People are disappearing from a Santa Monica beach, seemingly devoured by the sand...or something in it. John Saxon is the veteran local cop trying to find the culprit, with hammy Burt Young as the displaced Chicago cop attempting to conduct his own investigation, with his African-American partner (Otis Young, a long way from 'The Last Detail'). Stefan Gierasch is the resident know-it-all science guy (well, a coroner, really). David Huffman, as what surpasses here for a main character, is a Harbour Patrol guy, whose old flame returns after her mother is killed .
There was a way to make this Jeffrey Bloom horror pic work, but it goes undiscovered by anyone involved in the making of this bland film. If ever a film cried out for huge dollops of sex and violence, this was it. But there’s not much of it, and thanks to cinematographer Steve Poster, you can’t really see much else, either. Poster should’ve been fired for his lame work here, it’s far too dark and ugly-looking.
Meanwhile, someone should’ve fired Burt Young too. He does the same Uncle Paulie schtick he always does, but his clearly Noo Yawk cop (OK, so he’s meant to be from Chicago, but he sounds like a Noo Yawker to my ears) doesn’t belong here in California, neither does his insensitive schtick that stands out like a sore thumb. Actually, fire everyone in the cast, including the supremely mannered Gierasch, who makes Burt Young look subtle by comparison.
Worst of all, the film does the least interesting thing with its possibly interesting premise. A malevolent beach may be pretty silly, but at least it’s more original (and entertaining- some of the attack scenes are entertaining, often stupidly so) than what we’re eventually given.
Not an awful movie (there’s a nice scene involving a whole lot of dead bodies and severed heads), just blah in every respect, including the non-ending.