Thanks to a genius advertising campaign, BLOOD BEACH (1980) looked like it might be the coolest movie ever made before it came out. The poster was sharp as a knife and the tagline threatened a menace with the capacity to sink JAWS. I recall ominous radio spots that would stop me in my tracks and take a look at this TV ad…
I wasn’t old enough to go see it but my older brother was and I couldn’t wait for him to fill me in with details and tell me how great it was like he had with FRIDAY THE 13th. That would never happen because his opinion after seeing it was “It sucks, the monster is a plant.” I’m don’t think I completely believed him but it wasn’t long before it popped up on VHS (everything cool back then was on the MEDIA label) and I was able to watch it myself and verify that my brother wasn’t lying; it did suck and the monster was a plant! Many years later I sought out BLOOD BEACH for nostalgic reasons and to reaffirm what I already knew (that it sucked and the monster was a plant) and it was nowhere to be found. Really, I bumped into just about every other VHS tape I set my mind to eventually but that one (perhaps knowing that I didn’t truly love it) avoided me like the plague.
Times changed, computers took over the world and eventually sneaky movies couldn’t hide from anybody anymore because horror convention bootleggers and good ol’ YouTube don’t play around with coy wallflowers. Unfortunately these versions of BLOOD BEACH have always looked like crap or more accurately, crap’s long lost cousin many generations removed as seen through a screen door while wearing scuba goggles filled with Karo Syrup. In fact, it was just a couple months ago I searched for BLOOD BEACH on YouTube and that’s all I found. But look, some angel saved the day! Somebody posted a respectable version of BLOOD BEACH! It’s even an extended cut, which I assume includes the famous few seconds of extra grossness that was added to appease the German audience! Check it out! I’s like the difference between MASH and AfterMASH…..
Does it make the movie any better? Does it make the monster less of a plant? Maybe a little and nope! For me, BLOOD BEACH the movie will never be as large as BLOOD BEACH the anticipation but I still have a fondness for it because the concept, no matter how poorly executed, still thrills me a bit. Sure, the pacing leaves a lot to be desired (and then some and then some more) but on the plus side, it uses its location well enough, represents its time period fairly well and it’s got your favorite dad from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, JOHN SAXON and your not so favorite dad from AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION, BURT “You think that’s funny?” YOUNG! If all else fails, it’s a great way to visit the beach without getting sand in your drawers! Let’s watch it below! Hurry up! Labor Day is right around the corner!