Splatter Beach (2007)

DVD Cover (Camp Motion Pictures)
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Overall Rating 46%
Overall Rating
Ranked #8,900
...out of 14,058 movies
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Something ancient lurks in the surf off Sea Bright Beach. It swims silently, can breathe air and walks upright. It's also very, very hungry and not for seafood anymore. Tonya, Rodney and Rupert are out-of-towners joining a crowd of young people gathered on the beach for an all-weekend music marathon. Even after several townspeople are torn apart and devoured by the humanoid creatures, the partygoers remain oblivious to the horror that has risen up from the sea. They dismiss local girl Tess as a weirdo and refuse to heed her cries and warnings that monsters roam the beach, hunting for human flesh and that hundreds of buried egg sacks are ready to hatch at any moment. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: September 05, 2007
Almost exactly one year ago, I received an email announcing the launch of Camp Motion Pictures, a branch of Alternative Cinema which would specialize in "newly produced feature films, never-before-released exploitation fare, [and] yet to be discovered gems from bygone decades." That one little line sold me, and seeing their initial lineup certainly didn't hurt; after all, how could any horror-loving geek not get excited about a distributor that would be giving some love to all of those forgotten eighties horror flicks that have yet to see a DVD release? However, while we've seen a lot of forgotten gems get solid DVD releases over the course of the last year, we've yet to see a single newly produced feature film. That changes next month (or last weekend if you're lucky enough to get screener copies), and the only thing that I can say is "It's about damned time."

The film takes place on and around - appropriately enough - Splatter Beach, a small beach where a group of friends have decided to set up camp for the weekend for various reasons. On the one hand, we've got Rodney (Brice Kennedy) and Tonya (Erika Smith), two lovers who simply want to get drunk and stoned, have some premarital sex, and watch the Riptides beach concert. Then we have Rupert (Dave Fife), a young man who has tagged along with them in order to do a little research on the legend of the sea-creature which has supposedly been terrorizing the residents of this town for the last couple of years. With the help of local nutjob Tess (Erin Brown) and musclehead Duke (Ken Van Sant), Rupert eventually gets to the bottom of the mystery, and let's just say that it wouldn't be a very exciting movie if there wasn't anything to this case. Yes, there are humanoid sea monsters lurking about, yes, they wrack up a couple of kills throughout the running time, and yes, we get to witness the awesomeness of the Riptides concert in all its glory.

A couple of weeks ago, Camp Motion Pictures released Splatter Farm, the debut film from those lovable scamps known as the Polonia Brothers. How fitting is it that now, twenty years after they made that film, they're still making movies and have come full circle by releasing Splatter Beach on the very same label? This one, however, is a bit of a different breed from their first film: instead of being a mindless splatter flick (pardon the pun), Splatter Beach is a send-up of the bikini beach blanket films of the sixties mixed with a sizable helping of the creature-on-the-beach features that were also so prevalent during that time. The result is definitely an unusual little film, but it's also an entertaining one.

Brett Piper is all over this film, and even though he's only credited as being the director of photography, it's pretty obvious that he had a good deal of influence on the film as a whole. That is certainly a good thing: Piper is one of the greatest low-budget special effects guys working today, and he's also pretty handy with a script and a camera as well. The actual creature design comes straight out of one of those sixties films that I mentioned, but it also has a small modern touch to it as well, no doubt courtesy of Piper himself. However, I can't give all of the credit for this film to Piper, as the influence of those Polonia boys was also readily apparent from scene one and the cast did a pretty amazing job with their characters, a feat which transformed what could have been a mediocre offering into a highly enjoyable film befitting of the "Camp" label that was slapped on the DVD cover.

I particularly enjoyed Brice Kennedy in the semi-leading role as the - how to be politically correct about this - caucasian guy who was heavily influenced by African-American culture, if you catch my drift. Sure, that character may have been done to death over the last ten years or so (especially so in Malibu's Most Wanted), but it can still be funny when done properly... and yes, as you can imagine based on my praise for the man, Kennedy did it properly. Erika Smith is also enjoyable as his "sexually adventurous" girlfriend, and of course, we also have Erin Brown, the lady formerly known as Misty Mundae. Brown is great as always (and I say this objectively, not as the huge fan that I am), and her appearance here shows that she can bring something to a film even if she doesn't have a sex scene or show a little skin.

Check it out. It's not a perfect film - I would have liked to have seen a little more gore during the kill sequences for starters - but it is an enjoyable film for what it is, and fans of those campy films of the sixties will surely get a kick out of seeing a modern day telling of those stories. Plus, the DVD comes with a bonus disc featuring the entire soundtrack for the film, and trust me when I say that it doesn't get much better than listening to Jon McBride singing about using a cadaver as a surfboard. 8/10.
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