Willing Sacrifices (Bloodtide, 1982)

Set on a small greek island, a young man, Neil, and his new wife Sherry have arrived looking for his missing sister Madeline. He discovers she is staying with some nuns restoring art and hanging with a gruff treasure hunter named Freye.

The Island locals are secretive and not very friendly. As the film goes on, we discover that there is a dark secret… the locals still sacrifice virgins to a creature that lives under the island. Freye has disturbed the creature from a long slumber. Madeline’s art restoration reveals ancient art of the creature, and the discovery of coins seems to infect the locals with a madness reaching even the children. Meanwhile the visitors are all becoming obsessed with their own goals.

For some reason I always thought this was a killer crocodile film. But while it is a creature feature, it is more of a monster flick. You never see much of the monster, even in the few reveal shots. Otherwise you usually see everything from the monster’s perspective. Thankfully, this actually benefits the movie as you get some absolutely beautiful underwater scenes. This movie makes great visual use of it’s environment.

While a slow moving film, I found myself drawn into the mystery and the characters. Bloodtide has a couple moments that left me scratching my head (a passionate lover’s kiss between brother and sister for example). But really, I enjoyed the film a lot of a visual level and seeing James Earl Jones in a not Darth Vader role was fun.

Bloodtide is a film that got relegated to the bargain DVD bin for years, which is a shame as I found it rather interesting and engaging.

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