Modern Pulp Jan 24 2009
BLOOD AND SAND
28 years ago today Blood Beach was released. But why?

Time: circa 1980.

Place: the offices of Compass International Pictures.

People: CIP execs, several potential third party investors, and writer/director Jeffrey Bloom.

Pitch: Bloom has explained the premise of his film. He’s said it’s Jaws, but on the sand. It’s the anti-Jaws, on the anti-ocean. But it’s better than Jaws because it shows what a hollow conceit it was to assume the ocean was even reachable. What arrogance. What hubris. “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water,” Bloom says, tossing out what he hopes to use as the film’s tagline, “you can’t get to it!”

Reaction: The money men nod. All of this is of merely passing interest, because they don’t care about anything but profit, truth be told. These are the same people who just produced the theatrical release Roller Boogie. If they can get a good movie for their investment, okay, because who wouldn’t want to hear “And the winner is Blood Beach!” at the next Academy Awards? But mainly they just want to make money.

One of them says, “It sounds good, Jeffrey, but we’re worried about the special effects budget. These monster movies, they all want the moon for budget and most of it seems to go into the effects. Spielberg spent millions on that mechanical fish. He could have made eight, maybe nine percent more profit by cutting back on the fish, maybe used a rubber fish, know what I mean? But these artist types, you can’t tell them anything. So, without putting too fine a point on it—exactly how much is this vicious sand monster going to cost us?”

Response: Bloom is ready for this moment. He’s replayed it in his mind a hundred times. It’s crucial now to get the wording precise. He says, “Nothing—because you never really see it.

Result: Shellshocked silence at having bathed in the pure white light of genius, except for one money man, who makes a slurping sound as he wipes away the saliva that’s started to trickle from the corner of his mouth. And then, in unison, the money men scream: “It’s a go! Make it hap’n cap’n! What are we, paying you by the hour? Haven’t you left yet? Go go go!

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 21
1911—Mona Lisa Disappears
Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, aka La Gioconda, is stolen from the Louvre. After many wild theories and false leads, it turns out the painting was snatched by museum employee Vincenzo Peruggia.
August 20
1940—Trotsky Iced in Mexico
In Mexico City exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is fatally wounded with an ice axe (not an ice pick) by Soviet agent Ramon Mercader. Trotsky dies the next day.
1968—Prague Spring Ends
200,000 Warsaw Pact troops backed by 5,000 tanks invade Czechoslovakia to end the Prague Spring political liberalization movement.
1986—Sherrill Goes Postal
In Edmond, Oklahoma, United States postal employee Patrick Sherrill shoots and kills fourteen of his co-workers and then commits suicide.
August 19
1953—Mohammed Mossadegh Overthrown in Iran
At the instigation of the CIA, Prime Minster of Iran Mohammed Mossadegh is overthrown and the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi is installed as leader of the country.
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