Plot: What’s it about?
A team of filmmakers is headed to Australia, in an effort to make an intense documentary on an intense subject, bloodsurfing. This involves surfing in waters infested with sharks and while dangerous, it adds to the rush gained from the point, so it has quickly become quite popular. But since it isn’t known worldwide just yet, this crew of filmmakers hopes to be part of the wave that crosses the globe, making them famous in the process. The members know how dangerous the sport can be, but they expect trouble from sharks, which isn’t what their problem turns out to be. It seems a massive saltwater crocodile has been terrorizing the area and while that means lethal consequences, the crew chooses to remain and shoot as planned. This beast was supposed to be a simple myth or local legend, but it seems he is very real and unlike those sharks, he can chase you across land and water, so there’s nowhere to hide…
I’d have to say Trimark has become the leader in “animal attack” flicks on DVD and with Blood Surf, they add yet another entry to their resume. I usually like these cheese laden animal attack movies, so I was looking forward to this disc and in the end, I wasn’t disappointed. It has some poor moments of course, but it has the needed elements for this genre, so all is well by the time the end credits roll. The writing is weak at best and the acting isn’t much either, but this is not the kind of movie to watch for those elements, so I wasn’t let down much. In truth, I’d say this is one of the worst films I’ve seen, as far as dialogue and character depth, which isn’t a bad thing in this case. I could laugh and laugh at the awful lines these poor actors have been given, really wretched stuff indeed. So we have humorous lines sprinkled all over the place and of course, there’s some breasts and blood, as it should be in a flick like Blood Surf. Not an overdose of either, which sucks, but enough to keep in check with other genre entries. In the end, I recommend Blood Surf to fans of the genre, but if you’re not a fan, this one won’t win over, I can assure you of that.
At the helm of Blood Surf is James Hickox, who has done a few other projects, but still has little experience. I think he delivers this movie in as good shape as possible, given the obvious lack of funds, bad writing, and mediocre young cast. In other words, Hickox was handed a whole lot of nothing and as such, I think he did just fine under those circumstances. Yes, this movie is bad and that’s clear, but it has a lot of humor and does the genre proud, which is about all you can ask for in cases like Blood Surf. You can tell Hickox knew he wasn’t making Citizen Kane and that’s good, as he keeps it based within his skill level and resources. Other films directed by Hickox include The Gardener, Children of the Corn III, and The Storytellers. The cast here includes Taryn Reif (Whipped), Katie Fischer (Sirens, The Real Thing), Susan Africa (Terminal Virus, Going Back), and Joel West (The Smokers, The Giving Tree).
Video: How does it look?
Blood Surf is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. A few small flaws surface here, but they are due to the film’s limited resources, not this transfer. As such, I can find little to complain about here, as the image looks very sharp and clean, with only some slight softness at times to lessen the experience. The colors come across in bold form, with bright hues and minimal problems, while flesh tones remain natural throughout. No real complaints with contrast either, as black levels remain stark and well balanced from start to finish. Of course, the grain laden stock footage used is a real eyesore, but aside from those instances, Blood Surf looks terrific and I commend Trimark for their work here.
Audio: How does it sound?
Even with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, I wasn’t expecting much from this release in terms of audio, but was I ever surprised. This low budget movie has a soundtrack here that would do any blockbuster proud, with all sorts of excellent usage and of course, a very immersive and eerie atmosphere. You need that tense environment in a flick like this, so it is great news that the audio is so good here, to be sure. The surrounds are used often and well, with various directional uses and all sorts of audio tricks to enhance the experience. The dialogue remains clear and crisp however, with no errors to report. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French, in case you’ll need any of those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a seven minute reel of outtakes, a storyboard comparison option, and the film’s trailer.