Welcome to Arrow Beach (1974)

directed by laurence harvey
brut productions

With all the makings of a cult classic, it’s a shame that this plodding soap opera can’t deliver the horror equivalent of, say, Reefer Madness. It does have a dippy drug subplot, though. This turgid melodrama also is in possession of outlandish, dated dialogue that probably felt just as forced and inauthentic then as now, along with a Californian Korean War vet with a British accent and an incestuous relationship, a runaway hippie chick, an Afro-sporting reporter for an underground newspaper called Young People’s Press, a steadfast law ‘n’ order sheriff and his deputies, an aging stripper and a death scene featuring a meat cleaver. Oh, and presumable cannibalism. Despite such an enviable list, this curio fails to keep one’s attention for long. One surmises it may have been intended to Make a Statement about Issues of the Day. The tearjerker ending is unexpected.

why did i watch this movie?

The artwork I first saw made it look a bit more lively. The (as it turns out, somewhat inaccurate) description wasn’t quite so fetching, but all right. Come to think of it, it listed the wrong year as well.

should you watch this movie?

Since I would guess that the major attraction would be how completely out of touch this production seems with its zeitgeist, and any residual retro appeal contained therein, I also must propose that you could find a much more entertaining example of same.

highlight and low point

The wondrous contents of the Air Force vet’s medicine cabinet add a touch of intrigue and the corny slang is amusing throughout, but the utter charade of the sheriff’s reelection stump speech and reception is ineluctable.  As hinted above, the pace is glacial.

rating from outer space: d+

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