on August 23, 1999
Ancient monster is unleashed on Greek Island where a man (Martin Kove) goes to search for his sister. James Earl Jones, Jose Ferrer and Lila Kedrova add credibility to this somewhat predictable thriller, but you can't help in getting swept away as the story unfolds. The awful music score and murky photography make this look ultra-cheap, and the ending is pretty thrill-less, but overall good in a trashy sort of way.
on June 17, 2013
This is actually a very well done low-budget horror flick with excellent scenery, suspense, nice soundtracks, some good atmosphere, and it's very well directed and acted. The story is about a couple on a Greek island which has an ancient sea monster nearby who requires human sacrifice. It's a slow moving film with a limited amount of gore. There's a couple of gore sequences that are shown underwater when the monster attacks and eats people, but there isn't any extreme gore. There's an emphasis placed on the films location, suspense and character development to engage the viewer instead of gore. As for the nudity, there's a very quick topless scene in the beginning. I thought the soundtrack in the beginning is really eerie, and they picked a great place to make the movie. You never get a full look at the creature. You just see its face and jaws and there's a part when it reaches up with its hand to grab one of its sacrificed victims. I would've liked to see the entire monster, but this slow film is a really good monster flick. The only problem is that some won't like it because it lacks action, is slow, and it does get talky at times.
The DVD quality has washed out color and poor contrast. Brightness is fine but the picture is somewhat soft. This transfer is obviously from a VHS source. The picture is clean looking and I've seen much worse transfers, but this would be so much better if it got a better release. I've noticed that other companies have released this film, but I don't know how the DVD quality is on those. The DVD that I have says "Digital Gold Collection" on the top of the case.
on October 10, 2007
No, this film isn't great; yet, it doesn't suffer from delusions of grandeur, either. It rather neatly paces its story over its 82-minute runtime, providing few moments of excitement until its climax. Rather, it focuses on building the mystery of the secret surrounding the secret past of a tiny seaside village in Greece. American newlyweds Neil and Sherry Grice (Martin Kove and Mary-Louise Weller, respectively) have arrived in this Greek hamlet in hopes of locating Neil's missing sister, Madeline (played by Miss USA 1970 Deborah Shelton). Given the number of inhabitants here, it doesn't take long to find her, or to determine something has affected her deeply. According to American ex-pat Frye (James Earl Jones), she has "gone native." We don't find out until the end of the film what that means exactly, though we do have a good idea. Complementing the beauty of the Greek landscape (and really the reason I watched this film in the first place) is the mighty attractive Lydia Cornell. If you are of a certain age, you might recall Ms. Cornell from her role as Ted Knight's blonde daughter, Sara, on TV's "Too Close for Comfort." She is quite something in this film and she gets substantial screen time, though not enough to suit my tastes. Overall, I enjoyed the film. My biggest problem with the DVD, however, is the quality of the film. It appears to have been transferred from a VHS copy and, consequently, the colors are a bit faded, the image a bit soft and the sound pretty bad. Still, I have seen worse... much worse. I would like to see this film cleaned up and transferred from the original negatives; however, given the film's very minor status and fairly poor ratings, it is highly doubtful this will ever happen. 3/5 for the film, 1.5/5 for the DVD.
If you like schlock, you will like this movie. Seeing a younger James Earl Jones is a curiousity. The acting really isn't bad. The story is discombobulated, at best. But it's entertaining -- you could do worse. Not appropriate for younger viewers due to a one-second glimpse of a pair of mammary glands.
on June 22, 2011
Yeah, really folks. I think someone on IMDB noted that people, for some reason, have been really hard on this movie. What do you want? It was acceptable for a post-seventies horror romp. It came out in an interesting year - 1982. The year I graduated from high-school. Although, I had never heard of this film until recently; I came across it on - "Fifty SCi-Fi Classics". It was shot on location; in very exotic local, I might add. Replete with ancient Christian monasteries. Moreover, it has two legendary actors: Jose Ferrer and James Earl Jones. And so what if Jones hams it up a bit, and also plays a little bit of a heavy.
Some people noted the echoes from "Jaws". They are definitely there. I detected a nod (if a very remote one) to Italian/Argento style horror. This was in the massacre of the nuns. It does not show the nuns actually being killed. It shows the aftermath with corpses strewn all around. Perhaps this is what disturbed people. All the victims in the movie are women, and even minors. And the premise of the movie is "virgin sacrifice". And I think someone noted this too, that most of the victims, we can assume, are not virgins.
Moreover, there is even a litle back story going on. I think the female (sort of lead) the exotic, runaway, beauty - Deborah Shelton (Madeline) and Frye (J E Jones) had a thing. Parenthetically, Shelton (although very pretty) has such a seventies, teen, pre-teen, afterschool special, movie of the week, PSA - presence, it drips off the screen. She sings the closing credit anthem.
Yet at the same time, this movie lacks the sex which would become such a staple of the "Friday the 13th" franchise, among others. Although there is alot of "skin" shown.
