A mysterious intro heads us to the beach late at sunrise as menacing piano slowly tinkles. The credits begin to roll shaming those involved and then the lousy horns begin signaling something menacing.
Some truly inane dialogue takes place in the morning once the film begins, near the beach between a woman walking her dog and a cop going for a swim. The woman is soon sucked into the sand screaming for her life while her dog barks and we hear horrific, beastly screams from below the sand (a creature perhaps?).
A homeless woman in an abandoned amusement pier above sees it all but shuts the window. Soon the sand pulsates, and then goes silent. Welcome to…Blood Beach!
And of course, we get the clichéd, hackneyed plotline with our ocean-swimming cop revealing that the woman he was talking to (the one sucked into the sand) had a daughter he almost married. With her mother missing, the daughter comes back to town creating that forced sexual tension that makes a bad movie like this even worse!
The fact that our detective investigating this mystery is Burt Young of Rocky fame and seems to be drunk both as the character and the actor adds an especially painful (albeit hilarious) bonus element.
Late at night, our grieving dog Pfeiffer (what is he a dressing salad?), goes to the beach looking for his Mommy, so the daughter goes looking for him and finds a dog with no head! It’s at this point that I’d like to tell you how crappy the effects look, but since this movie is filmed in almost total darkness I can only assume that to be true.
“Pfeiffer you son of a bitch, how could you do this to me?”.
At the same time a pathetic sex scene is going on, but it’s so damn dark and ineptly filmed it may as well be two blow-up dolls. Actually, based on the cast that would be an improvement!
“You’re #1 baby!”. “I know, I saw your crappy shirt”.
The buffoonish police meet the coroner for a report on the autopsy of the dog. The coroner’s explanation is very medical indeed as he tells us, “The verdict is, I’m afraid I have no verdict”. Even better he will then tell us, “If I was to make a guess the killer was a large man or an average sized man with unusually large hands”. I can’t even try to make up dialogue this horrendous.
“Anybody else realize we’re filming this in a high school basement?”.
The police captain is John Saxon who you have to feel sorry for, but at least he has a drunken Burt Young to yell at for fun. At one point Saxon proclaims, “Jesus Christ, what did I do to deserve this?”. One gets the impression he was talking about his agent taking the call for Blood Beach.
“Weren’t you in Rocky? God, you look like hell”.
Back on the beach a girl who has been buried up to her neck in sand by her friends starts screaming that she is being bitten, and they pull her out with blood on her legs. Pretty much the only blood on Blood Beach.
Burt Young and another cop get into an argument about how to find the “killer” which gives us another great line, this one from Young where he says drunkenly, “When somebody does a crime like this, there’s only one place to look and it ain’t under no beach! In the headquarters of the American go to hell Nazi party!”.
What the fuck does that even mean? Even from a drunk I don’t get it!
In a blatant and I mean blatant ripoff of Jaws, a news reporter is interviewing idiots on the beach asking them why they are there after all the mayhem. One dude goes, “Blood Beach man! Yeah, right on!”. Good lord.
The lighting throughout the film is worse than 1970’s Italian porn. A woman on a beach late at night decides to try to save a bird with a clipped wing on the beach when out of nowhere a would-be rapist attacks her. She fights him off and for no good reason waits for him to attack her when she could simply run away. The end result? At least the creature hates rapist scumbags because the creep gets his member removed (we don’t see it thankfully).
The coroner (who now seems to be a scientist as well) informs Saxon that a creature from the sea who is now a subterranean dweller could be below the sand. “Mumbo jumbo” Saxon tells our pipe-smoking bad actor/scientist/coroner.
“I am a graduate of the William Shatner school of overacting and pausing between lines. My name is Stefan Gierasch”.
The score goes from cheesy trumpet to even cheesier synthesizers as Harry our swimming to work cop realizes his girlfriend bit the dust, or should I say bit the sand. Doesn’t matter-Harry wants the one that got away anyway, not this hat-chasing bimbo. She went back for her hat and it just wasn’t worth it. I mean, look at this hat!
“Shit! I told the travel agent C.H.U.D. Beach not Blood Beach!”.
You just know the douche with a metal detector had to die. Of course we see absolutely nothing, which is the case for the ENTIRE movie. Even worse is some shitty bar band the director must’ve been friends with, singing an absolutely abysmal song that will make any normal human recoil in disgust.
The pacing of this film is as lively as an Abe Vigoda striptease. Blood Beach is duller than a Yoko Ono box set. Literally nothing happens.
