CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: RICHARD JEFFERIES / SCREENPLAY: RICHARD JEFFERIES, NICO MASTORAKIS / STARRING: JAMES EARL JONES, JOSÉ FERRER, LILA KEDROVA, MARTIN KOVE, LYDIA CORNELL / RELEASE DATE: MAY 25TH
An obsessed treasure hunter mistakenly frees an ancient monster on an idyllic Greek island, forcing the locals to return to a previous practice of virgin sacrifice in order to keep the beast at bay. It sounds like a decent idea, and it should have been a decent film. But Blood Tide stumbles along a wearily formulaic path, descending into Greek tragedy rather than bloody horror flick.
The plot revolves around honeymooners Neil (Kove) and Barbara (Cornell), who venture to a remote island in search of the former’s missing sister. They discover she is hanging around with the aforementioned treasure hunter Frye (Jones) with his oddly nubile hanger-on and that the locals are strange and unhelpful - aren’t they always? Lastly, and rather crucially there is a bloodthirsty deity just waiting to be released from an underwater cave. All very B-movie-esque. And that would be fine, if the whole thing were not so badly executed as to slip beyond the boundaries of so-bad-its-good into the territory of plain dull.
You know you are in trouble when even the beautiful, picturesque scenery cannot detract from the tiresome script, and as for the virgin-feasting creature, it is on screen so little as to barely warrant being labelled a cameo. As it looks like a skinned muppet that may well have been a wise decision, but a monster movie without a monster?
Issues indeed, but the most irritating stems from the performances. Some grace must be allowed for the lacklustre script but at times you really do get the sense that the cast got together one evening and, realising there were on to a loser and after too much ouzo, decided to try and out do each other. Jones is pantomime itself, shirtless and scowling for the duration while Kove is bland to the point of barely registering. Even the legendary José Ferrer as the head local struggles with the woeful dialogue; what should be portentous is hammy at best. The worst culprit, however, is former Miss USA and future Dallas regular Deborah Shelton who genuinely appears to be having some sort of breakdown.
As extras go on this Blu-ray release there is truly little to talk about apart from an extensive interview with Nico Masterakis. Producer, director, author and talk show host amongst other things, Masterakis is certainly an interesting character, although you do get the sense he thinks so too.
As ‘80s B-movies go Blood Tide is probably not worth your time. It is neither gory, interesting or titillating enough to warrant seeking out, and even if you come across it late one night surfing the digital channels its probably best avoided.