Blood Beach (1981)

R | 92 mins | Horror | 1981

Director:

Jeffrey Bloom

Writer:

Jeffrey Bloom

Producers:

Steven Nalevansky

Cinematographer:

Steve Poster

Editor:

Gary Griffen

Production Designer:

William Sandell

Production Company:

Empress Production Corporation
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HISTORY

According to an article in the 8 Jan 1980 HR, producer Steven Nalevansky and writer-director Jeffrey Bloom conceived the idea for Blood Beach on 1 May 1979, and preproduction started several months later when Sidney Beckerman and Sir Run Run Shaw agreed to finance the film.
       The 31 Oct 1979 Var reported that Christopher Lee would star in the film with Burt Young and John Saxon; however, Lee did not appear in the film.
       While the 12 Sep 1979 Var reported that principal photography was scheduled to start 15 Oct 1979 at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA, the 29 Oct 1979 DV announced that filming began that day. On 7 Nov 1979, Var noted that filming would take place in Santa Monica and Venice, CA, and the 23 Jan 1981 HR added that scenes were filmed at the abandoned Pacific Ocean Park merry-go-round. The 8 Jan 1980 HR reported that the film was completed on 9 Dec 1979, but the 10 Dec 1979 HR noted that 7 Dec 1979 was the final day of filming. The film was reportedly under budget and ahead of schedule.
       The 8 Jan 1980 HR projected a release date in the summer of 1980; however, the 5 Nov 1980 Var reported that the Jerry Gross Organization agreed to handle domestic distribution and planned a release in early 1981. According to an item in the 23 Jul 1980 Var, independent distributor Miracle Films would debut Blood Beach at the Edinburgh Film Festival ... More Less

According to an article in the 8 Jan 1980 HR, producer Steven Nalevansky and writer-director Jeffrey Bloom conceived the idea for Blood Beach on 1 May 1979, and preproduction started several months later when Sidney Beckerman and Sir Run Run Shaw agreed to finance the film.
       The 31 Oct 1979 Var reported that Christopher Lee would star in the film with Burt Young and John Saxon; however, Lee did not appear in the film.
       While the 12 Sep 1979 Var reported that principal photography was scheduled to start 15 Oct 1979 at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA, the 29 Oct 1979 DV announced that filming began that day. On 7 Nov 1979, Var noted that filming would take place in Santa Monica and Venice, CA, and the 23 Jan 1981 HR added that scenes were filmed at the abandoned Pacific Ocean Park merry-go-round. The 8 Jan 1980 HR reported that the film was completed on 9 Dec 1979, but the 10 Dec 1979 HR noted that 7 Dec 1979 was the final day of filming. The film was reportedly under budget and ahead of schedule.
       The 8 Jan 1980 HR projected a release date in the summer of 1980; however, the 5 Nov 1980 Var reported that the Jerry Gross Organization agreed to handle domestic distribution and planned a release in early 1981. According to an item in the 23 Jul 1980 Var, independent distributor Miracle Films would debut Blood Beach at the Edinburgh Film Festival in Sep 1980, but a 13 Aug 1980 Var brief reported that the film would not open at the Edinburgh Film Festival, and, instead, would appear at the London Film Festival in Nov 1980, prior to its commercial release. An advertisement for Blood Beach in the 4 Dec 1980 HR announced that trade screenings would be held in Dec 1980 and the film would be officially released on 23 Jan 1981.
       The 28 Jan 1981 Var reported that the Jerry Gross Organization achieved its largest number of bookings to date by releasing two of their films, Blood Beach and The Boogey Man, (1980, see entry) simultaneously. Blood Beach opened in 476 theaters in the Northeast, Southwest and West Coast. The 6 Feb 1981 DV reported that the Jerry Gross Organization took in its largest first week box office gross to date with the combined totals of Blood Beach and The Boogey Man. In its first week, Blood Beach grossed $3,115,558 at the box office. Five months later, the 24 Jun 1981 HR reported that Blood Beach grossed $6.5 million in the U.S.
       An article in the 4 Feb 1981 HR reported that the advertising slogan for Blood Beach was: “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water – you can’t get to it.” However, Universal Pictures felt the Blood Beach advertising campaign and slogan too closely resembled the advertising campaign for Jaws 2 (1978, see entry), and legal representatives from both companies were in discussions to resolve the matter.
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
29 Oct 1979.
---
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Dec 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
23 Jan 1981
p. 12.
New York Times
24 Jan 1981
p. 17.
Variety
12 Sep 1979.
---
Variety
31 Oct 1979.
---
Variety
7 Nov 1979.
---
Variety
23 Jul 1980.
---
Variety
13 Aug 1980.
---
Variety
5 Nov 1980.
---
Variety
28 Jan 1981
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Jerry Gross presents
a Sir Run Run Shaw and Sidney Beckerman presentation
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Still photog
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Ed consultant
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Prop master
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Men`s cost
Women`s cost
MUSIC
Mus
Mus ed
Scoring
Club musicians
Club musicians
Club musicians
Club musicians
Mus instruments and equip supplied by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Asst spec eff
Asst spec eff
Asst spec eff
Creature des consultant
Title des
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Scr supv
Prod coord
Prod exec
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Prod consultant
Prod auditor
Prod auditor
Asst to Mr. Beckerman
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
First aid
Craft serviceman
Animal trainer
Prod services by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Flesh and Blood," words and music by Darrell Fetty
"Fools for Each Other," words and music by Guy Clark.
DETAILS
Release Date:
1981
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 23 January 1981
Production Date:
29 October--7 December 1979
Copyright Claimant:
Empress Film Productions Corporation
Copyright Date:
10 December 1981
Copyright Number:
PA122361
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Cameras and Lenses by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Movielab
Duration(in mins):
92
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26046
SYNOPSIS

