Call Steve Irwin!
Bad movies have powers. They can inflict pain, anger, repulsion, insults, and in perhaps the worst cases, boredom. Hence we come to the film “Blood Surf” which empowered me to wish a 31 foot long Salt Water Crocodile would leap out of my toilet and snap off my nads.
Imagine pitching this story to a Hollywood producer: “See there’s these radical surfer dudes, right? And they surf, right! And, get this, you’re gonna love this, they cut their feet and let sharks chase them when they surf, right! But that isn’t the cool part, right! The cool part is there’s this huge crocodile! I mean like a thirty footer! And it starts eating them, right! And we’ll have a lot of soft core porn imagery to break up the crocodile shots! I’m talking T&A like crazy, right! Imagine Jaws meets Beach Blanket Bingo meets Emmanuel in Bangcok! Except with a crocodile instead of a big-assed shark!”
My guess is that any sane producer would politely have Bruno and Big-Steve, the steroid enhanced guards, “escort” you to the nearest emergency room. Blacklist you in Hollywood, and possibly file charges against you for stalking.
Now imagine this same scenario in Australia. The reaction would be handing you a check, some camera equipment, and a clause in the contract not to employ Paul Hogan, and you would be off to make Blood Surf.
It goes to prove my theory that Australia is a country of crazy people. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some examples:
Yahoo Serious (remember him?) - crazy
Paul Hogan (now owned by Subaru) - annoying and crazy
Olivia Newton John (Starred in Xanadu) -crazy
Steve Irwin (mates with crocodiles) -really crazy
Nigel Theotheranimaltouchingguy -as crazy as Steve Irwin
All those assholes in the Outback Steakhouse Commercials -crazy
(ed. note: The views of Australians presented by Big McLargehuge are not the views of Horrorview.com. However, Australia was once a prison colony and they did send us Russell Crowe, who is quite mad indeed. Actually come to think of it, we agree. Continue Big.)
Thus you have the state of Australia today. But critiques of Australian acting talent fall somewhere outside the scope of this review. Thus we begin with the plot which can be summed up thusly: Extreme surfers hunted by latex crocodile puppet.
There, that’s really all you need to know when it comes to Blood Surf, so if you were looking for the short version, there it is.
The long version is well... longer, but no more complicated.
We are introduced to our main course... er... characters right at the opening. Bog (Dax Miller) and Jeremy (Joel West) are surfers working with Zack (Matt Borleghi) a documentarian and Cecily (Kate Fischer) a photographer. Their documentary concerns the newest extreme sport, Blood Surfing. More about the surfing gimmick later.
The movie does not make a good impression. I have a problem with characters who only discuss one thing. In the case of this movie the character I wanted to see eaten immediately was Jeremy. Think of him as a low rent Mathew Lillard. His first line of dialogue is something like, “dude, I was totally cresting out and cutting and wooooooo, shit.”
For the next thirty five minutes all he will talk about is surfing. Bog is apparently the brains of the operation... Well, he is apparently the smarter of the two... well... I have no idea what relationship these guys have because their relationship is never defined in the goddamn movie.
So, to distinguish between the two without looking at the credits first, Bog is the brown haired one and Jeremy is the dyed blonde one who talks perpetually about friggin surfing.
The relationship between Cecily and Zack is immediately defined. They are lovers. Though for the life of me I cannot see what Cecily sees in a goof like Zack except perhaps that Zack is the money behind the documentary. I guess money makes women do strange things like sleep with losers like Zack. Cecily is the only Australian in the movie so far.
Okay, so they land on this unnamed island in a seaplane. It is apparently a tourist island though as there appear to be several touristy things for them to see. We don’t see much of the island though, mostly shots of the dock, and one scene inside a seedy bar.
Before we go ashore though both Bog and Jeremy decide to offer a gratuitous surfing sequence and abandon the plane for their surfboards before it reaches the dock.
This is only one of several continuity problems in this movie. Considering the water is as calm and flat as a glass coffee table when viewed from the seaplane but as soon as Bog and Jeremy hit the water in their boards, it is rough and surfable. To emphasize this, the cut-backs to the people disembarking from the seaplane who are still on very calm water. This happens with each of the surfing sequences, of which there are only two and a half, which is a pity, because they are the most lively sequences in the movie.
