Judge Bryan Pope was expected a little more Frankie and Annette than this one has to offer.
Date. Mate. Mutilate.
(I'm at a loss on this one, so I'll just read from my notes…)
Splatter Beach is silly and stupid. The acting is amateur night stuff, and the directing is atrocious. The blue screen effects have gotta be the worst in cinematic history. The monster—a guy in a rubber suit—kills its victims by, what, smearing red finger paint on them? The writing isn't clever, and the movie is miles away from the neighborhood of scary.
Writing/editing/directing dynamos John and Mark Polonia are entirely aware of all these things, but they're so cheerfully enamored with the process of movie-making that they really don't give a flip. They're having fun; their cast seems to be having fun. And if you're in the right frame of mind, you might just have fun, too. I did. Listening to the Polonia brothers' most righteous feature-length commentary (the best part of Camp Motion Pictures' fine package), I'm reminded of the nerdy kids in school: always on the outer fringe of popularity, always likeable, and always the coolest ones at the school science fair. That's these guys.
I'm also reminded of the Chiodo brothers. You know, the geniuses behind the wicked 1987 cult classic Killer Klowns from Outer Space. They made the movie they wanted to make. I wish the Polonia brothers (they're identical twins, by the way) were as inventive as the Chiodos. They're not, but their hearts are in the right place.
I see shades of the Frankie and Annette beach movies. I also see a nod to Jaws and Psycho (blood swirling down a bathtub drain, duh). The Polonias say their main influence was The Horror of Party Beach. Let's see, horribly mutated creatures emerge from the deep and attack nubile beachgoers? Yep, pretty much on par with Party Beach. Splatter Beach doesn't take itself as seriously as Del Tenney's movie, though. Would that have improved it? Maybe. Maybe not.
Ooo, gratuitous nudity. Cool. Eww, bad urban speak from…let's see, what's his name…Brice Kennedy? The Polonias say he rewrote all of his dialogue. Wow, you go, Brice. And that Ken VanSant guy is kinda funny. He's going places, mark my words.
This isn't the Polonias' first movie. They also made something called Splatter Farm in 1987. Ah, it's even referenced here. They make no apologies for this movie. Judging by the nifty profile the local television station did (also included here), the Polonias are celebrities in their neck of the woods. Good for them.
The movie feels homemade. I could have shot this with my camcorder. Good grief, they shot this in just two and a half days? On Lake Erie? Really, though, the cheapness is its biggest asset. Well, next to the cool band. They're not the Del-Aires, but who could be?
Wow, this is a toughie. Do I give Splatter Beach demerits for being tacky schlock, or do I award high marks for the glee the Polonia twins obviously took in creating such tacky schlock?
The brothers Polonia get an A for effort and for providing a commentary track that made the film worth sitting through…twice. The film scrapes by with a D.
Camp Motion Pictures presents Splatter Beach in its original full-frame format with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. The package comes with an impressive lineup of extra features. In addition to the commentary and director profile, there's a behind-the-scenes featurette; an early Polonia brothers' film called Hallucinations; an interview with musician Jon McBride; a "Surfin' Cadaver" music video; a "Young Filmmaker Profile" of Anthony Pelonia produced by Camp Motion Pictures; a collection of trailers from Camp Motion Pictures; and a bonus Splatter Beach soundtrack CD.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Camp Motion Pictures
• Director/star commentary
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