Welcome to Arrow Beach (1974)

R | 84 mins | Horror | 24 May 1974

Full page view
HISTORY

The film opens with the following written statement: “There is a witch's tale that once a man has eaten human flesh, he will do it again. And again. And again.”
       Preceding the opening credits, a sign appears onscreen, which reads, “Welcome to Arrow Beach Population 7,500.” Preceding the end credits, another sign reads, “You are now leaving…Arrow Beach. Hope you enjoyed your stay. Arrow Beach Chamber of Commerce.”
       The 28 Jun 1972 Var announced that Auscap Inc. of Houston, TX, was arranging the financing for three films to be produced in the Houston area by actor Laurence Harvey and executive producer John Cushingham. Referring to the picture by its working title, Welcome to Arrow Beach, Var stated that it was to be the first of the Auscap productions, starring Harvey and actress Peggy Ashcroft. However, neither Auscap or Ashcroft are credited onscreen, and the 14 Jul 1972 DV and HR reported that photography would take place in Canada in Autumn 1972.
       Nearly six months later, the 24 Jan 1973 DV announced that Laurence Harvey had purchased Wallace C. Bennett and Jack Gross, Jr.’s screenplay for Welcome to Arrow Beach and rescheduled for Feb 1973 in Southern CA. The picture, produced by Arrow Beach Prods., was to be the first of several films made by Laurence Harvey in association with George Barrie, independent of the latter’s Brut Productions, although contemporary reviews and onscreen credits cite Brut as the film’s production company and do not list Arrow Beach Prods. The 5 Feb 1973 HR reported ... More Less

The film opens with the following written statement: “There is a witch's tale that once a man has eaten human flesh, he will do it again. And again. And again.”
       Preceding the opening credits, a sign appears onscreen, which reads, “Welcome to Arrow Beach Population 7,500.” Preceding the end credits, another sign reads, “You are now leaving…Arrow Beach. Hope you enjoyed your stay. Arrow Beach Chamber of Commerce.”
       The 28 Jun 1972 Var announced that Auscap Inc. of Houston, TX, was arranging the financing for three films to be produced in the Houston area by actor Laurence Harvey and executive producer John Cushingham. Referring to the picture by its working title, Welcome to Arrow Beach, Var stated that it was to be the first of the Auscap productions, starring Harvey and actress Peggy Ashcroft. However, neither Auscap or Ashcroft are credited onscreen, and the 14 Jul 1972 DV and HR reported that photography would take place in Canada in Autumn 1972.
       Nearly six months later, the 24 Jan 1973 DV announced that Laurence Harvey had purchased Wallace C. Bennett and Jack Gross, Jr.’s screenplay for Welcome to Arrow Beach and rescheduled for Feb 1973 in Southern CA. The picture, produced by Arrow Beach Prods., was to be the first of several films made by Laurence Harvey in association with George Barrie, independent of the latter’s Brut Productions, although contemporary reviews and onscreen credits cite Brut as the film’s production company and do not list Arrow Beach Prods. The 5 Feb 1973 HR reported that filming began that day in Santa Barbara, CA. Photography was completed in early Mar 1973, two days ahead of schedule, as reported in the 12 Mar 1973 DV.
       A news item in the 13 Mar 1973 LAT mentioned that Mrs. Eric Carpenter, president of the Santa Barbara Board of Education, appeared in the film, although she does not receive onscreen credit.
       An article in the 9 Jul 1973 LAT reported that Harvey and Barrie traveled to Australia for an industry screening of several Brut Productions titles, including Welcome to Arrow Beach. The film was also part of a Brut Productions film festival in Sun Valley, ID, according to the 17 Aug 1973 LAT. Harvey died later that year on 25 Nov 1973.
       The film opened in Greensboro, NC, on 24 May 1974, apparently for a test engagement, and closed on 29 May 1974, according to advertisements in the 24 May 1974 and 29 May 1974 Greensboro Daily News, respectively. Advertisements for this engagement mentioned Brut Productions, but did not mention Warner Bros., later named as the 1974 distributor.
       The 2 Jun 1976 DV announced that Brut reissued Welcome to Arrow Beach as Tender Flesh, though advertising for the film excluded any mention of its previous distributor. The picture had opened in New York the previous week, and grossed $32,000 at the box-office. The article stated that the film had originally been released by Warner Bros. in 1974, and that it was Laurence Harvey’s last feature film.
       Reviews were negative. Upon its initial release, the 15 May 1974 Var called it “inept and distasteful.” The review in the Fall 1976 Cinefantastique mentioned that the retitled film was fifteen minutes shorter than its first release length, and that its original release was extremely limited. The 17 Dec 1976 LAT review stated that the film had been shelved for three years after Harvey’s death, and the new edition made no mention of Brut Productions. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Cinefantastique
Vol. 5, no. 2, Fall 1976.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jul 1972.
---
Daily Variety
24 Jan 1973.
---
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1973.
---
Daily Variety
12 Mar 1973.
---
Daily Variety
13 Mar 1973.
---
Daily Variety
15 Mar 1973.
---
Daily Variety
15 Jun 1973.
---
Daily Variety
7 Jun 1974.
---
Daily Variety
2 Jun 1976.
---
Greensboro Daily News
24 May 1974
p. 19.
Greensboro Daily News
29 May 1974
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 1974
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
13 Mar 1973
Section E, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
9 Jul 1973
Section C, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
17 Aug 1973
Section D, p. 1, 14.
Los Angeles Times
17 Dec 1976
p. 26.
Variety
28 Jun 1972.
---
Variety
15 May 1974
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Laurence Harvey Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam, still photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward supv
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Transportation capt
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Who Can Tell Us Why?", music by Bert Keyes and George Barrie, lyrics by Sammy Cahn, sung by jim Cuomo.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Tender Flesh
Release Date:
24 May 1974
Premiere Information:
Greensboro, NC premiere: 24 May 1974
New York opening: late May 1976
Los Angeles opening: 15 December 1976
Production Date:
5 February--early March 1973 in Santa Barbara, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Turner Entertainment Company
Copyright Date:
22 May 1974
Copyright Number:
LP43678
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastmancolor
Duration(in mins):
84
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As Robbin Stanley hitchhikes along a California coastal highway, she is given a ride by a young driver in a hot-rod Model A Ford. His attempts to seduce Robbin compel her to ask the driver to let her out of the car. Instead, he presses the accelerator to the floor. Deputy Maynard Rakes pursues the car when it passes his speed trap, and notifies his superior, Sheriff Duke Bingham, who rushes to meet the deputy at a nearby roadblock. As he attempts to run the roadblock, the driver loses control and rolls his car. Robbin emerges unharmed while the driver is taken away by an ambulance. Deputy Rakes finds a bag of cocaine inside, but Robbin denies any knowledge of drugs. After receiving a lecture on the dangers of hitchhiking from the sheriff, Robbin wanders onto a privately owned section of Arrow Beach. An unseen observer watches through a telescope as she swims naked in the ocean. Robbin falls asleep on the sand, but is awakened by the property owner, Jason Henry, who invites her to have dinner with him and his sister, Grace. When they enter the house, Grace takes Jason aside and reminds him of his promise not to bring any more women into their home. While Grace cooks dinner, Robbin and Jason get acquainted in the study. She learns that he is an amateur photographer, and had been an Air Force pilot. Grace serves Robbin a very rare steak, in contrast to her brother’s vegetarian meal. Over dinner, Robbin tells of how she has been traveling the country for ten months, and ... +


As Robbin Stanley hitchhikes along a California coastal highway, she is given a ride by a young driver in a hot-rod Model A Ford. His attempts to seduce Robbin compel her to ask the driver to let her out of the car. Instead, he presses the accelerator to the floor. Deputy Maynard Rakes pursues the car when it passes his speed trap, and notifies his superior, Sheriff Duke Bingham, who rushes to meet the deputy at a nearby roadblock. As he attempts to run the roadblock, the driver loses control and rolls his car. Robbin emerges unharmed while the driver is taken away by an ambulance. Deputy Rakes finds a bag of cocaine inside, but Robbin denies any knowledge of drugs. After receiving a lecture on the dangers of hitchhiking from the sheriff, Robbin wanders onto a privately owned section of Arrow Beach. An unseen observer watches through a telescope as she swims naked in the ocean. Robbin falls asleep on the sand, but is awakened by the property owner, Jason Henry, who invites her to have dinner with him and his sister, Grace. When they enter the house, Grace takes Jason aside and reminds him of his promise not to bring any more women into their home. While Grace cooks dinner, Robbin and Jason get acquainted in the study. She learns that he is an amateur photographer, and had been an Air Force pilot. Grace serves Robbin a very rare steak, in contrast to her brother’s vegetarian meal. Over dinner, Robbin tells of how she has been traveling the country for ten months, and that her parents have no interest in her. Despite an invitation from Jason to spend the night, Grace asks Robbin to leave, explaining that Jason is deeply disturbed and the presence of a houseguest would be disruptive, but Robbin does not heed the warning. Grace cautions Robbin not to enter the basement, and to lock her bedroom door before retiring for the night. Alone in his room, Jason is haunted by images of the Korean War, during which he resorted to cannibalism when he and his crew were stranded in the wilderness. Jason soaks a rag with chloroform and heads toward Robbin’s room, but he is discouraged by Grace, who informs him that the girl’s door is locked, and reminds him that his indiscretions could ruin their comfortable life together. Jason gives Grace two sleeping pills, and the brother and sister share a romantic kiss before saying good night. Sometime later, Robbin hears a loud banging sound and follows it into the basement, where she finds Jason’s photographic studio and darkroom, behind which is a door with a heavy latch. Upon opening it, Robbin discovers Jason, covered in blood and wielding a meat cleaver. She climbs to safety through a basement window as Jason grabs at her legs. Following her escape, Robbin runs into town in search of help and collapses in a pool hall. She is brought to the sheriff’s station with a large gash on her right arm, and her state of confusion leads Deputy Rakes to believe Robbin is under the influence of drugs when he admits her to the hospital. Meanwhile, Jason summons Sheriff Bingham to his home and hides the evidence of Robbin’s escape. Upon the sheriff’s arrival, Jason and Grace describe Robbin as a drug addict Jason took in as an act of kindness. Jason refuses to press charges, and asks Sheriff Bingham to return Robbin’s bag to her when she is caught. Inside the bag, the sheriff discovers a small vial and a syringe, planted there by Jason to verify his story. At the hospital, the doctor can find no evidence of drug use, and associates Robbin’s symptoms with traumatic shock. Deputy Rakes is unconvinced and persuades the doctor to test for other kinds of drugs. Medical technician Alex Heath hears Robbin scream and enters her room, where she tells him of her escape from Jason. The following morning, Sheriff Bingham contacts Robbin’s mother, who advises the sheriff to “throw the book at her.” Instead, he orders Deputy Rakes to release Robbin and escort her out of town. While his sister is away from home, Jason observes Ginger Tucker, an aging prostitute, on the beach through his telescope. He approaches Ginger while she is crying over being robbed by her last customer. When Jason introduces himself as a photographer, Ginger states that she was once a famous model and burlesque dancer. Jason pretends to recognize her and brings her inside to pose for him. Meanwhile, at the hospital, after Deputy Rakes returns Robbin’s possessions, she recounts her experience with Jason and demands his arrest. However, the deputy assumes that she is lying and orders her out of town. As Robbin leaves the hospital, Alex Heath begs her to stay with him, and although she declines, she writes down his address. Robbin takes a southbound bus out of town, then boards a northbound bus back to Arrow Beach at the next station. Meanwhile, Deputy Molly discovers that the drug planted in Robbin’s bag is pyrellidex, a stimulant that was only used by the U.S. Air Force in the early 1950s, proving that the vial did not belong to Robbin. In Jason’s studio, Ginger poses enthusiastically for the camera before Jason hacks her to death with a cleaver. When Grace returns home and suspects Jason of murdering another woman, he placates his sister by promising to seek professional help. At Alex’s apartment, Robbin explains that she returned to Arrow Beach because, “I think Jason Henry kills people…girl people!” She and Alex break into the Henry house to gather evidence and make their way to the meat locker, where they find butchered human bodies. When Jason appears with his cleaver, he and Alex struggle until Grace shoots her brother. As Jason dies, Grace sobs, “He couldn’t help himself. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.