You will also notice that the film was shot out of sequence. This is standard procedure for making a film and normally film makers take precautions to prevent this from becoming detectable. However, this film takes no such precautions. Jeremy has a magical 3rd degree sunburn that comes and goes with each shot. It seems he forgot to purchase effective sunscreen so that in any one scene he can go from pasty white to deep red and back again.
But then, he may be part octopus for all we know. It is annoying though and demonstrates the lack of ability on the part of the film-makers to construct even a watch able B-grade movie. In some scenes he changes colors to rapidly I feared that a strobe-induced seizure would reduce me to quivering and shaking on the floor.
We meet three characters that appear to be caricatures of a traditional American family. Sonny (Chris Vertido) and his wife Melba (Susan Africa). They are the liaison for Zack, but when Sonny learns where Zack wants to go, decides not to take the surfers to what will ultimately, in his mind at least, be their doom. This forces Zack to seek other means of getting to the shark infested island.
Cut to the group of documentarians inside the aforementioned seedy wharf tavern where
Zack is having trouble getting anyone to take him “where the sharks are” so that he and his merry band of chums (GET IT! Chums! I kill me) can make their film. They approach a big scruffy looking Australian guy named John Dirks (Duncan Kegehr) who refuses the wad of cash that zack offers. Dirks’ girlfriend is not impressed with his inability to take money from idiot documentarians and lays the whole “I would like to go somewhere nice for a change,” speech on him. This fails so she resorts to the only other trick in her book. She dances seductively until Dirks agrees to ferry the shark bait to Palm Island.
While Zack is off waving a wad of hundreds in front of several patrons (is this a good idea in ANY SEEDY BAR?) Bog proceeds to hit on Cecily. She rebuffs him, but we don’t care because the film doesn’t give us a reason for their relationship in the first place. Now, I am not gay, Mrs. McLargehuge can attest to that, but Bog is such a well built and handsome man that I think attracting women would be very very easy for him.
That aside. We cut to sometime later in the night when Bog and Jeremy are stumbling back to their boat, actually the boat of Sonny and Melba who are their hosts. They are both wasted and don’t make it much further than the middle of the dock leading to Sonny’s boat. They talk about surfing, yawn, and Jeremy passes out while Bog watches Dirks screw Arty in one of the slips adjacent to them.
There’s a fair amount of well filmed soft core sex in this movie, and I can’t help but wonder why the other scenes, i.e. any of the ones without sex in them, suck so badly. Humorously enough it appears that Dirk is able to screw Arty with his pants on and fully buttoned.
Those crazy Australians!
Bog passes out.
The next morning an attractive young woman is “swabbing the deck” as Jeremy awakens. She tells Jeremy that someone told her a good looking guy was asleep on the wharf and she should go and see him. She says the guy’s name is Bog. This immediately disappoints Jeremy. However, considering the girl is lacking taste, she flirts with Jeremy anyway. It turns out that she is Sonny and Melba’s daughter Lemmya.
Jeremy immediately attempts to impress her with his tales of surfing, YAWN!
Meanwhile Sonny and Melba are not thrilled that their daughter is spending her attention on Jeremy. Melba is the more tolerant of the two and succeeds on calming Sonny down. I think Sonny and Melba are Thai or Laotian, possibly Filipino, I am not sure and their actual names do nothing to clue me into their origins, however, since they are named Sonny and Melba in the movie they might as well we blond and Midwestern. The only difference is they live on a boat.
In keeping with the stereotypical nature of the characters, Melba perpetually pushes mango related products on the documentary crew. Mango juice and mango pancakes are mentioned at least ten times. Worse, these are about the best lines that Melba has and she has to squander them asking people to eat more fruit.
If I never see another mango again it will be too soon.
Anyway. Sonny is ferrying the crew out to Palm Island. Why when he said it was not safe to go there, and why when he said he would not take them earlier in the film, and why when Dirks took Zack’s money and agreed to take them, are Sonny and Melba taking them to the island anyway?
If you said, so they can be the first snack of the crocodile, then you are smarter than anyone involved with this movie.
It is the sort of blatant continuity problems with this movie that make it so infuriating to watch.
