Blood Beach (1980) Directed by Jeffrey Bloom. With David Huffman, Marianna Hill, Burt Young and John Saxon.
The influence of Jaws casts a large shadow over this distinctly B-movie offering from writer/director Jeffrey Bloom, which even goes so far as to use a poster tagline that riffs on that of Jaws 2. With this in mind, you’d expect Blood Beach to be a certain amount of fun, and occasionally, it just about is, albeit unintentional.
After the uninspired opening credits, which boast a few reassuringly familiar names – such as John Saxon and Burt Young – the film gets down to business by mimicking Jaws in showing a random person becoming victim to the terror beneath the sandy surface. Just like Chrissie Watkins in Speilberg’s classic, the focus stays on the terror and panic, keeping the creature off screen and allowing our imagination to do the work. To be fair, although the film itself is left wanting in most every other area, the actual effect of seeing someone being sucked through the sand isn’t half bad. Clearly the director felt the same way, as it’s repeated enough times to begin to wear thin.
As I mentioned, there is some fun, in amongst the endless lip service to Jaws, but enjoyment comes mainly from the daft script and the sometimes wayward delivery of the actors. Between John Saxon using phrases like “as useless as whiskers on a sausage”, and Burt Young seeming like he’s just making his own dialogue up, it’s hard not to raise a smile.
In the end, there’s nothing new about Blood Beach. Its attempts to capitalise on the success of Jaws, by making the beach the danger zone, isn’t such a terrible idea, but the overall execution feels so third rate, that it manages to make some of the poorer shark sequels look half decent. 1.5/5