Real Wrath of God Stuff

It’s giving the slow, exploitative Blood Tide too much credit to congratulate its biblical, old testament trials. Virgin sacrifice isn’t in this script because anyone involved wanted to call out religious fanaticism. Rather, the suggestion sounded seedy in Blood Tide’s trailer.

If ignoring the marketing allure and taking Blood Tide at its face, the message works. While part of the ‘80s “westerners invade ruins” sub-genre, Blood Tide at least does more with it than deal in jewels, coins, or gold. Locals in the scenic Greek isle Synron live in with fear, based in legend and Catholicism. A monster is loosed (and barely seen on camera), munching on sacrificial woman who swim in his waters, but only because explorer James Earl Jones dares not to believe folklore.

Blood Tide relies on this cast and gorgeous locale. There’s only so much to see though

For as little action as this story holds, there’s a successful ominous quality. Elders look out from the shores, awaiting evil. Nuns cower in their church, rarely seen outside. Kids spend their days blankly staring, never engaged, and likely raised on vengeful Biblical stories. And woman not devoted to the church? They become enslaved to an extent, abused verbally by Jones (acting in a film well below his pay grade), or rejected by the native people.

The monster doesn’t survive Blood Tide. That’s not really a spoiler, so much as how these movies always end. What said creature represents is a metaphorical “tearing off the band-aid” and lifting centuries of oppression. With the demon gone, there’s finally freedom. Religion spun a tale, and that legend finds an explosive end. Rather than take and steal from ruins, the western influence relieves Synron of their curse and cultural isolation. Whether there’s genuine change to follow – say, a resort town – is something left to a sequel, which thankfully, didn’t happen.

Blood Tide finds a little something to draw interest, if ultimately drawn out to excess. Martin Cove’s dull hero does nothing notable. James Earl Jones spouts philosophical words without purpose or merit. Women exist as fodder. If anyone makes pacing tolerable, it’s Jose Ferrer; he’s great, playing the town’s leader, sitting with his cane, piercing outsiders with his glaring eyes. Since there’s hardly anything to mention regarding the serpentine demon or victims, Blood Tide relies on this cast and gorgeous locale. There’s only so much to see though.


Relegated to public domain releases, Arrow’s Blu-ray shows no indication they cared any less for this movie because of its rights status. The immaculate print (save for an occasional but rare scratch down the center) shows no sign of age. Free from dirt or dust, what’s here looks freshly filmed.

Grain rises in shadows, yet still held to high standards at all times. Compression never loses transparency, accurately replicating the analog source in a brilliant HD master.

Blood Tide’s sharpness and texture belie the budgetary restrictions. From the 35mm source, resolution soars. The Greek coast is absurdly defined, from the old buildings to the shorelines. Rocks and sand resolve to an astonishing degree. This continues in close too. Facial texture soars, whether under the sun or in a cave. Vivid contrast helps too.

Strong color and saturation further lifts Blood Tide’s Blu-ray. Flesh tones nail their mark, with other primaries dazzling in their boldness.


Although a little puffy in the lows, the simple audio doesn’t present much challenge. There’s limited scoring, leaving open air and a breeze to fill dead space. Otherwise, it’s dialog.

Jones’ boomy voice sounds great, well preserved by this PCM mono affair. Minimal, acceptable age in terms of fidelity doesn’t cause any bother.


Writer/director Richard Jefferies handles a commentary, but it’s Nico Mastorakis in a separate interview (29 minutes) who really livens this up. He’s such an incredible, vibrant personality, and it’s a joy to hear him talk about his career. A couple of trailers (original and for this Blu-ray) finish things off.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

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While a slog to sit through, at least Blood Tide tries to do something different with an exploitative concept.

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