Before we can get to the crocodile scenes we have to have the surfing with sharks scenes. This is accomplished by matting footage of sharks, some stock footage (more on that later) and some terrible CGI footage into the scenes where Bog and Jeremy are shooting the curl.
Cecily dons a Discovery Channel issue chain-mail shark protection suit, grabs her camera, and leaps into the water to capture the event for Zack’s documentary. And in keeping with the low amount of quality ANYTHING in this movie, Cecily’s footage is almost never seen.
The stock footage comes from any number of National Geographic or Discovery channel programs. Whatever island this movies takes place on certainly has a WIDE variety of dissimilar shark species. I saw, one White Shark dorsal fin, two quick cuts of a Blue Shark eating bait, stock footage of Gray Reef, Reef White tip, Ocean White tip, Reef Black tip, and even some footage of Tiger sharks.
Whew... Rodney Fox (nearly eaten by a great White while in a shark fishing tournament in the late 60s) would have an aneurysm to see all these sharks together.
It is rather cool to see them matted into the waves that Bog and Jeremy surf though, even if it is an obvious special effect, this is the coolest one in the movie, so I am allowed to mention it. This is high praise too considering virtually all of the other CGI shark sequences look like they were lifted directly out of “Echo the Dolphin” for Sega Genesis.
Now, back to the movie...
Once Bog and Jeremy finish their run. Bog is “stoked” to use surfer lingo, while Jeremy has a case of 4th degree sunburn. He is also terrified. Zack screams for them to hurry up and get a few more runs in so there is plenty of footage at which time Cesily realizes she is in the water with several CGI sharks and promptly panics.
Why? She has that shark-proof suit on and she is only about 25 feet from shore, but hey, I didn’t write this tripe. Bog, being the manlier of the manly men, runs into the water to save her.
By now the cuts on both Bog’s and Jeremy’s feet have miraculously healed and no mention is made of blood, sharks, or surfing again for the rest of the movie.
Okay. Bog decides to surf some more while Jeremy goes off to bonk Lemmya and Cecily goes to change from her shark-proof digs into some bonk-Zack digs.
There is much bonking.
Meanwhile Melba decides to go for a swim while Sonny sunbathes on the bow of his boat.
Weren’t these two people in this movie? Didn’t they just watch the other idiot cast members draw and frenzy-fy a bunch of man eaters of various species? Never mind, they are destined to be eaten anyway.
While Melba swims we get the “crocodile eye” footage of reef life and the underside of Sonny’s boat. Some part of its body brushes against the ship and Sonny begs Melba to get out of the water.
Cut to Lemmya and Jeremy humping. I would try to remember the dialogue that led to their coitus, but I cannot bring myself to type such monumental crapola.
They hump. That’s all you need to know.
It’s nighttime now and Lemmya is washing Jeremy off of her face when she is eaten by some stock footage (thank you again National Geographic Explorer) of a crocodile.
Jeremy wakes up and goes off looking for Lemmya. He can’t find her and in the only scene with anything that even resembles acting, begins to panic. Zack and Cecily as well as Bog come a’ runnin’. They find Lemmya’s bikini top and assume she has gone back to the boat.
The boat has been eaten... well sunk more than eaten but you get the idea. Bog decides to swim down and retrieve the camera. Since no one cares that Sonny, Melba, or Lemmya not to mention thousands of mango based products, are dead/eaten this seems perfectly logical.
Once Bog retrieves the camera the crocodile attacks the bamboo dock where the mango express was recently docked and where all the characters now wait to be eaten. the crocodile that is not supplied by National Geographic Explorer looks like a hand puppet.
They run off of the dock with the croc in hot pursuit.
They come to a clearing and stop to discuss just what to do about the cold-blooded beast when they are attacked by....
My first reaction to this was “What in the hell? Did someone splice in a different movie?” My second reaction was to laugh very loudly.
The pirates are taken directly from the Mexican Banditos of the old comedy flick Three Amigo’s. They take our cast hostage. Why? Perhaps they’ve seen the rest of the script, or they want to force the director to learn 3D studio Max, or perhaps even they are members of the Shark-Stock-Footage-Liberation-Front.
They have no motivation, so therefore, we have no motivation to give even an iota of shit about them.
