Blood Sand




**½

Before commenting on the particulars, I have to go ahead and throw out there that the CGI for the jellyfish creature in the sand is just fucking awful. It is what it is. That can be a big problem because the menace of the picture—the monster preying on the group—should be convincing enough to give us pause, and generate enough unease to level us. Instead the CGI takes us out of the film because the menace and its violence on those it “devours” is so significantly Syfy channel…that is certainly not in its favor. When I tell someone who has seen their fair share of Syfy channel monster movies that a film has (un)special effects similar to what you see in them, it doesn’t exactly serve as the highest level of praise…far from it. But it is damn hard for me not to have 90 minutes of time with the likes of Brooke Butler, Meagan Holder, and Cynthia Murell (and a topless Nikki Leigh at the beginning before she falls to the sand from a picnic table, her death serving as a warning to the others that something resides in the beach and is hungry for human Spring Breakers) in bikini tops and short-shorts and complain. Butler I know from All Cheerleaders Must Die! (2015), a film I quite enjoyed, and she is the main heroine who pulls together those fortunate enough to make it out alive. She has a nice, little athletic body and a tight tummy. Holder is her rival for the six-pack ab stud, Dean Geyer. Their love triangle kind of backseats due to the situation at hand. When Leigh is gobbled up by what lies under the sand, the others try to come up with an escape plan. On a lifeguard post is Butler and Mitchel Musso (“Vegas rules, baby!”), while Cleo Berry awakens with his massive frame lodged in a blue barrel and an inked dick drawn on his face. Holder, Murell, and Geyer are in his convertible, all of their cell phones in the trunk. It appears as if most of the Spring Breakers who partied with them the night before were eaten by the thing in the sand! So the remainder of the film fixates on the pretty folks plotting to get off the beach in one piece. Most are unsuccessful.

Butler and Holder are sure a sight for sore eyes. Look, I’m copping to it. Pure lust alone gets the film to a **½. The CGI might stink, but their looks don’t. Murell is sure no slouch herself. She loses her guy almost immediately when he goes to rescue Leigh. I couldn’t help but think of The Raft from Creepshow 2 (1987) as much as Blood Beach (1981) which this film is compared to. The Raft had pretty young adults on a raft in the middle of the ocean succumbing to a black sludge which devoured them as if acid eroding flesh quickly. The sludge would envelope the kids and the monster in the sand of Blood Sand (2015) (or The Sand as it is called as well) does so just the same. These octopus like tentacles reach out and grab bodies when their tendrils aren’t (looking like tiny hair-like fibers creeping out of the sand, attracted to human flesh like ticks to a dog) fastening on victims. At the beginning of the film, the director/editor juxtapose the spring break party and the next morning’s silence as the beach appears eerily still. Rowdy, raucous kids in their twenties, not yet dulled by the dregs of the adult world, still treated to the comforts of hot young bodies, celebrating their youth, and the next day where few remain…some will never make it to the dregs of the adult world. Attempts at heroism cause the creature to either seize upon them as they accidentally hit the sand or at least cause physical harm (Geyer’s stomach is poisoned/infected by the tendrils, leaving him unable to consume anything and in agony). Jamie Kennedy arrives for a cameo as this prick beach patrol officer, doing absolutely nothing but acting like an obnoxious tool. The kids try and reason with him about the dangers in the sand, but he’s bound and determined to get his foolish ass killed. Kennedy is so charmless and irritating that when the beach claims him, we’re done a favor. The beach’s monster eventually finds its way into the blue barrel to fetch Cleo as he tries to remain hopeful that rescue will assist him out of his most unfortunate predicament. Clever ways to keep flesh from touching sand are the ticket and the gang notices that Kennedy is able to walk about without a hitch due to his rubber-sole shoes. Getting to Kennedy’s patrol SUV is the goal as night approaches. While Butler and Holder discuss their guy, maintaining focus on their escape plan always returns to the forefront; the film just wants to make sure we know that both are hot for Geyer but understand the mission of survival.

The CGI at the end when Butler lights up the monster after securing some gasoline and a book of matches is especially rough. When arms are taken off and stubs bleed, the CGI also leaves much to be desired. Including bodies fading into the sand, the CGI, so heavily depended upon for impact, eats away at the quality of the film until it is little more than unintentional comedy. But there’s Butler, taking charge and mind on point, coordinating escape, moving about with that scantily clad body reminding us that the CGI might be sore on the eyes but she sure isn’t. And Holder, right there motivated to survive herself, jean mini-skirt and bra-like bikini top, equaling her in looks and allure. Yep, sure a sight when the effects fail.










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