Schlocktoberfest VIII – Day 8: Welcome to Arrow Beach

Welcome to Arrow Beach (1974)

Trailer:

*Spoilers Throughout*

What’s It About: Like the title suggests, it’s a beach. Full of arrows. And we are welcome to this beach.

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • Apparently the titles are telling us that there’s an old witches tale that warns that once man has the taste for human flesh he will eat it again and again. And again.
  • And again.
  • And again!
  • This hitchhiker just got picked up by a 1933 Ford coupe and for a moment I thought this was an old ZZ Top video.

  • This hippie chick hitch-hiker has no destination. Of course she doesn’t.
  • “I can’t understand why nymphomaniacs never hitch-hike.” How many hitch-hikers has this guy picked up? And how many has he thought were nymphos?
  • I can clearly see the camera crew’s shadows when they show the racing police car in pursuit of the driver trying to impress the hitchhiker chick with his speed demon ways.
  • The Fast and the Furious: Arrow Beach Drift
  • They survived that crash? The car rolled down a hill a few times and they weren’t wearing seatbelts!
  • The police officer suspects the hitch-hiker is underaged but then asks for her ID. What ID does an underaged teen have? Library card? If she was in fact underaged she would have no ID!
  • Arrow Beach is a NUDE BEACH! My arrow’s pointing UP!
  • This title song is hilariously trying to be a Barry White ballad. Oh, it’s sung by Lou Rawls? Nevermind then.
  • I just noticed that this hitchhiker chick is a young Meg Foster. 
  • Nice, now she’s skinny dipping.
  • This creepy guy wearing a pea coat on the beach with a turtle neck and over-sized black sunglasses is definitely not Riff Raff from Rocky Horror.
  • His sister is quite fetching though. Looks like a Bond girl.

Not Morgan Fairchild

  • She is a Bond girl. And possibly a Charlie’s Angel too.
  • Meg Foster keeps reminding me of Kirstie Alley.
  • A grown-up brother & sister living together alone is always a huge red flag.
  • Nice fireplace but why is there a fire going? I’m confused by the climate in this movie. He’s wearing a pea coat and Meg Foster—Robin—is wearing a wool hat with matching poncho but the beach had bathers and she even skinny dipped earlier. So when and where is this beach?
  • This flirting is boring.
  • Why did they show a close-up of this “Beginning Spanish” book that Meg took off the shelf? They were discussing Oscar Wilde a moment ago.
  • Is that a voodoo doll?
  • I’m still wondering what the whole hitch-hiking and car crash scene in the first 10 minutes had to do with the rest of the movie? Seemed really unnecessary.
  • Great close-ups of very rare steaks. It’s making me crave a Keens Porterhouse right now. 
  • But the flick is ruining it by superimposing shots of a police officer, who is the obvious victim and most likely this steak. Way to ruin the reveal that these two at the house are cannibals. Well whatever, the intro titles about the witch’s tale already ruined it.
  • Jason, the creepy pea coat guy, is a vegetarian. A cannibalistic vegetarian I suppose.
  • She literally dropped that plate on purpose in anger at the sister, Grace.
  • Robin asked if they have any dish detergent and Jason asked her “what for?” Like she had nefarious plans to use it with. Also, if they don’t have dish detergent then how do they clean their dishes? Seemed like an odd question from the start.