They all go to the merry pirate ship where one of the pirates hits on Cecily. He is eaten by a c crocodile. Then the pirate ship starts on fire. Why?
I haven’t a clue. At this point I was in the kitchen slamming my head with the oven door in a desperate attempt to knock myself unconscious.
Okay... John Dirks rescues the cast from the clutches of both Blackteeth the Pirate and Tick-Tock the crocodile. How did he know where they were? Who cares. How did he anticipate getting them away from the pirates without the croc and fire plot? Beats me. Why is he in an iridescent white rubber raft easily visible from shore? Don’t know. Why doesn’t Blacktooth the pirate fill him full of lead? Fucked if I know.
So they end up on his tramp-steamer of a tug-boat and are headed back to tourist land when Bog realizes that something is eating old Dirks. What could it be? He emotes about as well as an Australian football team does decoupage’ so we have to listen to some expository dialogue.
Arty tells Zack that a giant croc, the same exact refugee from Muppets Tonight, ate the entire group of tourists on his last tour. See, Dirks was a tour boat captain.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are some tour boat captains who can drink rum, wrestle Komodo Dragons, and kick the shit out of people, but Dirks does not appear to be one of them. That said, I am not sure I would want to put my life in a psychotic former tour boat captain’s hands either.
Dirks decides to kill the crocodile and he is going to have Bog and Jeremy help while Zack captures it all on film.
Does these plans ever work?
By now you are either fast forwarding or sleeping so I will summarize the next twenty minutes of movie for you in a much more rapid fashion.
Croc is shot with a dart
Cecily jumps into the water to film it (just what in the hell IS her problem?)
Croc frees itself and chases Cecily
Boat engine fails a-la Jaws
Croc eats Jeremy (YAY croc!!!!! radical dude!!!!)
Dirks decides to blow up crock with handy supply of C4
Big McLargehuge goes to the toilet so he has no idea what happens next
Boat runs aground and all but Dirks begin walking across the reef to shore
Croc eats Dirks (nice gore effect to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised)
Croc then eats Zack who decides to surf to shore (this is sooooo badly done)
Cecily and Arty go off to the sacred temple ruins to wait for Bog who decides to go back and get the explosives from Dirks’ boat
Cecily and Arty run into Blacktooth the Pirate
Blacktooth is killed by a combination of stupidity, hornyness, and pungi-steaks
Bog retrieves the explosives
The rubber croc tracks Cecily and Arty to the temple and sets up waiting outside for them to try and leave whereupon he will eat them
Bog places explosives all around a one of the temple walls and attempts to lure the croc in
The croc is made of latex so falls for this ruse
Boom. Wall falls on croc
Hooray. Well actually not. See, Arty is stupid and decides to kick and yell at the croc for eating the leathery Australian who used to bonk her (when he had an intact lower torso) through his jeans.
Croc wakes up and eats her.
Bog and Cecily run away while croc gives chase until they slide down a hill, swing on a vine, and the croc, not being having opposable thumbs attempts to do the same. Sadly this is to no avail as the croc plummets to his death and impales himself on a conveniently placed stalagmite at the bottom of a shallow gorge.
Cecily and Bog bonk, end of movie.
Whew. This one really sucked. I mean it sucked worse than The Dead Hate the Living even, and that was, until now, the suckiest suck that ever sucked a suck.
The crocodile is so obviously fake that no one, even the smallest child, would be frightened of it. It reminded me of the sort of thing that Steve Irwin might curl up with on those hot Australian nights when his wife Terry is out shagging a Walaby.
The less said about it the better.
The disc contains several unnecessary extras such as “change camera angle” and “compare shot to storyboard” featured that I monkeyed around with briefly then became very bored and despondent. It just felt like the whole movie was thrown together over a long weekend with a digital video camera and a hand puppet.
I hate that.
I rented this crapola for $.99 at my local video store and I still feel cheated! I spent the last half hour of Blood Surf fantasizing about what I could have done with that $.99 instead. Here is my list. I could have:
Ingested each penny, one at a time, until I died.
Jammed a fifty cent piece under each eyelid.
Burned a dollar bill in an ashtray.
Stuffed three quarters, two dimes, and a nickel up my ass and played human change machine.