frustrated captain. He’s the authority figure that has to make you believe there really is a monster sucking people into the sand, and I’ll be damned if he doesn’t. It’s a shame the movie isn’t up to the veteran actors’ level.

Frankly, BLOOD BEACH is boring. The creatures’ victims have to act like dimwits to get them out to the beach where they can be attacked, and since Bloom refrains from showing the monster until the very end (it looks like a rubber artichoke), they’re all killed in the same manner. Someone should have told Bloom that variety is the spice of life.

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