An attempt by one of the beach patrol to get the nutjob homeless woman off the beach fails as the curly afroed Sammy Hagar wannabe becomes lunch. 70 minutes in and we STILL haven’t seen the damn monster!
“I Can’t Drive 55!”.
It’s eventually discovered (after Harry’s old/new love goes off on her own and finds dead bodies and hears a roar) that the beast is living underneath the pier directly below the closed-down amusement site.
The dialogue that follows is so mystifyingly awful and incoherent I had to watch it twice to be sure it was real.
Young blurts out, “I tell ya captain, if someone doesn’t fill this place in, I swear on the grave of Richard J. Daly, I’ll get a shovel and do it myself”. (Imagine this being said as drunkenly and sloppily as possible).
The scientist/coroner/pipe-smoking anus then adds painfully (and awkwardly with many pauses), “This is where it…lay. I…can stare at this…area…for a…while. It begins to take on the…shape of where it…slept, you know? I expect it will…be back”. All this while staring like a demented version of the Quaker Oats guy.
Here’s the trailer which is odd to say the least.
Once it’s decided to blow the creature up if it comes back to its little home, Young says, “Now you’re fuckin’ talkin’ captain!”. Genius, thy name is Blood Beach!
To some truly inappropriate and lousy saxophone we hear a news report that the “putrified remains” of 16 victims were found.
In an especially weird sequence Young and the scientist guy (armed with pipe) begin talking. The scientist tells that the creature may have regenerative powers in which case, if it is indeed blown up, each piece could regenerate into a new monster. “Think about that for a minute” he says. And Young says, “Oh yeah?”. Brilliant. By the way, 80 minutes in and NO FUCKING MONSTER!
When the video cameras set up down below finally reveal something and people are panicking asking what it is Young says, “who fucking cares what it is?” The scientist pipe guy is fascinated by the creature while Young is repulsed by it, so he casually heads towards the detonator.
The scientist pipe guy tries to stop him but fails. (This “chase” occurs at approximately 2 miles per hour). As for our creature?
It looks like a God damned flower with a serpent’s tongue or something. Rather huge in size with a nice hearty roar, but we only get glimpses of it in the dark (naturally) with some floodlights letting us see it in full for a few seconds here and there.
“This will cost you dearly silly humans. Why would you vacation at a place called Blood Beach!”.
So, we waited 85 minutes for it, and they barely show it to us and then blow it up? Ah, yes-well done.
Yep-I waited 85 minutes for this. I need to stop doing this to myself.
Young bizarrely laughs as the pieces of creature fall from the sky and the homeless woman jumps up and down.
It’s all over. Or is it? A woman turns around and her child is missing on the beach (and absolutely nobody heard or saw anything!), and as the camera pans around the beach, we see the sand moving in all kinds of spots.
Don’t worry kid nothing will happen to you because nothing happens in this awful film!
Maybe the pipe-smoking bad acting scientist was right! And why is that piss poor saxophone still playing? Anyway, this was truly 90 minutes I’ll never get back.
1. Blood Beach was set and shot in Santa Monica, CA.
2. The shitty bar band in the movie had one Norton Buffalo on harmonica from the Steve Miller Band. I am not proud to know that.
3. Blood Beach knocked off Jaws 2 with the tagline “Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water-You Can’t Get To It.”
Blood Beach (1981):
1 1/2 beagles out of 4 for awfulness
Q: Should you see Blood Beach?
A: Even if I say yes, you won’t actually see much at all! Blood Beach is pretty bad, but the premise is fun and there are quality unintentional laughs. So, I say maybe?
Pete, I saw this in a theater when it came out, and even at 15 I knew it was terrible. I forgot that it was a rapist that had his member bitten off, but I do recall some kids coming up to Burt Young with a hot dog, yelling “We found the guy’s wiener.” Am I imagining that?
My favorite part of your review is: “The pacing of this film is as lively as an Abe Vigoda striptease.” Well stated. I’ve occasionally gone back to some of the bad horror movies from my adolescence, and they rarely hold up, but this one was so bad that I wouldn’t even consider wasting 90 minutes of my life on it. I’d rather spend some of that time reading your review of it. Haha. Great job.
No, you’re right on that wiener thing. I cringed so much I decided not to mention it! This movie is so bad I almost enjoy it, but the direction is so inept and we see the monster for perhaps the last 2 minutes and then they blow it up!
Thanks for the comments-this was truly a painful one to view but I owe it to the public!