Not Kirstie Alley

  • This house has an elevator. Cool. But does it have a secret room that you enter through a revolving bookcase? Because it would be a lot cooler if it did.
  • If the house rules are to always lock the bedroom doors at night then that’s another red flag.
  • It just dawned on me that Jason has a British accent while his sister does not. I’m going out on a limb that they are not related.
  • And now he’s having what looks like WWII flashbacks. How old is he then? In his 50s?
  • This kind of plot of a runaway staying with a weird brother/sister couple in a huge mansion would never work these days. And Robin was invited there, it’s not like she was desperate for quick shelter or needed help in a hurry.
  • And circle gets the square, sort of—Jason and Grace just passionately kissed. 
  • Some decent Meg Foster bewb shots.
  • Robin just spent the last 6 minutes slowly going down to the basement where she keeps hearing this loud echoing banging noise. Finally she opens the large door in Jason’s dark room and it’s revealed that he’s chopping up a dead body with a meat cleaver. How loud was he chopping that Robin heard this, while sleeping, from like 4 stories away?
  • Jason is seen fixing the glass panel in the basement window that Robin broke to escape earlier. Does this happen so often that he has spare glass lying around?
  • There’s a trampy drunk blonde leaving a bar with a big burly drunk biker dude named Ape. Just saying.
  • This drunk couple was of tremendous help to Robin in finding the police. In fact, why were they even in this picture?
  • Yeah, why did Jason call the cops after Robin fled his house, when he clearly was doing the wrong-doing? Unless the sheriff is in cahoots with Jason.
  • This music is downright comical for the tone of the film. Sounds like Scooby Doo music.
  • The cops believe Jason and Grace that Robin was doped up and broke into the house and then fled. Mostly because the driver that crashed with Robin the beginning had a bag of coke in his car. So case closed right? Movie’s done right?

Not Richard O’Brien

  • Now Jason is picking up the drunk chick from earlier. I guess she actually did have a purpose to this flick. 
  • Jason is lecturing her about the caliber of fellas she chooses to mingle with because the guy she left the bar with fucked her and left her on the beach outside Jason’s house. If Jason is trying to pick her up like he did Robin, maybe lecturing her isn’t the best method.
  • OH what luck, she’s a model and Jason just so happens to be a photographer!
  • So as expected no one but some young male orderly believes Robin’s story.
  • Wait, so Robin catches a greyhound bus and leaves? That’s all for her? Imagine if Marion Crane managed to survive Norman Bates attack, left and was able to survive and never seen again in Psycho.
  • So, even though they allow Robin to leave with no charges even though they assume she’s a junkie, the police still ran forensics on her belongings? Why do that if she was allowed to go?
  • And the forensics found that the drugs weren’t hers after all. The plot thickens! Are they going to get Robin back?
  • That was an interesting scene—While Jason is photographing the new chick while she models for him and we hear the camera shutters, the scene goes from serene and peaceful poses to death and mutilation while Jason starts hacking away. The only sound is the camera clicks and shutters and each shot is a quick still shot of the mayhem. Nicely done in my opinion.
  • The Sheriff is up for re-election and after a campaign rally, a young African-American lady for an underground newspaper wants to ask him some questions. Mind you, she is dressed in all African garb with a huge afro and the sheriff is as white as can be. Her first question is if he’s for or against off-shore oil drilling. Odd first question for a county sheriff, right? Then. She goes and asks about abortion, porn and nudity. Of course he’s against all that. Not sure what this scene is in here for except to show that the sheriff is uptight and uber conservative.
  • So instead of going to Connecticut from San Diego, Robin sneaks onto the bus bound for San Francisco. I’m not sure where Arrow Beach is but I’m assuming it’s near San Francisco. Unless she just really wanted to go to the city by the bay.
  • So now Robin returns to Arrow Beach so she can meet up with the orderly. I guess she had to leave town first to get the police off her back.
  • But now the one cop who made her leave town and didn’t believe her story and was told by forensics that the drugs weren’t hers is now actively investigating this mystery. There’s only 15 minutes left so this is going to be a very quick investigation.
  • Robin opens up the orderly’s fridge and spots a bag of what looks like meat and starts to panic seeing flashbacks of what she saw Jason doing in the basement. But what’s weird is it’s a large plastic bag filled with very liquid meat. Even I can’t figure out what it actually is. 
  • The orderly doesn’t believe Robin that the drugs aren’t hers. Robin tries to convince him by showing her arms that have no track marks from syringe needles. The orderly, who I think is named Alex, says that “places where a woman can inject a needle defy the imagination.” What a heel! He just lost his one chance to give her his hot beef injection!
  • Robin is trying to convince Alex now about Jason being nefarious and possibly killing people. She then says: “girl people.” Hahaha
  • The cop is dining with his ol’ lady at a restaurant when Alex’s landlady calls the to give the cop the message that Robin is back in town. The hostess tells his wife that he has a message and the wife tells her that she’ll give him the message when he returns from the restroom. The hostess says that he needs to hear the message right away. Did she expect the wife to run the message to him while he’s talking a leak?
  • Well anyway, the wife is annoyed that he’s investigating the case instead of concentrating on her and their date and rips up the message. Blood is on the wife’s hands now.

