In a great atmospheric pre-credits sequence, a creature emerges from the sea at dusk and stumbles awkwardly across a beach to a nearby house. In the house, a gorgeous brunette with marvellous silicon-enhanced breasts - honestly, you could rest your pint on them - bathes in the shower.

As the seaweed-encrusted monster approaches, our view is split between its POV and the lovely damsel's assets. Both of which come together when the beast attacks the woman in her shower - the scene culminating with a zoom-in focussing on blood going down the plughole.

Stylish, amusing animated credits follow, then we're introduced to budding journalist Rupert (David Fyfe, BLACK MASS), watching a TV documentary on the sea monster in his flat. He's distracted by the beep of a car horn outside and rushes out to meet his friends Tonya (Erika Smith, SINFUL) and Rodney (Brice Kennedy, RAZORTEETH).

Together they're travelling to Splatter Beach (not too far from Splatter Farm, Tonya remarks). Rupert is keen to visit the beach to investigate reports of mysterious disappearances and alleged monster sightings. Rodney and Tonya are more interested in a music festival being held there that weekend.

By the time the threesome arrive at Splatter Beach, we've witnessed the murder of hen-pecked fisherman Jonathan - and been introduced to muscle-man Duke (Ken Van Sant, WLID CAT), who likes to work out on the beach.

Rupert and his buddies check in to their log cabin, but Rupert is soon evicted by Rodney when he and Tonya get horny. But before long, Rupert meets up with the enigmatic out-of-towner Tess (Erin Brown, a.k.a. Misty Mundae, SICK GIRL; SCREAMING DEAD).

Rupert and Tess share a belief in the existence of the sea monster (she in particular has a specific reason to claim vengeance upon it), and set about trying to find out more about it - but everyone else on the beach seems more preoccupied with the music festival that soon kicks in.

At the end of the day it's left up to Rupert, Tess and Duke to save the day as the revellers continue partying, oblivious to the creature that's picking them off one-by-one ...

SPLATTER BEACH - from John and Mark Polonia (PETER ROTTENTAIL; FEEDERS; HOLLA IF I KILL YA etc) - stays true to the co-directors' oeuvre by being a cheap, dumb shot-on-video affair. The FX are lousy (when there are any - most of the murder scenes involve choppy editing and fake blood simply being thrown across the screen). The acting is enthusiastic but poor (although Brown manages to impress as usual, just by smiling). The story is stick-thin, even for a 70-minute screenplay. And the man-in-a-suit monster is just plain laughable.

But these elements somehow conspire to make a whole that is far more enjoyable than it should be. The spirit of the movie is definitely camp, and the Polonias - if nothing else - have a clear, knowledgeable affection for the movies they are paying homage to.

The go-for-broke mix of schlocky dialogue, zippy storytelling and boobs'n'gore positioned at regular intervals further makes the brothers' intentions clear. As efficient as their editing is, and as enjoyable as the bouncing soundtrack can be, this is not meant to be viewed upon as art. It's cheap, trashy FUN.

While SPLATTER BEACH may seem a tad muted in the gore stakes (it never reaches the offensive heights of the Polonia brothers' feature debut SPLATTER FARM), and Brown manages to keep her kit on, it does at least display plenty of spirit in the greatest exploitation traditions - the opening shower scene; a nifty decapitation; the enjoyably risible script; the amusing misuse of shoddy bluescreen effects.

The score too, by Jon McBride (director of CANNIBAL CAMPOUT) and Trigger Finger, adds to the delirium with its mix of outdated electro-pop and stirring surf-punk. For any further proof of where this film's spirit lies, just check out the tongue-in-cheek opening credits and the ludicrous "Warning" that precedes them.

Camp Motion Pictures have presented SPLATTER BEACH uncut in a fairly packed 2-disc Special Edition.

The film itself is presented in its original full-frame ratio and looks very good - nice sharp images, good colour contrasts and minimal bleeding.

The English 2.0 audio is complaint-free, providing a good loud mix.

As with other Camp releases, there is no scene-selection menu among the animated menu pages, but the film can be navigated through using your remote control handset. It's been split into 15 chapters.

Extras on disc 1 include a commentary track from the Polonias and Van Sant. The siblings dominate the track, offering the occasional giggle in-between largely informative statements. We learn that the film was shot at Lake Eerie over two-and-a-half days, that the Polonias took it in turns to play the monster, and that - in case we hadn't guessed - the film is an homage to the likes of THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH and HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP.

PROFILE: POLONIA BROTHERS is a 23-minute episode of a cable TV show hosted by Van Sant. It's a candid, amiable affair that sees the boys chatting about their career (SPLATTER BEACH is their 27th film!) and is intercut with scenes from their work. It's an interesting watch.

A Behind-The-Scenes featurette follows. It's co-hosted by the Polonias and filmed on location, during the movie's shoot. At 8 minutes in length, it's hardly substantial but is fairly entertaining nevertheless.

HALLUCINATIONS is a 59-minute early shot-on-video production from the Polonias. This is rough-looking due to its age and low-budget origins (there's even a disclaimer on the disc regarding it's video quality). It's watchable, if soft and a little drab colour-wise.

The film itself co-stars the Polonia brothers, and is a very primitive gore movie set in snowy Christmas-time climes. It looks like a home video shot over the Xmas holidays, with a threadbare plot and DIY gore FX thrown in at the last minute.

A music promo clip for Jon McBride's "Surf Cadaver" turns up next, and is fucking terrible. It's hilarious - for a while. But the joke has been devastated completely by the time it ends almost 5 minutes later.

PROFILE: ANTHONY POLONIA is a 17-minute documentary on a younger member of the filmmaking family (a teen complete with the trademark spectacles and moustache). Anthony speaks to the camera about his own short films, and his aspirations to one day be like his favourite director Brett Piper (BITE ME; SHOCK-O-RAMA). Is this a piss-take?!

If you need more extras, they keep coming, with an alternative opening, a music clip by fake band The Riptides (not the whole song, curiously) and two fake TV commercials that are frankly lamentable. Think Troma humour ...

Finally, we get the usual array of Camp trailers - which on this occasion include CANNIBAL CAMPOUT, WOODCHIPPER MASSACRE, GHOUL SCHOOL, VIDEO VIOLENCE, VIDEO VIOLENCE 2, BEAUTY QUEEN BUTCHER and SPLATTER BEACH itself.

Disc 2 is actually an audio CD offering 15 tracks from the film's original soundtrack. The picture CD is nice, mimicking the look of an old vinyl record. As for the contents, we get 5 tracks by the agreeable garage rockers Trigger Finger, and 10 tracks from the slightly more patience-testing electronic pop of McBride. Good stuff for collectors.

Whether the Polonia brothers have learnt anything about filmmaking over the course of their previous 26 movies is debatable. But at least this is fun - and with Brown, breasts, gore, rock music and a dodgy seaweed monster, how can it fail to entertain?

Review by Stu Willis

Released by Camp Motion Pictures
Region 1 - NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review