Face it, in the horror genre there are plenty of subgenres and unique niches for the average fan to thoroughly to enjoy, however these all have one common thread a b-movie can likely be found in one or even a crossover of a few. Hence, Blood Beach obtained a cult following, though still missing the cult classic title, which is partially due to numerous technical errors, and frankly glaring mistakes, it earned mild success thanks to a constant heavily routine on late night television in the early eighties varied choices were heavily limited. It is clear that the movie of Jaws  inspired the initial story from Steven Nalevansky and director Jeffrey Bloom (Flowers in the Attic ) who also penned the script quite quickly, but it harkens back to rather cheap monster movies of the 1950s. Though if one is curious what attracts a legion of fans to one movie over another, it sometimes boils down to the marketing campaign and the poster art works very well and a tagline “just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…you can’t get to it” which plays off the Jaws movies. Of course, you should note that there’s a creature living under the sand that hunts using vibrations felt on the surface, sounds similar to Tremors  however that movie had a much better monster and nifty cast with chemistry coming out ten years later.
It all starts with a creature unseen shifting under the sandy Venice Beach in Southern California, making small, intriguing craters this acts more of sensor for the beast, and when comes too close it pulls down one into the depths of the earth. One of the first on-screen deaths is Ruth Hutton (Harriet Medin) her dog Piper can only bark at the impending doom as her screams fill the air. The only person ideally close is her friend and neighbor Harry Caulder (David Huffman), a harbor patrolman on the same beach, but under police investigation no can find anything. Afterwards Catherine Hutton (Marianna Hill), Ruth’s daughter arrives, and we learn she was the love interest of Harry and rekindles that relationship, during the night Piper flees from her custody and returns to the exact spot where her owner vanished, and by morning Catherine finds her mother’s dog without its head. The police fall into their version of stereotypical appearances and attitudes, sloppy uncaring Det. Royko (Burt Young (Carnival of Blood )) transfer from Chicago; then Lt. Piantadosi (Otis Young (The Capture of Bigfoot ) and very sarcastic Capt. Pearson (John Saxon (Black Christmas ) who seems to honing the Chief Brody character from Jaws; they all have a strange scenario about the case. Soon the body count rises, though there isn’t much blood on the beach, the film relatively plays it safe, except a boom mic appears more prominently than the monster. One wishes the deaths took a more grindhouse approach however one comes close to that mark, a potential rapist loses his manhood to the beast, and sort-of cries in agony to horrific but worthy demise of that harmful tool. As for the reason why the monster is lackluster, ultra-low budget, hence appearing in almost blackout sequences, the best bet should have been not to show anything, leave the audience guessing, just a smattering of gibberish of scientists on nature evolution scale of hunting by vibrations, the Venus Flytrap does it as do many spiders with webs. The basic rule in monster movies, lack the funds, then keep whatever it is off-screen and use the unknown as a means to scare the audience. Therefore, one can see the connections later developed in Tremors  but our sci-fi fans might see another connection to the comedy sci-fi flick Evolution  when it comes to demise of the creature, to allude to herein would ruin it for those sought to escape the doldrums of winter to the seashores and beaches.
As the movie maintains some suspense, it also moves slow as molasses, and for what trickle of blood that does hit the beach is found in a few body parts including a castration though not directly shown to the audience and a pooch with a head. The biggest problem besides the boom mic showing in many scenes is the monster itself, it truly looks like a huge venus flytrap, with a ferocious roar, thankfully it isn’t shown much but there’s barely any back story to beast. The acting basically has Young doing an impression of his Paulie character from the Rocky franchise, he’s extremely rude and crude, his policing interview skills fall well below par while thoroughly outshined by Saxon’s performance. However, the unusual character is Dr. Dimitrios who both seems to understand what’s occurring, but line deliver is very strange. Saxon’s police scenes seem eerily similar to those in both Jaws  and Jaws 2  regarding frustrations and lacking in manpower when dealing with the political quagmire. The overlook of film seems exploitative but never strides down that alley, although the homeless lurks in the shadows, never helping those need, but perhaps that a subtle metaphoric statement, nothing helps them as their own world crumbles.
I was only seven when I dug holes in the sand, never a castle builder, so either I was curious about what lies beneath the sand or I had fascination about digging graves, well maybe both. One understands this b-movie lacks in a lot of departments, including the fact that actress on the poster is not in the movie, as well as the characters seem to be at a loss for bringing thoughts, perhaps too much sun. One might still wonder why there’s fanfare about the movie is still there, well first it’s not available (legally) on DVD or Blu-ray in United States, though a glimmer of hope emerged in 2012 with JAM Entertainment in Germany. Secondly, there’s something about beaches, they are often vast, contain a place of smiles, fun and yet perhaps monsters lurking and just the human ones in US  or The Beach House  however this flick owes what little success it had from its crafty tagline and well-designed artwork. It also led to a film, The Sand  using the similar story of an unearthly creature hunting on the beach. Step lively and carefully, if you seek this flick out, often one uploads a feature of It to YouTube.
- It’s a nice place to visit, but you don’t want to die there.
- The California coast, playground of America, until something deep beneath the sand turned it into Blood Beach.
- Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water – you can’t get to it.
- The five people believed to have drowned here never even made it past the sand!
- …where the water may be the safest place to be!
IMDb Rating: 4.5/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10
If you want to see the movie on YouTube here it is: