Sunday, January 26, 2014


Blood Beach (1981).
Dir: Jeffrey Bloom
Cast: David Huffman, Marianna Hill, Burt Young, John Saxon, Otis Young, Lena Pousette, Darrell Fetty, Harriet Medin and Stefan Gierasch.

"Hey, Harry! What colour eyes your stewardess have... had"

Welcome to the wacky world of handsome Harbour Patrol officer, Harry Caulder (the late, almost great Huffman, teevee stalwart and ex-thesp) who, in between rescuing drowning dogs and making love to his leggy blond air stewardess girlfriend becomes embroiled in a bizarre missing persons case when his ex-girlfriend’s wacky (and fairly hot for an old bird) mom (Medin, Death Race 2000's Thomasina Paine) mysteriously vanishes from the local beach mere seconds after chatting to him about house insurance prices.

"Please sir! Can I go to the toilet?"

Unfortunately this is only the first in a whole host of bizarre disappearances that leave the locals in shock, the beachfront shops almost bankrupt and the local coppers with permanently bemused looks on their faces.

Well all of them that is except the towns sexy Police Captain Pearson (Lord John of Saxon), who instead spends the movie with the look of a man haunted by ever increasing tax bills and outrageous demands from an ex-wife.

Aiding our beleaguered bobbie are the no-nonsense Lt. Piantadosi (star of teevee hit The Outcasts Otis Young) and the modern life loving Sgt. Royko (Rocky co-star Burt Young), a character whose whole demeanour and delivery makes it look as tho' he's accidentally  wandered onto the wrong set, his endless monologues regarding the differences between small town procedures and the LAPD coupled with his hard talking smart arse persona make you feel that he'd be more at home in Serpico or Cruising (the film, not actually going out looking for no holds barred sexual encounters with big, buff muscle men, tho' each to their own).

Every time he appears onscreen you're immediately  dragged kicking and screaming out of a fairly generic monster movie to an uncomfortable place where you half expect Royko to glass the nearest child in the face and arrest them for aggravated arse burgalary.

"Are you looking at my bra?"

Wandering around with absolutely no idea what's going on or causing the sand based shenanigans it's left to Caulder, his guitar playing pube haired side-kick Hoagy (Fetty from, um some other stuff) and the completely off his tits coroner Doctor Demetrios (Dark Shadow's Gierasch, channelling a cuddly paedophile), to look for answers.

Tho' when Demetrios starts ranting - with almost sexual fervour - about it most likely being an underground monster living in the sand everyone looks away uncomfortably and decides that it must be a rash of suicides instead, leaving the disheartened doctor to go back to prodding the corpse of a rapist that was found (minus his cock) on the beach that very morning.

It's not too surprising then that even more people keep vanishing, including  Caulder's current beau as she makes her way to our heroes house for some surprise sex.

"Would you like me to put it in you?"

But that's not too much of a bad thing seeing as whilst she was away doing stewardess type stuff his ex girlfriend Catherine (brunette bombshell Hill whose career spans everything from Star Trek to The Godfather via Batman) has arrived back in town to help look for her missing mum and on the night in question the pair were enjoying some fairly smelly seafood together.

Suffice to say she's not missed.

Deciding that the best way to solve the case - and also to avoid the resident mad bag lady - is by spending every waking moment in the local bar watching Hoagy murder various middle of the road country tracks, our doe-eyed duo seem to totally forget about the films plot as they rekindle their old romance and it takes Hoagy's death (obviously the creature has some music taste) to spur them back into action.

Well I say action when in actuality all they do is take a walk up the pier where they stumble across a half eaten victim of the beast who helpfully tells them where it's lair is before dying.

At least the poor sod was only involved shite for a few minutes, by this point I felt like I'd been experiencing the whole thing in real time.

"Shite in mah mooth you crustacean bastard!"

Informing the police of their findings our heroes stand back whilst the boys in blue rig up a series of explosives and cameras in the creatures lair, obviously hoping to get a few quid from You've Been Framed to top up their wages.

Obviously by this point in the proceedings John Saxon had decided to have it out with his agent with regards to the type of shite he was being offered at the time (Cannibal Apocalypse anyone?) and is conspicuous by his absence, leaving the obviously drunk and dangerously trigger happy Royko in charge of the big red button with the only voice of reason ("Think what we can learn from the creature" etc.) being the daft as a brush Demetrios.

Suffice to say Royko blows the fucker to kingdom come at the first opportunity before reaching into his egg stained overcoat for a creamcake and walking away to an early cholesterol fuelled death safe in the knowledge that the town is safe.

Or is it?

