After an all-night graduation beach party, a group of hung-over twenty-somethings awake to a beating sun, and a seemingly carnivorous beach that devours anything with a heartbeat that touches the sand.
October 13, 2015
Alex Greenfield, Ben Powell
Brooke Butler as Kaylee
Jamie Kennedy as Beach Patrol Alex
Mitchel Musso as Mitch
The Sand features some horrendous acting. It also showcases some genuinely ludicrous and cringe-worthy dialogue. The special effects are mediocre at best. The plot is paper thin. The film is nearly devoid of action. This is one of those flicks that seems to really have next to nothing going for it. But (yes, you knew there was a ‘but’ on the way!) sometimes movies are so absurdly bad that they’re actually really, really awesome. We’re talking drink with your buddies excessively while you point out everything wrong with a film, awesome.
That’s right, The Sand is so bad it’s awfully good!
The story opens up with a look at a bunch of young drunks having a blast before quickly segueing to a look at a small group of 20-somethings waking on the beach the following day. Well, to be more precise, on objects positioned on the beach. They don’t dare touch the sand, because – as they quickly discover – the moment they do they find themselves stuck, being sucked into the earth, their flesh melting from the bone. For a small group of naïve party kids, the question quickly becomes evident: Can they find a way off of the beach without touching the sand?
Wanna take a swing at the answer?
You don’t need to, because the truth is it doesn’t matter. It never begins to matter, as we don’t care about a single one of these annoying clowns. Every last one of them is cut from the exact same cloth, and that cloth consists of an uncountable number of moronic fibers. They’re complete fools, and as an open minded viewer I immediately found myself hoping each and every last one would meet a gruesome but clever demise. While the whole clever thing flies from the window quickly, these guys do indeed get it, and they get it good.
And we’re laughing at them right out of the gate, from the moment we see the first grain of sand to the moment in which the final credits begin to roll. It’s kind of hard not to, as screenwriters Alex Greenfield and Ben Powell don’t give us much of an option. I’m not convinced that was an accident; it seems these two just have a blast making an intentionally terrible B-movie designed only to put a smile on our faces and help pass the time while we line the pockets of the execs of Anheuser Busch.
It works. Bravo, Mr. Greenfield and Mr. Powell, you’ve done your jobs quite effectively. And while at it, I’ve got to thank director Isaac Gabaeff, the mad man with a sense of humor who takes up space in the director’s chair.
Hurling praise in the direction of the cast borders on unmanageable. But there is one shining star among this group of seemingly (everyone appears to take the material seriously, which seems impossible) aloof performers. That one star is Jamie Kennedy. I know, you’re not shocked to hear that. You won’t be shocked to know that Kennedy’s work in the feature is absolutely awesome, either. Kennedy’s character Beach Patrolman Alex, is a no-nonsense, insult hurling man with a pair of boots and a big ego. The way he trashes these youngsters is just glorious, and even though he himself is completely oblivious to the threat that looms beneath his feet, separated only by a thick rubber sole. This is a priceless character.
At the end of the day there’s nothing obviously great about The Sand. It’s got the feel of a silly B 80s movie, packed with all the wrong decision making, blood and a few boobies. You’re not going to like or remember any of these ignorant children, and you’re not going to be blown away by the performances on display. The special effects will also leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed (I think Gabaeff missed an amazing opportunity to utilize some inspired practical effects, a bonus that would have edged this film much closer to the realm of cult status), as they’re not particularly impressive in any way. But for all those problems there’s still that goofy charm attached to the production and it is hard not to appreciate that. Had this one been any better – technically speaking – it would have fallen into that murky area that only seems to shroud bad films. The mediocrity of it all lends to the overall absurdity of it, which is the only reason this one comfortably avoids a half-star rating.
The Sand is so bad it’s good, and that’s one single sentence that truly does do the film an honest justice.