Monday, February 12, 2018

Phil's Horror Watch: THE SAND (2015) from Monarch Home Video - February 12, 2018

I have a soft spot in my heart for cheesy, low-budget and hilariously bad horror flicks. Now, they don't start out that way, but somehow they end up like that. A lot of hard work goes into making a horror movie, and those involved should be shown respect for their contributions to the genre. But as I stated, the movie still ends up cheesy. And they are fun to watch! Case in point, look no further than the film THE SAND, which I saw not that long ago.

Original Promotional Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: After an all-night graduation beach party, a group of hung-over twenty-somethings awake to a beating sun, and a seemingly carnivorous beach that devours anything with a heartbeat that touches the sand.

The movie looks and feels like a typical SyFy flick, filled with bad acting, traditional stereotypes, cheesy looking CGI, and tasteless nudity. So this movie was right up my alley. But to my surprise, the film was part of the FrightFest Presents banner and it was shown on Showtime Extreme under the title BLOOD SAND, which is why it took me a little bit to track it down.

Writers  Alex Greenfield and  Ben Powell give us a plot that can be described as sheer goofiness on a scale of 9. They take the premise of killer sand and take it to a whole other level. It's sheer lunacy and has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek. But because the idea is so silly, it makes the film fun. I was waiting to see who would be the next victim and see them get "eaten" by the sand. I found myself laughing a lot, but then that's what the film's goal was: to entertain me! Sometimes we, as horror fans, forget to laugh and just need to remember that not all horror films are created equally. At times, I just want to switch off my brain for a bit and just enjoy a movie that's really dumb and funny! Kudos to Greenfield and Powell for accomplishing this in spades!

THE SAND DVD Cover (2015)
The cast is young, dumb, and look sexy as hell while being eaten alive! My personal faves include lead actress Brooke Butler as Kaylee, who's seems to be the only person with a brain that tries to keep her hungover friends alive while looking gorgeous. Genre fans will recognize her as Tracy Bingham from the 2013 film ALL CHEERLEADER DIE. Nikki Leigh's Marsha is the first victim of the sand and is killed topless. Yup, that was a hot looking death. Fans will remember her as Sheila from Charles Band's film UNLUCKY CHARMS from Full Moon Features. Cleo Berry plays Gilbert, who's stuck inside a trash can for most of the movie. He was the token black gut who gets killed but he was damn funny. We also get a special appearance from the one and only Jamie Kennedy as Beach Patrol Alex. Boy, I wonder how much the filmmakers paid to have him appear in this film? But, it was nice seeing him die.

Director Isaac Gabaeff does a fairly good job of setting up fear and chills with this, his second feature film. He's mostly known for working in the art department for TV shows like Queer Eye, Boardwalk Empire, The Following, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mr. Robot, and Gotham. His style is a combination and shaky hand held and stedi-cam. It works for what the film, which is a nod to those old 1950's B-movies from AIP and Roger Corman.

Now I don't know if this was intentional or not, but the premise of the film is very similar to the 1980 film BLOOD BEACH. In that movie, something is attacking people one by one on the beach and mutating some but most of them are sucked into the sand. Yeah, I thought it sounded familiar too. So maybe this film is a remake of that?

THE SAND is a stupid, funny, cheesy, Grade-B horror movie that will satisfy that SyFy original movie heart of yours! If your a fan of SHARKNADO, CAMEL SPIDERS, and DINOCROC VS. SUPERGATOR, then you're gonna love this movie! 4 out of 5 stars! Recommended viewing!

THE SAND is currently available on DVD at your local retailer. The film is also available on Amazon Prime, iTunes and VOD.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the horror!

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