Blood Surf (2000)
By: Craig Villinger on August 17, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Trimark (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. English, Spanish, French subtitles. 87 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: James D.R. Hickox
Starring: Dax Miller, Kate Fischer, Matt Borlenghi, Tara Reif, Duncan Regehr
Screenplay: Sam Bernard, Robert L. Levy
Country: USA
AKA: Krocodylus
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
In 1997 Anaconda opened the flood gates wide, causing wave after wave of killer snake movies to be unleashed onto the world. King Cobra, Boa, Python, Boa vs. Python… killer snakes were everywhere, and to this day, over a decade on, it seems as though no more than a few months goes by without another super sized snake movie hitting the shelves. A couple of years after Anaconda a killer crocodile movie called Lake Placid was released, and although its effect on the world of straight-to-video horror wasn't quite as significant, several killer croc cash-ins were produced quickly in its wake, including Tobe Hooper's Crocodile, and the movie we are about to devote the next few minutes of our lives to, Blood Surf.

Reality TV inspired horror rears its ugly head once again (although, to be fair it hadn't been done to death when this flick was first made) as an uber-slimy TV producer, a spunky camera chick with nice knockers, and two surfer dudes set out to shoot a documentary on "Blood Surfing" – an extreme sports activity that involves throwing loads of chum overboard, cutting one's foot, and then jumping into the water to hang ten on the shark infested waves. Now that is extreme dude. To the max!

Yeah, so anyway, after heading to a picturesque coastal island location and filming a few minutes of footage the group begins to suspect that something is "Not right", and not long after the crew of their chartered boat are gobbled up by an unseen assailant they learn that the area is also home to an entirely different predator that might just make the sharks look like a bunch of blouse-wearing sissy boys: a 31 foot long, 3000 pound salt water crocodile! A grizzled old sea captain shows up to save the day, but unfortunately he's got himself a bad case of Quint syndrome and is itching to settle a few scores with the scaly beast before he'll deliver anyone to safety, and when a bunch of pirates are also thrown into the mix… well, let's just say the croc might not be going hungry for a few days.

Blood Surf was directed by James D.R. Hickox, who is the brother of Anthony Hickox. Anthony has actually directed a number of entertaining b-movies over the years, including Hellrasier III: Hell on Earth, Waxwork, and Submerged, which is one of Steven Seagal's least dreadful post-Exit Wounds straight-to-video efforts, but unfortunately Anthony must have hogged whatever filmmaker genes were made available to his generation as brother James D.R. doesn't appear to be in the same league. To be fair though, the chubby finger of blame for Blood Surf's overall stinkiness shouldn't be waggled entirely in his direction – the film is a potpourri of lousy acting, boring and clichéd scripting, and amateurish special effects that combines to create a mostly unsatisfying viewing experience.

The first half hour or so actually isn't too bad. The film takes a while to get to the croc action, however the build-up is far from a slow one and showcases some picturesque locations, with lashings of almost amusing humour and gratuitous sex and topless-ness thrown in. Even the "blood surfing" sequence was kind of cool, despite some crappy shark CGI. Once the croc shows up however things go downhill fast, which is actually a surprise since the appearance of a crocodile should make any movie more entertaining. The croc doesn't get a lot of screen time, which is probably a good thing as the special effects – a combination of lifeless rubber models and dull CGI – rarely impress, and most of the attack sequences don't have the tension or the excessive visceral punch needed to elevate a cheap production like this to a watchable level.

Looking back now I really should have enjoyed this movie. It's got an exotic tropical location, hot women (two of whom get their tops off – yay!), stupid testosterone fuelled macho dudes, cheesiness, and of course a big fuck-off crocodile, but after about twenty minutes it just became boring and lost me, and even though a few cool things happened – like a man being bitten in half at the waist – my interest never returned.

The presence of famed Aussie model and "party girl" Katie Fischer is about the only other thing worth noting here, if only to point out the fact that she is not one of the aforementioned two topless chicks. Like most of the cast, Fisher's acting is average at best, and she actually appears to be over-exaggerating her native accent, perhaps in an attempt to play up to the Aussie sterotype for the American filmmakers by sounding really Australian. Even though, quite sadly, she does keep her two greatest assets concealed (only barely mind you – and she did whip them out during her much classier acting debut in Sirens, so we'll always have that), they do play a part in one the movies most memorable gags involving 'croc teasing'.
Video
Blood Surf is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement, and overall, the image quality is more than decent. Colours are particularly impressive, highlighting the blues of the ocean and the greens of Blood Surf's lush tropical locations.
Audio
Blood Surf comes with a 5.1 channel audio track which, unlike the film itself, is surprisingly good. The rear channels aren't overly used but they do get a regular workout with both music and subtle ambient effects coming through at times. The croc carnage sequences are enhanced, albeit slightly, by some aggressive activity from the entire soundstage.
Extra Features
Not a whopping selection. All we get is a roughly thrown together seven minute collection of behind-the-scenes footage and outtakes, and an option that allows the viewer to bring up a selection of Storyboards during the feature presentation.

An Easter Egg on the main menu also gives us access to a trio of trailers.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
I shall resist the overwhelming urge to refer to this movie as a "Croc" and instead simply say that it isn't worth your time. It's got the nudity and it's got the cheese and it's got the rubbery monster, but what it doesn't have is entertainment value. As far as killer crocodile movies go this isn't a good one, and considering the fact that even at its best the sub-genre doesn't raise the bar too high that's really saying something.

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