Rated PG (Yeah right)
Copyright Compass International Pictures 1981
Harry Caulder: He is a harbor patrol member who is pulled into the mysterious happenings going on at the beach. He has a romantic interest in Catherine, but we never find out if it goes anywhere. Don’t really know what he brings to the table in the film.
Catherine Hutton: The daughter of the first victim who has some kind of romantic interest in Harry. She is a painter who is divorcing her current husband, so now Harry can scoop in to get her! However, we never find out if it does go anywhere.
Sergeant Royko: Burt Young! He is a complete jerk of a police officer, who doesn’t seem to care much about the police officers or the citizens in the town. He is always sporting a fedora and is always talking about what it used to be like in Chicago.
Lieutenant Piantadosi: He a friendly police officer who actually cares about people, unlike some of the other officers on the force. He is partnered with Royko.
Marie: I think she is the woman who is attacked by that guy who gets his thingy bite off, but this movie isn’t really good at telling who’s who. She is a friend of Hoagy.
Captain Pearson: He is in charged of the local town’s police force and wants to find out what is happening on the beach. He has no tolerance for the government officials in town.
Hoagy: A signer, beach patrol officer, and a friend of Harry. He is killed when he is dragged underground.
Mrs. Selden: A homeless woman who is extremely off of her rocker. She has no compassion for anyone really and she could hardly care less about what is going on. She makes no effort to help save Hoagy when is killed. She always seems to be in a trance.
Dr. Dimitrios: He is the local coroner for the town and typical movie scientist.
Beach: It is hard to say about this thing. It is a beach that is supposedly killing people or there is something living in it that is feeding on the people. It eats part of its victims and leaves the rest in a little hiding spot. Well, it turns out it was some kind of monster in the end that looked like a plant.
+ Sound waves travel differently on a beach.
+ Cats roar like panthers.
+ Tourists are a stupid bunch of people.
+ Killer beaches will eat anything, including a guy’s penis (Reviewer pukes in disgust).
+ When you scream for help on a beach, don’t expect anyone to help you.
+ Sometimes a police officer is allowed to be stoned to help think.
+ Police officers do not carry flashlights, even if the situation calls for it.
STUFF TO WATCH FOR
4 min – Killer gophers!!
6 min – Here’s an idea, do your damn job!!
10 min – Someone needs her pills.
14 min – What’s going on?!
18 min – The woman is buried up to her neck in sand, who didn’t see this coming a mile away?
24 min – Your friend is incredibly smart, unlike you.
29 min – Ah… is that what I think it is?
30 min – The beach has spoken. There will be no rape on it.
38 min – Darn those vicious sinkholes.
42 min – Ever get that feeling of déjà vu?
46 min – Damn, someone’s fired.
53 min – Boring!
69 min – Its daylight out! How can no one hear him scream for help?!
75 min – Hey! Jackpot! You found all the dead victims!
80 min – Poor creature?! It killed 16 people!
84 min – Well… that was extremely anticlimactic.
Sergeant Royko: Hey, Harry! What color eyes your stewardess have... had?
Captain Pearson: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, you can't get to it.
A movie about a killer beach… I’ll let that sink in for about 10 minutes. Done? Good! Let’s get down to it. This movie is a real odd one. I mean, really! A killer beach? Did they just run out of ideas in 1981? Oh sure, it isn’t exactly a killer beach, but that was how it was promoted. Well, let’s see. One last thing, I’m reviewing this movie using YouTube since it is extremely hard to come across an actual copy of this movie.
The movie opens up with us viewing a beach. All is peaceful and all is tranquil. Finally, a lady enters walking her dog on the beach. As the woman is walking her dog, she is suddenly started to be pulled into the sand. As she calls for help, no one comes to her, despite one guy seeing her and shutting his window. She is dragged under and is gone.
An officer called Harry Caulder happened to be in the area and heard the scream, but couldn’t find her in time. He talks with Sergeant Royko and Lieutenant Piantadosi about what has happen and that she is missing from her job. They don’t believe she is missing and assume she just ran off, despite Harry telling them about the screams. We are also introduced to Catherine Hutton at this time, the victim’s daughter, who use to be engaged to Harry.
We get a couple of scenes of Harry and Catherine, that is supposedly made introduce more information about them and such. It bores me a lot. It then moves to a bunch of weird scenes at night that are literally impossible to see. From what I can tell, it apparently the dog the first victim had gets attacked and killed by something that ripped its head off. The dog is taken back to the crime lab and analyzed. Dr. Dimitrios, a doctor at the morgue, states that only possible rational reason is that a large person with very long and sharp fingernails could’ve done it.
Trouble keeps a brewing as a woman who had her body buried in sand is attacked. She gets out of it, but her legs are badly cut up and are bleeding red paint… blood. The police are getting baffled by what is happening and are extremely pressured into investigating the incidents. They begin ripping part the beach in search of the cause. They can’t find anything, so people return to the beach as usual, not worried about a thing. Even a news reporter who interviews some of the people is quite surprised about them all staying around.