Perhaps, it should be seen as a farewell to the seventies. As again, "Friday the 13th" and its "ad nasueam" sequels were being ushered in.
So finally, I do not see why a group of young people cannot pop a bowl of popcorn, and have alot of fun watching this movie. Thank You
on August 10, 2001
Visitors' curiosity while on a Greek island unleashes an ancient creature upon unsuspecting island goers. This very low-budget film suffers from poor lighting but has a solid cast (James Earl Jones, Jose Ferrer, Martin Kove and Oscar-winner Lila Kedrova) and an intriguing enough premise that it draws you in, even if it is far from a classic.
I have tremendous respect for James Earl Jones. This man has a phenomenal talent and an incredible voice. Jones was on a roll in the 70s and 80s, doing the voice of Darth Vader and then playing the role of Thulsa Doom in "Conan the Barbarian." In between these incredible roles, Jones appeared in the 1982 film "Blood Tide."
The movie itself has its moments. Neil Grice (Martin Kove of "Karate Kid" fame) has traveled to an isolated Greek island to find his sister Madeline (Deborah Shelton, who would play Mandy Winger in the television show "Dallas" a couple of years down the road). Once on the island, Neil and his wife Sherry (Mary Louise Weller, who some may remember as Mandy in "Animal House") encounter strange islander Nereus (José Ferrer), visitor Frye (James Earl Jones) and Frye's girlfriend Barbara (Lydia Cornell, who was near the beginning of her now lengthy career). Jones seems to be looking for treasure, while his girl friend likes to go skinny dipping in the ocean.
While on a dive to a cave that is under water because of an ancient earthquake, Jones releases an ancient evil creature that then swims and runs about killing and eating targets of opportunity, which are nearly always women. We see a painting of the monster and it has a large member, which may explain its preference for virgins.
Much of the movie is spent trying to build a spooky atmosphere. A lot of the focus is on Madeline, who seems to have been chosen through mystical means to be the creature's sacrifice, which should put the creature back to sleep. While waiting for the happy day when Madeline and the creature should meet, Madeline bathes herself in expensive perfume and looks like she is spaced out.
The acting talent is excellent, and I enjoyed every scene with Jones, Ferrer and Shelton. If you like any of these three stars, this movie is worth a watch.
Ferrer is suitably creepy as he continuously appears to know what is happening and perhaps the apparent inevitability of events even though he never reveals whether he knows anything. He does try to prevent events from happening by getting the visitors to his small island to leave. Of course, they do not.
Jones presages the ending as he spouts lines from a Shakespeare tragedy. Jones rises well above the material as he brings an interesting combination of subtle humor and self-absorbed arrogance to his role. At the end of the movie, the actions he takes could appear to be self-sacrifice, but he seems to maintain his arrogance by appearing to recognize that he has the power to bring about resolution to the story.
Shelton was the surprise. She has relatively few lines, but her presence is really the center of the movie because she is the one chosen to fulfill the destiny of history as the monster's sacrifice. Shelton brings an excellent combination of strange behavior and moodiness to her role as she struggles to understand why she behaves the way she does.
However, this movie is a low budget film, and it shows. The monster itself initially looks cool, but you quickly realize that the monster is little more than a mockup that has virtually no ability to move. Because the monster has little capability, the director minimized camera shots of the monster to prevent you from seeing that the monster was little more than plastic on a frame. The director almost could have eliminated the monster and the film would have been nearly as effective, perhaps even more effective.
There is some nudity in this movie, though brief. There is a lot of sexuality, some of it overt and a lot more that is subtle. The violence is quite mild and the movie contains relatively little gore. I was a bit surprised when sister Madeline kisses brother Neil near the end in quite a non-brotherly way.
The picture is a bit grainy and the movie would definitely benefit from being remastered.
I have watched many low budget films, and often they are worth only one watching, or I find myself reluctant to provide much of a recommendation. However, this low-budget monster movie has an interesting moody atmosphere that I found intriguing. It is unfortunate that when this movie was made, which was after the phenomenal special effects in "Alien," that those special effects did not translate to this movie. Yet, this movie is not too bad as long as you keep your expectations for the monster and for action low. It is sufficiently fascinating that I have seen this movie several times for some of the interesting subtleties included by the director.
"Blood Tide" is an extremely cheap monster movie from 1982. It stars some very talented people, most notably the wonderful James Earl Jones as Frye, the legendary Jose Ferrer as Nereus, and the unknown Spyros Papafrantzizas as Dionysis [sic].
The movie opens with a little background on ancient virgin sacrifices then turns abruptly to the world of watercraft recreation. Indeed, the bulk of this film consists of either footage of boats whizzing around Greece, James Earl Jones chewing the scenery and mean tempered (watch for the spear gun intimidation scene), or various rituals in an old church.
