Thirty years later and that poster and its tagline (“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, you can’t get to it!”—a riff on the famous Jaws 2 marketing) is still indelible for genre fans. Unfortunately, it appears the poster was conceived first, probably by legendary exploitation market producer Jerry Gross (Teenage Mother, I Drink Your Blood), and the film second, since both that image as well as the tagline are recreated on screen (John Saxon gets the pleasure of reciting that line!)
Blood Beach combines elements from both the burgeoning slasher genre as well as the more classic 1950s era monster movie tropes and transplants them to a beach setting. A quiet community (played by Santa Monica) is shocked as residents seemingly vanish in thin air while on the beach. The effect of sand sucking people into it is pretty good considering the low budget of the film, though each victim seems to have a completely different injuries resulting via the sand monster that range from disappearing entirely, getting decapitated, the rapist who gets his dick torn off, and most heinous of all, the teenage girl whose legs get all scratched up!!!
The problem is that the set pieces are either very short or we just witness the aftermath, and for the rest of the running time we are stuck with long stretches comprised solely of the lame “witty banter” of cops Saxon, Otis Young and Burt Young and the budding rekindled romance of the bland lifeguard lead (David Huffman) and his old flame (Marianna Hill). When the “exciting” moments do occur on screen, they are over quickly and sans any sense of suspense or atmosphere from director Jeffrey Bloom (Flowers in the Attic). Spoiler alert: the monster perpetrating these acts looks like an artichoke.