Posted by Fred Godlash

Just When you thought it was safe to go back to the beach

Cult Cine Blood Beach

Every week Los Angeles Review picks a forgotton classic that needs to be revisitied. One of many "Jaws" inspired horror films such as, Piranha, Orca the Killer Whale, Alligator, Grizzly and The Swarm flooded theaters in the late 70's but in 1980, "Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water- you can't get to it."
Blood Beach has the unique honor of actually having a very original antagonist that is not revealed until the very end. The film has a very simple but effective plot- people are disappearing from the beach and no one knows why or where they have gone. The police captain (John Saxon ) believes it is some kind of killer. Comic relief, Sergeant Royko (Burt Young) transcends the character Paulie from “Rocky” to "Blood Beach" (I love it!). Imagine Sergeant Royko saying,“Yo Rocky, I think the friggin plant did it.”

From the first death scene you see that people are being sucked into the sand but it takes lifeguard Harry Caulder (David Huffman) to figure it all out. In real life, actor David Huffman, was a hero who was murdered in 1985 ,chasing a thief down, and was subsequently killed by the attacker. Huffman plays a great lead and with Burt Young, eating chili dogs and smoking cigars while laughing at everybody, you can’t go wrong! I love the special effects with the victims being sucked into the sand -and yes- I know they stole that trick from (1953) “Invaders from Mars” and most likely it was stolen from an obscure Republic Pictures serial, but it is so cool to watch. Also trivial fact was that some of the dilapidated pier shots, in the film, were remnants of the old Venice Pier (Pacific Ocean Park); which rivaled Coney Island and Disneyland in its peak of success. The film is just a great cult cine classic worth revisiting. The big surprise ending is **SPOILER ALERT ** a giant "Venus Flytrap" living beneath the sand - works for me. Not available on DVD but you can find it if you look hard enough- call Burt Young for his copy:)