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 15
1969—Woodstock Festival Begins
The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, which was billed as an Aquarian Exposition, takes place on a 600 acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. It would run for three sometimes rainy days and feature thirty-two acts performing at all hours of the day and night. Today the festival is regarded as one of the greatest events in popular music history.
1977—Radio Signal Arrives from Deep Space
An unidentified radio signal, nicknamed the WOW Signal for the notation a scientist made on a computer readout, is briefly detected by the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project's Big Ear radio telescope. Despite a month of searching the same section of space, the signal is never found again.
August 14
1912—U.S. Invades Nicaragua
United States Marines invade Nicaragua to support the U.S.-backed government installed there after José Santos Zelaya had resigned three years earlier. American troops remain for eleven years.
1936—Last Public Execution in U.S.
Rainey Bethea, who had been convicted of rape and murder, is hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky in what is the last public execution performed in the United States.
August 13
1995—Mickey Mantle Dies
New York Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle dies of complications from cancer, after receiving a liver transplant. He was one of the greatest baseball players ever, but he was also an alcoholic and played drunk, hungover, and unprepared. He once said about himself, "Sometimes I think if I had the same body and the same natural ability and someone else's brain, who knows how good a player I might have been."
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