Who hates the cold?
Literally who out there can't stand this arctic weather us on the east coast have gotten lately? If you don't live in a warmer climate then you more than likely hate the snow by snow and are probably dying for that warm tropical climate to make its presence until we all hate feeling like the Incredible Melting Man. So with today being Thursday andnhow everyone on social media claims this to be the throwback day we figured we'd try something new on this day with some older films to kill time and review them just to give you the fans a chance to either relive some classic or crappy horror, sci-fi and more or discover something that never heard of, saw or just passed on cause you felt it clearly sucked. Trust us this day could be like how we use to be when we were kids and in the video store staring at the covers to those movies in front of us and basing whether or not we were going to rent them based on whatever it was being shoved into our eye sockets from the sleeve itself.
The double feature thats being reviewed today is from our friends over at SumoGorilla (www.sumogorilla.com). These guys specialize in the rare and hard to find stuff on DVD and bring it to you at fair prices. Trust me when I say the two movies I will review today I would probably never find let alone get my hands on copies of if it wasn't for them. So a huge thanks to these guys and I hope you guys check them out cause their a cool group. But back to the double feature which will take us from this freezing cold temps and thrust us into the warm, salty smelling world of the beach!!! As we get to go on a double adventure of finding out what's sucking people into a sandy death and the depths of the ocean as a Jaws-ripoff literally shows why Hulk Hogan was chasing a shark!
Our first film is a cheesy horror flick based around something thats killing people not in the water but on the sand. I mean its sucking them down through the sand and killing them. Its then followed up by some detective work from screen legends John Saxon and Burt Young. Trust me I only heard of this movie thanks to the internet and books and it was high on my list to find but let's face it this film is impossible to get a hand on which has made this a cult classic. Blood Beach has a fun fact about one of its producer's even though the opening title credit scene does make mention of his production company having a hand in the making of this film he is actually uncreditted as a producer of this cheesy as all hell horror flick. That producer is none other than Run Run Shaw himself. If you don't know who Shaw is then you clearly never watched kung fu theater when you were a kid.
The movie starts with the slow and sandy death of a woman whose walking her dog after which her estranged daughter shows up to figure out what happened to her mother and why theres no body but she's dead. It's after the death of the dog the following day that brings the cops out because something's going on and you need some bumbling police officer's who happen to be Rocky's brother-in-law. Now these guy's ignore the pleas that this could be something far worse than what they say it is, they believe a serial killer is living under the beach and is doing all of this. But after a man is attacked and pulled to an apparent doom he some how manages to survive and escape via the sewer system he found he tells them about the creature living under the sand and its discovered that they are dealing with a monster rather then a serial killer.
Now we don't see the creature til the very near end of the movie which helps keep the movie interesting cause if you saw how the creature looked like before the climax you'd be like forget this because its not what you would expect it to be. To me it was like pre-Tremors meets sandworm from Dune. For 1981 it was what it was and it could've been worse, it could'v been a man in a paper mache fish man costume or some cheap and shoddy made costume thats probably sitting in some landfill now. The quality of the movie isn't great it is grainy but its not blown out or destroyed by tracking. There is a hue but the movie is watchable and its not near perfect but it is decent quality and takes a movie off my bucket list finally. The Alamo Drafthouse is bringing this bad boy back next month as its lending it in its 35mm glory to the Hudson Horror Show.
Now lets venture off the beach since we made it past the creature hiding beneath the sands and just as we enter the water we realize that it was a mistake just as we are dragged down by our foot to our watery grave and become dinner for a shark. Cruel Jaws made in 1995 by Bruno Mattei who if you don't realize it used a pseudonym (William Snyder) though released direct to video the film was shopped around as the fifth sequel to the Jaws franchise but having nothing to do with the franchise what-so-ever. This film was suppose to drop some time this year on blu-ray as a double feature with another film not the one I paired it with. But apparently Mattei used stock footage from Jaws and other shark films without permission and legal issues have now prevented this film from actually seeing the light of day on anything but DVD in obscurity.
Now let's face it making this kind of movie isn't too hard cause well all you have to do is copy Jaws and put a different spin on it. Unless your Asylum and you can come up with a fresh idea for a shark movie and well make it interesting. Mattei didn't try too hard with this film cause at first sight its Jaws with a different cast and few tweaks to the storyline.
Pretty much he took a shark film and turned into a horror slash crime thriller at the same time which to me made little to no sense why they needed a side story unless Mattei was a Godzilla fan and tried to pay homage to his favorite films by doing a nonsensical side story in this flick.
The films plot is about a Coastal town terrorized by a great white shark ala Jaws. But as their one time of the year event a Regatta is about to begin the townspeople become up in arms as to how to deal with the man eating machine thats lurking in the waters picking their vacationers off at will to feed its need for food. But while all of this is going on the owners of an amusement park come under fire from greedy businessmen looking to take the park them and make money off of it for some reason. It comes down the townspeople and a local fisherman who well looks like the immortal Hulk Hogan minus no leg dropping to our shark fiend as they set out to kill the shark and regain control over their town and their profits from the summer vacationers.
I wasn't too thrilled with this movie because when you've seen a Jaws knock-off you saw them all. This movie made me laugh more than feel intrigued because I knew I had seen this before and this wasn't something that was going to thrill me. The quality of the movie is grainy and has hardcoded subs, many will complain that hardcoded subs from foreign markets tend to cause a distraction but after awhile they just blend in the movie. It is passable to watch but after awhile the movie itself becomes slightly hard to watch because the harder it tries to be seriously the more corny it gets and falls flat. The fact that a character looks like a wrestler from my childhood and practically acts similarmto him makes me cringe because the last thing I want to see is that guy in a shark movie.
So in closing it was fun to watch these films thanks to SumoGorilla. I'm sure I won't see either of them again unless they pop up at a movie event I attend like eXfest or the 24 Horrorthon or even the Hudson Horror Show. So till next time friends see you at the movies.
reviewed by Bucky