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Thursday, September 9, 2010

DVD Review: BLOODY BEACH (2000)

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m a big fan of the slasher-flick subgenre, but only so long as the plot is original and the film is well done. For example, SPIRIT CAMP is one of my favorite newer slasher films. The premise is technically unique and the film blends a perfect mix of dark comedy and horror. Finding such balance is hard to do, and any film that pulls it off is note-worthy in my book.

For these reasons, I bring up BLOODY BEACH, a Korean slasher romp from a decade ago. Yes, this is an older film, but it is one definitely worth visiting. The plot of BLOODY BEACH is this:

A group of friends, who know each other only through an Internet chat room, decide to finally meet in-person and schedule a weekend ‘vacation’ in a rented beach-house. But one of the original members of the group who was thought to have killed himself, a man with the handle of Sandmanzz, starts killing the group off one by one. But who is the Sandmanzz? And why does he have a grudge against them? As the body count rises, so do the suspicions. And before the weekend is over, the group must discover who among them is the killer…before time runs out!

Before sitting down to watch this movie, you have to remember the times as they were and keep that in mind. This film was done back in 2000, when Internet chat rooms were in full bloom and ‘safety guidelines’ for meeting face-to-face (or why you shouldn’t) were not well publicized. Thus, a group of strangers meeting for the first time face-to-face was still a viable option, albeit a bad one.

The other thing to keep in mind about this movie is that it IS a foreign film and therefore some of the cultural aspects might throw you for a loop. But if you look past them, you will find a gem of a slasher film, one that I know I’ll revisit before too long.

I loved the way this movie was filmed. There are several unique camera-angles that really give an interesting perspective on the scene. It’s hard to describe in detail…you’ll have to see for yourself what I mean. I also liked how the plot kept building suspense. You are literally guessing and re-guessing about the identity of the killer. And when this person is ultimately revealed, you’ll get a nice jolt of “Ahhhh…I should have seen that coming!”

Although it’s not as gory as I would have liked (there’s a couple of excellent ‘slash’ scenes, though, one in particular where a guy gets his fingers lopped off by a set of pruning shears), BLOODY BEACH still didn’t disappoint when it came to the red stuff. And the production crew didn’t have to use a lot to get their point across. The thrills and spills were indicative of the suspense, and this only added to the terror.

My sole complaint about this film was the lack of an English dub-over. I found reading the subtitles a bit too distracting, and some scenes forced me to backtrack, so I could see the action after I had read the dialogue the first time-around. But that’s my only gripe. This is a well done, well-thought-out thriller, and one I’m glad to add to my collection.

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Pathfinder Pictures

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