Harry Caulder, a harbor patrolman, leaves his beachfront home and greets his neighbor, Ruth, and her dog, Piper, as he heads across the sand to swim to work. As Harry swims off, Ruth is suddenly sucked into the sand. Harry tells police officers Royko and Piantadosi that he heard Ruth scream, but could not find her, and she would not leave without her dog. Harry knows her well because years ago he almost married Ruth’s daughter, and he plans to keep searching. At the Harbor Patrol office, Harry works with fellow officer Hoagy when Ruth’s daughter, Catherine, arrives from San Francisco, California. She will stay at her mother’s home while the search continues, but Harry warns her that Ruth might be dead. Later, Catherine takes Piper for a walk on the beach and is accosted by Mrs. Selden, a homeless woman, who thinks that Ruth was raped, murdered and buried. From underneath nearby deserted piers, something watches as Piper starts digging in the sand where Ruth disappeared. That night Harry has dinner with his girlfriend, a flight attendant who is leaving for Paris, France. Meanwhile, Piper escapes from Ruth’s home, runs to the beach, and barks as a hole appears in the sand. However, when Catherine comes outside, the barking stops; as she reaches the dog, Piper’s head is missing. At the morgue, Dr. Dimitrios reports that there was no human skin or hair left behind as evidence on Piper’s body. The next day, it is crowded at the beach and a teenage girl, who is being covered with sand by her friends, screams that something is biting her ... +