We get a couple of random and pointless scenes that go no where, reminding me that I could watch something much more entertaining. It turns to night and we some random woman (Catherine?) walking on the beach. It’s too dark to tell, but I think it is her. She randomly gets attacked by the guy beneath the pier and they end up getting into a struggle. I think he rips her shirt, but it’s so dark and lighting is so poor, that it is nearly impossible to tell. Can’t the film producers afford to have a better light budget?
It isn’t until Catherine says something that we discover who the attacker is. It is Hoagy, a friend of Harry’s. Just as she gets away and he starts crawling towards her, he stops and winces over onto his back. What happened? Apparently, the beach bit off the guy’s wiener. It isn’t shown directly, but we do see his crotch is completely covered in blood and part of the beach is soaked in blood as well, so we can all safely assume the beach castrated him. Ouch.
With this new event, the police officer continues their investigation and tries to figure out what is happening. Dimitrios believes that there is some kind of unknown creature that has inhabited the beach and is living in it. Also, guess what? Apparently, the woman attacked earlier wasn’t Catherine, but someone else. As for Hoagy, it wasn’t him that was the attacker. Damn it, this movie has horrible lighting effects and is unclear about who is who that it is extremely hard to know one character from the other.
It turns to next day at night, with a random woman walking on the sidewalk. The wind blows off her sunhat (Why would she wear it at night?) and onto the beach. When she grabs her hat, she is pulled down into the sand, where she is mostly like killed. When she is screaming for help, someone obviously hears her, but doesn’t help. Remind me not to go this horrible little town.
After this slightly dull scene, we get an even duller scene with Catherine and Harry have a romantic moment with them having dinner together. The day shifts and we have Harry discover the woman’s hat on the beach. The police are called in and begin digging once more. They discover the woman’s eye in their search. We then move onto a council meeting with the higher ranking officers and government officials of the town, who seem to disapprove of the investigation.
After that, we are treated to even more boring scenes as Catherine and Harry try to figure out what is going on. Then Harry (I think) tries looking around one of the areas on the beach where no one has looked, beneath one of the broken down piers. He randomly searches around (Lighting effects make it nearly impossible to see) and leaves. Maybe he finds something, maybe he doesn’t. Also, we see a guy with a metal detector get attacked off screen. It looks like he is attacked above ground, but I thought the trouble was below the ground?
It is now night once more and we find Hoagy and possibly his friend Marie, who I think was attacked earlier. The movie never properly introduces anybody anyways. While this is happening, Sergeant Royko is getting the report of the missing guy from earlier. So much is happening in this movie, but I still feel like we are going nowhere.
But perhaps I spoke too soon! Suddenly, while Piantadosi and Royko are discussing the case over lunch, a man comes crawling out of the sewer in horrible pain. The man turns out to being the guy reported missing and he is still alive, but his tongue has been ripped out. We also turn to find Hoagy patrolling the beach now. He is dragged into the depths of the beach when he tries to get Mrs. Sheldon off the beach.
We cut back to the place where Harry was checking out earlier, which turned out to be an abandon basement where he hanged out when he was younger. Piantadosi comes with him because Harry thinks there might be something down there. They take a look around and soon run into a woman (Don’t know why she is down there) who is screaming in terror because she has discovered the bodies of the all the victims.
The police officers now stake out the place and plan to blow it up once whatever killed the people, shows up. We get more random scenes that simply bore us to death, until the killer shows up. It looks like a plant cross between that sand monster from Return of the Jedi. Anyways, the police blow it up and the thing is dead. OR IS IT?! The next day, people return to the beach, but it appears to be that there is another monster out there! Like I care anymore.
This movie was just… boring! There is no better word that could describe this movie better, this was just boring. The only good thing that came from the movie was the idea behind the plot and music. The music worked rather well and helped make the atmosphere creepy. The plot idea about a killer monster living underneath a beach and attacking people was pretty cool. I wonder if the creators of Tremors saw this and thought, “I could do better than this!”
As for the bad, it is pretty much everything else. The acting was stiff and no one had any good sense of emotion. Characters were completely one dimensional and had no interesting qualities about them. Things were introduced and promptly forgotten. There is really no focus in the movie, as in it isn’t clear what characters are important to the story or who aren’t. Heck, we what we think maybe the main characters, Harry and Catherine, we find out that they really don’t provide anything to this film at all, outside of just being there.
Lots of things don’t make sense, such as why did that girl go into that empty basement in the first place and how did the guy with the metal detector end up the sewer? The film quality was just downright terrible. I did say I was watching this movie using YouTube, but that website has better quality then what I was seeing! The monster was extremely bad looking and it wasn’t on the screen for very long to begin with. The worse offense was the lighting for the movie. Everything looked fine during the daytime, but at night, it was nearly impossible to see what was happening. It led to many moments where you could tell what was happening and all you could do was pray that someone in the movie would say something so you would get the idea of what was going on.
All in all, this was a Z grade movie. It wasn’t entertaining and it was hard to follow, making this review extremely difficult to write. It was ahead of its time with a monster that killed people below the ground and that’s about it. This movie was pitiful and shouldn’t be watched. Thank God there is no DVD release. Anyways, you want an underground killer monster in a good movie? Go watch Tremors or maybe Dune.