Ahh, a movie from the Sci-Fi Classics with the surprise bonus of starring James Earl Jones. How’s that for a bit of a shocker. Now I think I might have seen this before on some sort of spoof show but it wasn’t on Elvira’s Movie Macabre or MST3K so apparently that was not the case. I guess I just watched it on TV late one night. Anyways, I remember this to be a rather odd movie that didn’t seem to make much sense when I watched it a few years ago. Let’s see if my opinion stays the same as I rewatch Blood Tide.
The plot: In Ancient Greece, an island village would initiate a virgin sacrifice in order to appease the monster that lurked beneath the ocean’s waves, sending the victim out on a raft into a cave where the creature lives. In the present day, Neil Grice and his new wife Sherry have come to a Greece island to look for Neil’s sister Madeline, who has gone missing for the past 4 months. After a brief scare when some children throw a cat at them, they encounter Nereus, the mayor of the island village, who invites them to the local inn. As they talk, Neil shows him a picture of Madeline but Nereus tells them that he hasn’t seen her. As Dionysis, the inn keeper, pours them some wine, Neil asks him if he had seen Madeline and Dionysis spills some wine as he looks up in shock but Nereus chastises him, then offers them a toast before telling them it would be best that they leave in the morning. As they walk to their boat, Neil tells Barbara that he doesn’t believe what they said when they see someone that looks like Madeline. Neil tells Sherry to wait by the boat while he goes looking for the girl and eventually finds Madeline with a man named Frye, who holds a knife to Neil’s throat until Madeline tells Frye that Neil is her brother. As the 4 of them return to the inn, Frye speaks in some rather cryptic sentences until Madeline tells him to cut it out, and he starts talking normal. Neil then asks Madeline what is going on but she tells him she is fine, though Frye says that she has gone somewhat native. The group is joined by a woman named Barbara, who works as Frye’s assistant and he tells them that he is something of an amateur archaeologist. Barbara tells them to be careful if they go diving, as the natives get rather cross if they remove anything from the ocean. When Frye comments about the hillside and tells Madeline that she should tell them about it, as the nuns would love it, but Madeline tells Frye to be quiet, then leaves. That night, Neil and Sherry are in their boat when Neil notices that everything has gotten quiet but Sherry tells him he is worrying too much. Meanwhile, Frye is preparing to go on another dive and Barbara tries to talk him out of it but he tells her that everything he is looking for is down below, then reminds her not to turn on any lights or make a sound before he falls back into the water. Frye surfaces in an underwater cave, where he has already placed a generator and some lights to help him see. As he moves around some old coins he found and places them in a bag, he grabs some plastique and uses it to blow open a sealed doorway right at the waterline. The explosions shakes the island, waking Madeline, who had been watching Frye’s boat from the monastery that she had been staying at, as well as Nereus. Madeline goes back to sleep, where she dreams about virgin sacrifices of old and sees herself being offered up as one. The next day, Neil, Sherry, Frye, Barbara, and Madeline head to a secluded cove to hang out, and as Neil goes out for a swim, Sherry attempts to talk to Madeline and hands her a present that Neil and her got for her but Madeline pours the entire bottle on herself, then heads into the water, acting as if she is in a trance. A little while later, they all head out on Neil’s boat but as they go across the water, they end up hitting something. Frye dives down to check the bottom of the boat and says that the one of the props is cracked but says he doesn’t know what they hit and as Neil heads back to the pilot’s deck, Frye looks at the sludge on his hand that he found on the prop. They make their way back to the dock to find Nereus and some other men there, who tell them a young girl has gone missing in the water and that no boats will sail in their waters until further notice. Madeline returns to the monastery and is told that Sister Anna wants to see her and when she goes to see her, she tells Sister Anna about the missing girl and how the villagers are trying to blame her brother for he disappearance. Madeline and Sister Anna then discuss the paintings that Madeline has been restoring and Sister Anna says she is worried that Madeline has stopped attending mass and begs her to start taking communion again. Meanwhile, Barbara heads back out to her cove to go swimming, startled when she notice a couple of guys watching her as she swims topless, when she is suddenly dragged underwater, as blood billows out in the water. The men head back to the village and tell everyone of her disappearance and as Neil, Sherry, and Frye ask what is going on, Nereus shows them Barbara’s radio and bag and tell them she was killed by a shark attack. Frye doesn’t believe it and when they notice a boat coming back to the dock, they asks if they had Barbara with them but they had the missing girl’s body. Frye stumbles down to the cove calling out for Barbara when he sees some kids staring at something on the shore and when he heads over there, he finds Barbara’s body, in several pieces, covered in the same