Blood Tide (aKa Bloodtide & Demon Island) is a 1982 horror film co-written & directed by Richard Jefferies (Living Hell, Scarecrows, The Vagrant, & Cold Creek Manor). It was co-written & produced by Nico Mastorakis (Island of Death, Blind Date, The Zero Boys, The Wind, Hired to Kill, Nightmare at Noon, & In the Cold of the Night). It was produced by Brian Trenchard-Smith (Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits, Dead End Drive-In, Night of the Demons 2, & Leprechaun 3/4). Blood Tide has been mistaken for public domain over the years when it comes to home video but it’s actually owned by Omega Entertainment & this is the first official release of it since the VHS days.
When treasure hunter Frye (played by: James Earl Jones from the Star Wars franchise, The Sandlot 1/2, The Lion King, & the Jack Ryan franchise) accidentally awakens an ancient sea monster that has been lying dormant on a Greek island. The inhabitants are forced to resume the practice of sacrificing virgins in order to placate the demonic creature. Meanwhile a couple Neil (played by: Martin Kove from The Karate Kid franchise, The Last House on the Left, Rambo: First Blood Part II, & Steele Justice) & Sherry (played by: Mary Louise Weller from Animal House, Q, The Evil, & Forced Vengeance) arrive on the island in search of Neil’s missing sister Madeline (played by: Deborah Shelton from Body Double, Nemesis, Dangerous Cargo, & Silk Degrees). Both Mayor Nereus (played by: José Ferrer from Dune, The Evil That Men Do, The Being, & The Sentinel) & Sister Anna (played by: Lila Kedrova from The Tenant, Torn Curtain, & Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) know more about what’s happening here & the past but they keep these strangers in the dark about it. Can they rescue Madeline & escape the horror that awaits them from the sea????
Blood Tide is more of a slow burn type of horror film. It takes a little bit to get somewhere & it’s heavy on character development. It doesn’t show much of the monster until the 2nd half which it gives it a nice build up but it’s more of a use your own imagination situation. The special fx are solid here plus it has a few bloody outcomes in it. It does drag on at times but it does have some suspenseful moments. Cult veterans Nico Mastorakis & Brian Trenchard-Smith put together this 80’s production that features two Oscar winners. The script is nothing special here but the talented cast make up for it. James Earl Jones didn’t do that many horror films in his career but he was great in Blood Tide. This is one of my favorite characters from him & he’s the best thing about Blood Tide. José Ferrer is shady & willing to cover up anything to keep his town going. I’ve never seen a bad performance from him & this one is no different. It was nice to see him in more of a villain role in this. Martin Kove & Mary Louise Weller have solid chemistry as the leads. Deborah Shelton is beautiful & provides some nice eye candy plus she’s not shy at all. This one doesn’t hold back on the nudity. The entire cast increases the quality of this low budget feature. You definitely have to be patient with Blood Tide but it has a few sub-plots that keep it interesting & the actors featured in it make it worth checking out!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Arrow Video! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is from a 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative. Blood Tide has had so many home video releases over the years. This is due to it’s mistaken identity on the public domain market. Every label possible put this out on a bargain release or multi pack back in the day. Those transfers were all awful & very low quality. This brand new blu ray from Arrow blows them all out of the water. This the best this film has ever looked on home video. It’s almost like a brand new feature because it looks that much better compared to the past. The English: LPCM Mono track has also been remastered. It’s a major improvement & a huge upgrade because this one sounded rough before. The dialogue is very clean, all the chaos has a nice boost to it, & the music is elevated here. Blood Tide has brand new life now, both picture & sound are drastically better than what you remember!
Let’s discuss the special features from Arrow Video! “Audio Commentary” with director Richard Jeffries is moderated by Red Shirt Pictures own Michael Felsher. This track is loaded with information about the production, great questions, a little more history of the production, & background information on the filmmaker himself including his early animation work. It has some nice stories. He brings up the cast, crew, troubles, editing, & locations for it. The original title was Man Shark & they tried to get Paramount to produce it at first. It basically covers everything that you would want to know about Blood Tide & Richard Jeffries. “Swept by the Tide” is an almost 29 minute interview with cult producer Nico Mastorakis. Nico starts out with a hilarious intro. He chats about some of the bigger names he discovered during his career. He talks about working with Paramount & the failed projects over there. He tried to do films with John Carpenter & Ridley Scott there early on but the studio wasn’t interested in them at the time. He tells the story how this project got started & made. He brings up working with Richard Jeffries & giving him a shot for this feature. He goes into detail about a few of his own films like Island of Death. He goes over starting his own network on a few times. He mentions his latest work in documentaries. Plus he shows his appreciation for Arrow Video & the titles that he has released with them so far. It has the original “Trailer”. It has a brand new “Trailer” for Blood Tide. It also has reversible artwork featuring the original poster & a high quality 20 page booklet that has all kinds of information about the movie. I never thought Blood Tide would get a release like this. As always, Arrow Video killed it & resurrected this one from the vaults. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!