The plot is somewhat reminiscent of "Jaws" (OK, it's in many ways fairly blatant...) especially the first "monster devouring girl" scene which is extremely similar (down to the skinny dipping subplot) to the famed "Chrissie's death" scene in "Jaws." It seems that the monster that hungers for the ancient virgin sacrifices has come back to life and is now devouring women at an alarming rate. There is a lot of prattling on about the monster, and many talky scenes, a lot of which take place in the dark; so dark, in fact that sometimes you can hear dialogue, but can only see pure black on the screen. (I wondered if my monitor had malfunctioned at one point. Really.)
This movie gets my vote for worst soundtrack of 1982, featuring not only a faux-pop song of extremely poor quality over closing credits (by Deborah Shelton), but also many extended piercing electronic notes designed to induce terror, or at least a little malaise. The monster itself (created by Vince Jeffords) is utterly laughable (and stays offscreen until about an hour into the film). Overall, the movie would probably rate one star if not for the talents of Jones and Ferrer, who do as much damage control as can be done.
Fans of bad movies may want to watch this once, but once is definitely enough. It is of thoroughly marginal quality, but does not contain enough camp value to make it a real joy to watch.
on April 4, 2005
Gorgeous Greek locales and the ever-strong presence of Mr. James Earl Jones is not enough to save this shlock. I'm a big fan of monster movies, especially aquatic monster movies and this one delivers none of the cheesy entertainment you'd expect from greats such as Humanoids from the Deep and Piranha.
Martin Kove(bad guy from Karate Kid)and his wife venture to a remote and lovely Greek island in the Aegean, looking for Kove's sister. Typical of most Greek cultures, the islanders are far from friendly and the town mayor(Jose Ferrer) makes it clear that their welcome is officially worn out. But Kove is deadset on finding his sister, which he does, although she isn't too thrilled to see him. In fact, she's gotten a case of the weirdies. Along with her are Othello-quoting treasure hunter Frye(JEJ) and his blonde bimbo mistress. The sister is too wrapped up in uncovering the secrets of an ancient painting to leave, so Kove and his wife opt to stay. Frye, meanwhile, is frequently entering an underwater cave which has a large doorway that was walled up long ago. Thinking there's some goodies in there, he blows the place open with plastics and before you know it something is gobbling up young girls on the island. The mayor reveals that in ancient times a deadly sea beast dwelled beneath the island and it was only through the good ol' fashioned practice of virgin sacrifice that the creature was kept at bay. Can Kove and Frye stop the rubbery nonexistent monster before Kove's gorgeous but brainless soap opera actress sister offers herself up as the next main course?
First and foremost, Blood Tide has a terribly disappointing villain in its sea monster. The creature is barely seen, but when shown, it is a pathetic skinned horse/camel/dragon creature that certainly isn't the least bit frightening. I understand that many Greek sea monsters of mythology where often mammalian but personally I like my sea monsters to be reptillian or fish-like. Another thing that takes away this monster's scare factor is the fact that it has a wrinkled horse-like mouth filled with blunt incisor teeth instead of big sharp flesh ripping fangs which you usually expect of big sea predators. Also, the monster is dispatched relatively easily by monster standards, and one wonders why the ancestors of these Greeks didn't simply find someone brave enough and strong enough to take the creature out himself instead of imprisoning it. The only saving grace to this creature are the curious sound effects and underwater POV photography used. The waters of the Aegean are largely devoid of a lot of marine life so watching the monster stalk his victims through these deserted waters is somewhat effective.
But there is soooo much that is soooo bad with this film! The Greek culture is nicely portrayed, with a small hinted subplot about the clash between christianity and the traditional beliefs of the islanders. Jose Ferrer is wasted, but he has been in similarly awful films so its no huge loss. The Americans definitely fulfill the stereotype of the loud obnoxious tourists that people have come to know and hate, with Kove's wife remarking how "Greek" everyone is and Jone's girlfriend playing loud obnoxious 80's aerobic workout music on an otherwise lovely beach. There is no character developement whatsoever, and we never know why Kove's sister just up and decided to venture out to the island in the first place, nor why the islanders wanted to keep her a secret. Overall, Blood Tide is a lame monster flick that is short on monsters and thrills and long on yawns.
One more saving grace, the main piano theme is pretty stirring.
BLOOD TIDE is an interesting movie. It's sort of a monster movie, but we see so little of the actual monster or it's exploits, that it's easy to forget about it altogether! When we do see it, we get underwater stalking scenes not unlike those in JAWS. Aside from this, we get three bodacious babes and that mean guy from KARATE KID running around on a Greek island. There's also a nutty treasure-hunter (James Earl Jones) and an even nuttier town leader (Jose Ferrer). It seems there's an ancient curse on the island. The rarely seen monster is unleashed when Jones' character, Frye uses plastic explosives to open a sealed gate in an underwater cave. This gives us some rather decent flesh-munching sequences! Only a virgin sacrifice can stop the creature before it kills everyone. Will anyone survive? No spoilers here! BT is nothing spectacular, but it does have enough going on to be entertaining...