Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Blood Beach, Carnage and Castration in Santa Monica

Jeffrey Bloom was a magician in the 1950s and 1960s.  In the 1970s he wrote several "Columbo" episodes.  In 1980, Mr. Bloom directed "Blood Beach."  A true B Movie classic, this film is highlighted by a creature dwelling under a California beach, and Burt Young's ("Rocky") performance as Sargent Royko of the LAPD.  A former Chicago PD cop, Royko brings his tough Chicago mindset to La-La land.  Sensitivity and brevity are not Royko's strengths, but his one-liners are priceless.  So here goes, enjoy this entry chronicling a masterpiece from the final days of the Carter Administration (...a horror story in itself).
The plot:  On the beach near the Santa Monica Pier, something is living underneath the sand.  When a woman, walking her dog, is pulled under in the opening scene...the carnage begins. Harry (David Huffman), a member of the harbor patrol is on the case.  Harry is a dimwit.  He is living with a hot, international stewardess, Marie (Lena Pousette), who likes to cook for him and have lots of sex for dessert.  Our tool isn't satisfied.  He ends up romancing the daughter of the above mentioned victim, Catherine (Mariana Hill, "Schizoid").  Catherine is a horrendous artist who just graduated off of stick figures.  She can't cook and masters the art of sending mixed signals.  Fortunately for Harry, he doesn't have to dump Marie, as she is later pulled to her torturous demise when she walks on the beach.  After the aforementioned canine is decapitated on the beach, the SPCA demands action. Royko immediately blames the American Nazi Party, and his Captain (John Saxon) blames tax cuts.  In one of the more excruciating scenes, a would be rapist has his tally-whacker pulled of as he crawls toward an intended victim....ouch! (see bottom picture).
When a rich teenager (see photo above) has her legs chewed up by the creature, politicians and influential Californians put more pressure on the LAPD to solve the case.  Finally, a break in the case!  A survivor.  A schmuck wearing a t-shirt stating "Need Gas, Eat Beans" is pulled under, but ends up crawling out of the sewer.  Uh oh...mentally he's gone.  Royko characterizes this dweeb's mental state the best as he points to his head and utters, "Vegetable soup."  The idiot Harry racks his pea-sized brain to figure out what's happening.  He is confused that there is no pattern to the killings. Not that the location of all the killings is on the beach near the pier is a pattern...or the fact all the victims were a stone's throw away from an abandoned carnival building...nah, that's probably not a pattern either...  As Royko and his Captain move in on whatever dwells in the sand, Harry mourns the untimely death of the Ursula Andress look-alike girlfriend by romancing the grouchy, so-called artist. 
As the lair of this horrendous thing is discovered, everyone is shocked when it finally makes an appearance for the camera.  With every weapon west of the Mississippi at their disposal, eliminating this monster will not be so easy.  The proverbial scientific mind wants to proceed slowly, with caution.  Royko and the LAPD want to blow the @3$& out of it.  Available, in blurry quality on YouTube, "Blood Beach" is a must see, and a member of the B Movie Hall of Fame.  Hopefully a good quality DVD of this film will soon be available, or perhaps Netflix will pick it up.   

1 comment:

  1. I remember this movie. Indeed, maybe soon it will be given the DVD treatment it deserves. Great review brother.