Not Robert Forster

  • There is only 7 minutes left in this movie while Robin and Alex are checking out Jason’s house. But she can’t find the basement window that she escaped from. This movie is smarter than it seems.
  • But Alex finds some evidence of blood outside one of the windows and demands to enter the house.
  • More of this wacky kid-friendly cartoon mood music. Totally killing the vibe of entering a basement where people are getting chopped up for hamburger meat.
  • Speaking of which, if Jason (sorry he’s a vegetarian) or Grace are cannibals there’s very little evidence of them actually dining on human flesh. 
  • Alex and Robin open up the dark room door and discover a whole meat locker of meat carcasses hanging from the ceiling. Sweet.
  • Somehow even though Alex and Robin didn’t move, Jason still managed to completely miss them with his meat cleaver. I’m not even sure the logistics of how Jason got over to them.
  • After a quick kerfuffle between Jason and Alex, Grace of all people shoots Jason and tells them that he couldn’t help himself.
  • And that’s all folks. Back to the the Lou Rawls ballad. 
  • I’m still wondering if he was an actual vegetarian or not.
  • So the cops, either the sheriff or the one on his date had no bearing on the finale in any way shape or form. More baffling is the whole sheriff running for re-election sub-plot. Meant absolutely nothing. 

Is It Actually Palatable: For a 70s yarn about cannibals it’s not that bad. I mean, the bar is pretty low so far this Schlocktoberfest so that’s not saying too much.

Scariest Entree: The attack on the model with the photography effect was probably the most interesting and unnerving part in the whole movie.

Is It Raw and Bloody:Again, the model photography session scene is a smorgasbord of blood a gore.

Any Mouth-Watering Nudity: Yes. Meg Foster had no shame in showing us all her goods. Too bad we never saw Joanna Pettet disrobe. Was kinda hoping for that to tell the truth.

Most Delectable Line: The movie was a little lacking in the notable quotes department. I chuckled a bit at the “I can’t understand why nymphomaniacs never hitch-hike.” Just because at how dumb it is. 

Most Delicious Scene:Hands-down, the scene I keep mentioning, the photo session slaughter scene.

Most Flavorless Scene: I can easily point out how the sheriff campaign fundraiser scene had zero to do with the rest of the movie. I believe the sister was there but it didn’t matter in the least. Then they had the weird interview with the African-American woman. It was as much filler as a hot dog from a convenience store.

Overall: Comparing this movie to the rest I saw this month is unfair but I would have to say this one was one of the better ranking of the lot. I’m just glad it wasn’t a spoof or even tried to be funny. And sure 80% of the movies we’re watching is about cannibalism, this one was more subtle about it. I can see that it wanted to be a modern-day Psycho with the murder-mystery and lone final girl trying to convince others that something’s shady. I paled in comparison to Psycho, it even pales in comparison to Psycho 3 but I can’t rag on it too much since I enjoyed it somewhat compared to the other slop I watched.

Score: 5 Hitch-hiking Nymphomaniacs (out of 10)

One thought on “Schlocktoberfest VIII – Day 8: Welcome to Arrow Beach

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