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Richard Jefferies
James Earl Jones, José Ferrer, Lila Kedrova
Writing Credits:
Richard Jefferies, Nico Mastorakis

An adventurer hunting for treasure in Greece accidentally frees a monster that forces local villagers to sacrifice virgins.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English PCM 1.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 87 min.
Price: $39.95
Release Date: 5/26/2020

• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Richard Jefferies
• Interview with Co-Writer Nico Mastorakis
• Trailers


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Blood Tide [Blu-Ray] (1982)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 16, 2020)

If we refer to a film as “forgotten”, that implies people knew of the movie in the first place. This doesn’t seem to be the case for 1982’s Blood Tide, a flick that appears to have gone completely unnoticed back in the day.

That happened despite a cast with well-known actors such as James Earl Jones and José Ferrer. This 2020 reissue gives us the chance to decide of Tide deserved it obscurity.

Set on the Greek island of Synoron, the story opens in ancient times. Back then, the natives sacrificed virgin girls to placate a violent sea monster.

In modern day, Neil Grice (Martin Kove) and his new wife Sherry (Mary Louise Weller) arrive on Synoron to search for his missing sister Madeline (Deborah Shelton). They find a largely deserted location, one that elderly local Nereus (Ferrer) warns them to leave.

Nonetheless, Neil and Barbara soon discover Madeline, as she spends time with the mysterious Frye (Jones), a treasure hunter. Frye’s activities awaken the dormant ancient monster beneath the waves and this sets off a crisis that may again necessitate sacrifices.

Based on that synopsis, I can find no reason to believe Tide couldn’t become a solid mix of action and horror. The basic story seems sound and comes with the potential for excitement.

Alas, that plot offers pretty much the only positives I can muster about this terrible movie. Despite a good basic concept, the film fails.

Which makes it a waste of a fairly solid cast. While Jones and Ferrer were – and remain – the most notable members, some of the others enjoyed pretty decent careers as well.

This means that unlike most low-budget 1980s flicks of this sort, Tide doesn’t stick us with a group of nobodies. Heck, with Jones, Ferrer and Lila Kedrova in the mix, we get three actual Oscar nominees – and two winners!

Although this adds a patina of quality to the production, everything about Tide smells bargain basement – especially the ancient monster at its core. As we learned from Jaws and Alien, a horror movie doesn’t need copious shots of its lead monster to succeed.

However, we should get at least a reasonable amount of time with said creature, and the creation should seem believable. Neither holds true for the beast at the heart of Tide.

In terms of quality, the monster looks terrible. At no time does it feel even vaguely believable, so it seems more likely to inspire laughs than screams.

Perhaps due to its poor quality, the monster rarely appears on-screen. We get a handful of fleeting shots and nothing more, a choice that seems likely to alienate genre fans,

Instead, we tend to get “first-person” views when the monster attacks. These blatantly steal from Jaws and fail to churn any scares or tension.

Tide comes with an inherently simple story but it jumbles the tale into incoherence. We barely get to know any of the characters and the film leaves many of them behind too much of the time.

Narrative beats frequently make no sense, and various actions occur with little logical explanation. The whole package feels cobbled together from bits and pieces of other movies.

No one ever manages to tie together the various elements, and this leaves Cut as a scattershot mess. Even by the standards of low-budget 1980s horror, it flops.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Blood Tide appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The dated nature of the original photography held back the image, but it mostly looked pretty good.

Sharpness was largely fine. Some shots could be a bit tentative, and I can’t claim the movie boasted razor-sharp delineation. Nonetheless, it displayed appropriate definition the majority of the time.

I saw no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to become a distraction.

Colors appeared acceptable. The sunny water-related scenes offered pretty nice vivacity, but other shots could feel less vivid. Still, the hues generally felt well-rendered as a whole.

Blacks were fairly rich, and low-light shots delivered decent clarity. Nothing here excelled, but the image seemed satisfactory given the source limitations.

As for the film’s PCM monaural soundtrack, it seemed fine for its vintage. Audio quality showed its age but held up fairly well.

Speech showed occasional edginess – usually during screams - but the lines remained intelligible and were usually reasonably natural. Music was pretty full and rich.

Effects seemed decent, as those elements lacked much punch but they didn’t display notable problems. This was a better than average track given its era.

Only a few extras appear here, and we open with an audio commentary from co-writer/director Richard Jefferies. Along with moderator Michael Felsher, he offers a running, screen-specific look at his career and how he came onto the project, story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, and various aspects of the production.

Directors don’t often criticize their films, but Jefferies does so here, as he acknowledges the movie’s weaknesses. Jefferies passes the buck somewhat and blames the produces because they took final edit out of his hands, but it still seems refreshing to hear a filmmaker admit problems.

Overall, the commentary manages to touch on a lot of interesting areas. Jefferies appears frank and engaged as he brings us a useful overview of the movie.

Called Swept By the Tide, an interview with co-writer Nico Mastorakis runs 28 minutes, 58 seconds. He discusses aspects of his career as well as Tide.

At times, Mastorakis offers a frank, engaging chat. However, he directed the piece so expect a fawning tone that over-praises him and seems more interesting in promotion than anything else.

The set finishes with two trailers. We find a circa 1980s promo as well as one created for this 2020 release.

Little more than a collection of cinematic influences, Blood Tide fails to find a groove. It seems cheap and shoddy. The Blu-ray comes with fairly good picture and audio as well as supplements led by a pretty interesting commentary. Tide deserves to remain forgotten.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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