Harry Caulder, a harbor patrolman, leaves his beachfront home and greets his neighbor, Ruth, and her dog, Piper, as he heads across the sand to swim to work. As Harry swims off, Ruth is suddenly sucked into the sand. Harry tells police officers Royko and Piantadosi that he heard Ruth scream, but could not find her, and she would not leave without her dog. Harry knows her well because years ago he almost married Ruth’s daughter, and he plans to keep searching. At the Harbor Patrol office, Harry works with fellow officer Hoagy when Ruth’s daughter, Catherine, arrives from San Francisco, California. She will stay at her mother’s home while the search continues, but Harry warns her that Ruth might be dead. Later, Catherine takes Piper for a walk on the beach and is accosted by Mrs. Selden, a homeless woman, who thinks that Ruth was raped, murdered and buried. From underneath nearby deserted piers, something watches as Piper starts digging in the sand where Ruth disappeared. That night Harry has dinner with his girlfriend, a flight attendant who is leaving for Paris, France. Meanwhile, Piper escapes from Ruth’s home, runs to the beach, and barks as a hole appears in the sand. However, when Catherine comes outside, the barking stops; as she reaches the dog, Piper’s head is missing. At the morgue, Dr. Dimitrios reports that there was no human skin or hair left behind as evidence on Piper’s body. The next day, it is crowded at the beach and a teenage girl, who is being covered with sand by her friends, screams that something is biting her feet. They pull her out of the sand and discover her legs covered in blood. At police headquarters, Captain Pearson tells his officers that they are under pressure from everyone, including the Mayor and the city council, and the police organize crews to dig all night on the beach for clues. The next day, reporter Todd Bell interviews teenagers on the beach. They are not worried since police searched the beach all night, and, in fact, the teens are excited about being on “Blood Beach.” That night at the Harbor Patrol office, Hoagy’s girlfriend, Jo, kisses him goodbye and rides her bicycle by the deserted piers on the beach. A rapist attacks Jo, and she fights him until something in the sand beneath him rips out the rapist’s midsection. The next day, Dimitrios theorizes that a creature, perhaps from the ocean, is adapting to a new, subterranean environment. In the Harbor Patrol office, Harry’s girlfriend calls to confirm she will be back that night and he offers to make dinner for her. As Harry hangs up, Catherine arrives and asks him to dinner. He admits he already has plans so they make a dinner date for the following evening. As Catherine leaves, Hoagy realizes that Harry never got over his romance with her. That night, when Harry’s girlfriend arrives, her hat is blown onto the beach. She runs to retrieve it, and is sucked into the sand. Thinking he has been stood up, Harry brings the dinner to Catherine. The next morning, Harry sees his girlfriend’s car in the alley, and notices her hat on the beach next to a half-sunken hole. Police arrive, start digging and find an eyeball. City councilwoman Harriett Crabbe is furious that the investigation has yielded no answers. Pearson is angry that Crabbe wants results, but does not want to pay for them. Later, as Harry and Catherine walk along the beach, they decide the creature, or whatever it is, must be hiding below sea level where no one has searched. Harry investigates a deserted building and an abandoned area beneath the building. He finds nothing, although something watches him. Later, Mr. Hench searches with a metal detector near the piers, and he is sucked into the sand by the creature. The next day, Mrs. Hench reports her husband’s disappearance to police. Shortly thereafter, a slime-covered Mr. Hench is found barely alive on the beach with his tongue ripped out. While patrolling the deserted beach, Hoagy sees Mrs. Selden hiding under the piers, and when he gets out of his vehicle to help her, he is sucked into the sand. Later, Catherine investigates the deserted building alone. Meanwhile, Harry and the police also decide to search the building again, and arrive as Catherine discovers Hoagy’s body. Officers swarm the area and discover the remains of seventy-six bodies. Dimitrius suggests that the creature will return to its lair, but will leave if it sees anyone. Pearson sets up a surveillance camera, and has a demolition team rig the area so that Pearson can blow it up with one switch. Dimitrius is concerned about Pearson’s plan because many creatures have regenerative abilities, and he wonders what will happen if they blow the creature up and the pieces regenerate? As they monitor the area, a giant worm-like creature emerges from the sand beneath the piers. Royko hits the switch and the creature explodes into thousands of dust-like bits. The next day, Harry drives off with Catherine to take her home, and the beach is once again full of sun-worshippers. A little boy digs a sand castle while his mother makes sandwiches, but when she turns back, the boy is gone and only the hole in the sand remains. As she searches frantically for her son, more holes appear in the sand up and down the crowded beach. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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