This year marks the 35th anniversary of a little semi-forgotten eighties gem, Blood Beach. There is not an overabundance of info out there pertaining to the film itself. Luckily, I was able to track down the director, Jeffrey Bloom, who was gracious enough to answer a few questions.
INTERVIEW WITH JEFFREY BLOOM, DIRECTOR OF 'BLOOD BEACH.'
Images courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/BloodBeachMovie/
Jon Wamsley: In regards to the actual idea for Blood Beach, how/why did it come about: FB said you guys were tossing around ideas and that Steven drove by the Santa Monica Pier and got inspiration. Was it also a bit of the idea that the 2 Jaws films and other subsequent "creatures from the deep" films were so popular?
Jeffrey Bloom: JAWS was a terrific film and I’m sure in some way an inspiration, even if we never sat down and said “Let’s concoct a scary film that has something to do with the ocean.” The only conscious reference was my line of dialogue, spoken by John Saxon: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, you can’t get to it.
JW: I love the idea of the creature. Did you write an actual origin of how/why it came to exist that didn't show up in the film, save for a vague scientific theory?
JB: No. Actually, until this question was asked by you, 36 years later, the thought never occurred to me. The drama wasn’t “Where did it come from,” but “How do we destroy it."
JW: How did the design of the creature come about? What was the inspiration? Did that lead to the
little sand pits, or was it the other way around: you designed a creature that could make those pits from under the sand? (Do you have any production stills or sketches that I could include?)
JB: The creature was never physically defined until near the end of the screenplay, when it’s seen for the first time, and then only in a suggested way. In talks with the special effects designer, it began to take shape. The “little sand pits” were actually very large, and required a tractor to construct, along with many permits from L.A. and Santa Monica.
JW: With such a large creature, were there any mechanical problems/nightmares?
JB: Many problems, but mostly with the look of the thing, which we weren’t happy with. Regrettably, we didn’t have the time or the budget to remake it, or reshoot it.
JW: Did you have the cast in mind when you wrote BB? Like, "Man, you know who'd be awesome for Royko: Paulie from Rocky!" How did the casting process go?
JB: We didn’t have casting in mind while working on the screenplay, but certainly started having some thoughts after it was done. Executive Producer Sidney Beckerman had lots of good ideas, including actors he’d used before, and many of those ideas were in synch with our own.
JB: Burt Young was forever inventive, and a pleasure to work with. John Saxon became a friend as we made the movie, and remains a friend today. A wonderful guy. Marianna was a delight, and David Huffman totally professional.
JW: Was there a planned sequel with the ending, or were you going to leave it at: "The monster(s) wins. The End.”
JB: There was never a planned sequel, but some great sequel titles, particularly SON OF A BEACH, and BLOODIER BEACH. I’d still like to remake the original…in case you know any lottery winners.