sludge he pulled from Neil’s boat. The village has a funeral for the girl and Barbara and a drunken Frye yells at them for doing their “voodoo” on her but Nereus simply places a coin in her mouth to pay Charon. Later, Neil and Sherry take their boat out to Frye’s boat but don’t see him on board and they wonder what he is doing down there. Frye has gone back to the cave, and as he moves around the newly opened area, collecting the treasure he found, he hears a roar coming from further in the cave and decides to investigate. Back on Frye’s boat, Neil is contemplating using his tanks to go search for Frye and Sherry is trying to talk him out of it but he goes ahead and heads down anyways. Neil finds the cave and as he surfaces and looks around, he finds Frye pointing a spear gun at him. Frye accuses Neil of sabotaging his gear but Neil says that this is the first time he had dove and been in the cave. Frye is spooked and begins filling bags with the coins he had discovered and as Neil asks what is going on between him and Madeline, Frye tells him that Madeline was the one that brought him here but something happened to change her. He then tells Neil that he and Sherry should leave, just as he is going to be leaving. Neil and Sherry head up to the monastery to confront Madeline and as they look through her room, Sister Anna confronts them and tells them they need to leave as they have brought nothing but death since they showed up. Sherry wants to leave but Neil tells her he won’t leave without his sister and yells out for Madeline that they will be waiting for her, not noticing her hiding behind a wall. Meanwhile, Frye returns to his boat and notices some kids on the cliffs mark the lone girl in the group’s forehead, then begin dancing around in a circle. As the girl’s mother shows up on the rocks below and screams out for her daughter, the boys let go of her hand and the daughter ends up falling off the cliff into the water below. The mother screams out and heads into the water to look for her daughter but is attacked and killed by the creature while Frye gets into a dinghy tethered to his boat and rescues the girl. As he looks for the mother, he dives back underwater to search for her only to see the creature being savaged by the creature. Frye returns to the dock to find Nereus waiting for him and as Nereus stares at the coins without comment, Frye hands over the girl and tells him that the mother is dead and Nereus tells him that he has seen his own death. That night, Neil and Sherry find Frye drunk at the inn and he tries to tell them what he saw but passes out drunk. Meanwhile, Madeline is continuing to restore the paintings and Sister Anna tells her to stop for the night but Madeline tells her that she must finish what she started. Back in the village, Nereus approaches Neil and Sherry and tells them not to interfere, as they do a ceremony where the girl that Frye saved is marked with a symbol on her forehead and a man wearing a monster’s mask jumps down to grab her, symbolizing the virgin sacrifice. Frye wakes up from his stupor as Sherry screams and Nereus then explains the ceremony to Neil and Sherry. Back at the monastery, Madeline finishes the painting and is shocked at what she sees and screams out while the nuns continue praying. Back at the village, Sister Anna shows up at the inn wounded and tells them that Madeline has gone crazy and Neil and Frye rush out to find her. When They arrives at the monastery, Neil is shocked to see the nuns have all been killed and Frye sees the painting and realizes what Madeline is going to do. Madeline heads out into the ocean and makes her way to the underwater cave, where she lays down on the rocks in the cave. Neil and Frye head out to the ocean and then dive down into the cave to rescue Madeline. When they find her, Frye tells Neil to get her out of there and he forces her to use the regulator and they swim away. Meanwhile, Frye dives down to confront the creature and as it moves towards him, he detonates the explosives he was carrying, killing himself and the creature while sealing the cave for good. In the village, Nereus tells Sherry it is over while Neil comforts Madeline, who is shaken by what transpired. The next day, Nereus and the girl watch as Neil, Sherry, and Madeline leave the island and as they sail away, Neil takes the bag of coins that Frye gave him and dumps it into the water, not wanting to take any part of the island with them.
This would be a decent movie if it actually made more sense. Of course, I had a handicap while watching it today as I had my two year old niece vying for my attention. Anyways, the acting was pretty good, with James Earl Jones doing a good job as the somewhat mad Frye, while Martin Kove (Neil), Jose Ferrer (Nereus), and Deborah Shelton (Madeline) also did a good job in their roles. The story was honestly still a little confusing in the details, but the basic gist was easy to follow. Frye accidentally unleashes a monster that had been sealed up in ancient times and it begins killing people in the village. The thing that I still don’t really get is the deal with Madeline and how she kind of goes psychotic while working on the paintings. The monster looked pretty ridiculous the brief times that you see it while some of the camera work underwater when it was featured looked a little cheap. Confusing plot elements aside, it’s a decent movie that is good for some late night mindless vegging.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5