Story: As a group of kids try to party on the beach, they have no idea their lives are about to change forver with the arrival of a mysterious stranger. The weenie roast is interrupted by a Native American shaman, who weaves the tale of a vicious, supernatural predator in the waters, a shark of legend. The shaman turns over some mystical items and tells the boys they are now the protectors of the beach, which means that one day, they could have to return to battle the evil that lies dormant under the waves. This is a task the kids take seriously, hiding the relics for future use and engaging in a blood pact to go to war with the shark if called on. A decade later, the kids have turned into teenagers and of course, they have reunited at their beloved beach. This was to be a summer of fun and debauchery, but that isn’t how the path unfolds. The legendary shark is not only back to wreak havoc, but the beast devours one of the teens, which triggers the blood pact into action. But can a few teens take down a mystical shark, even as they try to navigate the growing pains of youth?
Entertainment Value: Deep Blood has some real promising elements, with Joe D’Amato at the helm and a narrative that includes a killer shark, poorly acted teen melodrama, and Native American mysticism, but the end result fails to cash in on all that potential. The movie has its moments, but is often bogged down in dull, slow paced stretches that grind the good times to a halt. D’Amato opts to focus on the teen melodrama, which does provide some humorous dialogue and awkward sequences, but in most scenes feels almost like a chore, as little happens and many scenes come off as filler. I wanted more shark, more occult chaos, and more schlock, which sadly aren’t ingredients dished out in substantial volumes. I did appreciate the wackiness when it was around, as there is some fun to be had here, I just wish Deep Blood wasn’t so slow and reserved. A Joe D’Amato sharksploitation flick sounds insane, whereas the movie winds up being rather forgettable. When Deep Blood goes for it, it can be a fun watch, but overall, it feels like a missed opportunity for cinematic madness. Even so, I doubt fans of D’Amato or shark attack cinema will be able to resist the siren song of Deep Blood, even if just out of pure curiosity.
No nakedness in this one, just some very mild romance at times. This might surprise those looking for D’Amato style sleaze, but given that the narrative is anchored as a teen melodrama, it kinda makes sense. Even so, I think some wild sleaze would have ramped up the Deep Blood experience. That drought continues into the blood quotient, which is almost empty, save some light red stuff during shark attacks. I think this is a real swing and a miss, as some carnage or creative, even hokey gore effects would have been a lot of fun here. I especially wanted to see some of the more annoying characters killed off in horrific fashion, but no such luck. The dialogue moves the needle a little more, with a solid amount of awkward and stilted lines to bask in. The melodrama ratchets up the wackiness, which is then further enhanced by the often terrible performances involved. If there was more of the wooden acting and off the wall lines and scenes, Deep Blood could have been a contender. But I still had some fun with the scenes where the movie does embrace the schlock. On the craziness scale, Deep Blood racks up a few points, but never runs with the wackiness enough to build a high score. I appreciated the more colorful performances, awkward dialogue, inept fishing techniques, very sweaty police officer, contemplative weenie roast, and the shark related scenes, however.
Overall Insanity: 3/10
The Disc: Severin Films has uncorked Deep Blood with a new 2k scan from the original negative, which is certain to delight shark cinema aficionados. The print looks terrific and exceeded my expectations, producing a clean and crisp visual presence throughout. I found detail to be rock solid, a little soft at times perhaps, but that seems to be a source issue. The colors are bright and the beach visuals shine, while black levels are stark and accurate. Severin has shined up this deep cut in impressive fashion and viewers are in for a real treat here. On the extras front, this disc includes the film’s trailer.