As during the end titles featuring a pound shop selection of  scantily clad teens  frolicking on the beach, hundreds (well dozens) of tiny holes beging to appear in the sands.....

Unfortunately we'll never know the truth as a sequel is yet to be made.


Obviously (and quite possibly drunkenly) inspired by Jaws 2's tagline - which frankly should have set alarm bells going straight away - Jeffry Bloom's Blood Beach is proof enough (if any were needed) that a massive shite will invariably still stink like a massive shite, no matter how much perfume you dowse it in or how many times you backcomb its luxurious locks.

Or is that logs?

Which in itself is scarier than the actual movie when you consider the talent involved.

I mean on screen there's the ever dependable John (the kids school fees are how much?) Saxon, Rocky and Amityville 2's living potato Burt Young, the yummy Marianna Hill looking all luscious and forlorn whilst Xanadu's Lena Pousette gets to wear the most hideous hat ever to grace the cinema screen.

Surely that should be enough to make it at least watchable if nothing else?

Add to that the behind the scenes presence of such movie legends a producers Irwin (Halloween) Yablans, Neil (The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension) Canton and an uncredited Sir Run Run Shaw, not to mention a distributor in the grindhouse god that was Jerry Gross and you begin to realize that the blame can only be laid at the feet of director/writer/ Bloom and his co-scripter Steven Nalevansky, the man who gave us the 1992 American teevee classic Prime Suspect, a movie that still holds the record for the most usage of the word "arse" on prime time US teevee.

Oh yeah, and let's not forget to apportion a wee bit of it to whoever thought that the monster should be portrayed as a giant paper mache venus flytrap sporting a rather fetching testicle for a tongue that even the 1960's Doctor Who production team would turn down for being utter shite.

Whoever designed this abomination your card is marked son, I don't care how long it takes you will pay for your crime.

"Laugh now!"

The perfect last request movie for anyone on death row due to its scant 92 minute running time seeming to magically stretch on for days, Blood Beach should serve as a warning to us all on the perils of letting a man named Jeffrey direct a horror movie.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

back for good.

So...did you miss me?

Terribly sorry about the appalling lack of activity (paranorman or otherwise) over the last few months but between work and Megan based death threats there's been precious little time to update.

But I'm back now and just in time for this years Glasgow Frightfest.

You lucky people.

A poster today.

And this year promises to be a blood curdling bugger of a beast, including as it does the fantastic Ti (don't call me Fred) West's cult of the damned shocker THE SACRAMENT with an appearance by the man himself and Jake (don't call me Ti) West and producer Marc (the Mack) Morris introducing the world premiere of VIDEO NASTIES: DRACONIAN DAYS, their sequel to the critically acclaimed VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP & VIDEOTAPE documentary this time featuring Jon Pertwee's favourite monsters.


A Draconian yesterday.

If that wasn't enough there's also the world premiere of THE SCRIBBLER, based on Dan Shaffer’s bestselling graphic novel (that's a kinda comic book but with swearing and stuff in it) featuring the tissue tearing trio of Eliza Dushku, Michelle Trachtenberg and Sasha Grey.

Expect scares, shocks and stubborn stains.

The Scribbler: words.

Director John Suits (you sir!), producer of the bloody nosed CHEAP THRILLS will be in attendance as will Jordan ("And it's goodnight from him!") Barker, director of the terrific sucker punch home invasion chiller TORMENT, starring the yumsome Katharine (I have her home number) Isabelle, which will receive its European premiere at the festival.

Thrills: Cheap.

Also attending is Indiana writer/director Zack (Saved by The Bell) Parker, with the UK premiere of his Slenderman starring PROXY, a daring and highly original chiller (it says here and who am I to argue?).

Proxy: foxy.

And there are more UK premieres including the bigger, wickeder and possibly hairier WOLF CREEK 2, KILLERS, a dark, twisted tale from the Mo Brothers duo of Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto and two highly impressive feature debuts - Cliff (Darth Vader) Prowse and Derek (Enter the Dragon/The Big Boss Man) Lee’s AFFLICTED, a clever spin on the found-footage trend and Spanish director Jorge 'cheese' Dorado’s probing, twisty MINDSCAPE starring Mark (Sinestro) Strong.

Wolf Creek: Crocodile Dunaweelassieupthearse.

And if that's not enough there are also Scottish premieres of the Sci-fi shocker ALMOST HUMAN directed by Joe Begos and director Michael S. Ojeda’s provocative and compelling SAVAGED plus a drunken man in a wheelchair who will suddenly walk away during any boring bits and someone in a Rob Zombie t-shirt.

Mark: Strong.

See you there!