Monday, January 26, 2015

Blood Beach (1980)

Harry, a Harbor Patrol officer, is out for a swim when he hears his neighbor Ruth scream from the beach.  When he gets back to shore, there's no sign of Ruth except her dog.  The police are notified, and check with everyone she knows, but with no sightings and no body, there's nothing they can do.

Ruth's daughter Catherine comes to town to help the search.  She used to be engaged to Harry so things are a bit awkward.  But both know that Ruth wouldn't run off and leave her dog alone.

Meanwhile down at the beach, a homeless lady, who looks like a cross between Tim Curry and Lily Tomlin, wanders around and gives people crazy eyes... well, not literally. She just stares in an odd manner and warns them that something is very wrong at the beach.

A few days later, Santa Monica Beach is filled with families and teens having fun in the sun.  When a group of teenagers buries a girl in the sand, she is attacked by something.  Henceforth the teens in town call the location Blood Beach, which you'd think would drive people away, but instead the kids think it's cool.

Soon more people disappear, and one creepy guy has his genitals ripped off - take that, rapist! - yet the police are no closer to finding an answer.  Harry starts searching under an abandoned building by the pier, hoping to find a sign of whatever is grabbing people and pulling them under the sand.  Will Harry ever find the creature?  Will the police solve the case?  And most importantly, why do people keep going on the damn beach?  It's all over the news. Get the hell out of there!

I've wanted to see this movie for years. So I was really excited when my friend found a copy put out by some no name label (and turned out to be a DVD-R).  When I was younger, the trailer for this movie freaked me out when I saw the people being sucked down into the sand.  But thirty plus years after it's release, it's fairly tame.

The pacing is slow and the deaths are few and far between.  John Saxon is a police captain who doesn't believe anything is going on until a rich teen gets her legs bloody.  One of Harry's fellow Harbor Patrol officers has a band and there's a throwaway scene of him and the band singing a lame song in a bar.  Overall, I'm glad I saw it. I like the concept, the trailer and the poster, but it's not the most exciting movie.

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