Day 85

10th January 2003

Thursdays, I have decided are a day of celebration. This is for two reasons; firstly why not? And secondly because the day we are due to sail from here, and the day we are due to arrive in Aveiro are both Thursdays. So Thursday is a kind of pre-anniversary day.

Since it was a day to celebrate, I watched the whole film over lunch. It was probably the trashiest piece of junk I have ever had the misfortune to sit through, but here is the thing; I sat through the entire film. While others left the table one by one, the captain and myself watched the whole sad plot.

Now, I had a fair idea of what the film would be like when I saw it was called ‘Blood Surf’. Maybe it’s just me but the title doesn’t bode well for an intellectually stimulating story. The predictable plot went something like this: A group of attractive young film makers fly to a tropical paradise called ‘Palm Island’ in order to film surfers in shark infested waters. The surfers risk life and limb among the sharks for the footage that will make them rich, when meanwhile a 30-foot long crocodile turns up and starts eating boats and hunting down people. Of course the least desirable characters are picked off first until all are left at the end are the two best looking, these then have to blow up the crocodile to save the world. Or something like that.

Of course the path to saving the world does not run smoothly, and they encounter gunmen, a jungle full of booby traps, and a captain of a decrepit wooden boat who is intent on seeking revenge on the crocodile. He bears a personal grudge since the croc killed his crew. I particularly enjoyed the part when everyone has been saved from the jungle and gunmen by the captain of the decrepit wooden boat when they try to hunt down the crocodile, and film the whole thing. They harpoon it, and for a better shot, decide to get in the water with the thrashing beast. It really is a remarkable crocodile because it has learned to roar, and can do that both above and below the water’s surface. The crocodile breaks free from the harpoons and almost attacks a young, blonde damsel in distress who is plucked from the water by a handsome surfer. Now safely back on the boat with a giant, angry, boat-eating crocodile in hot pursuit, the captain decides in all his wisdom, that the best thing to do would be to steer the boat into a coral reef (why not? It would be folly to steam to safety just as the plot thickens). Everyone with the exception of the captain jumps off the stricken vessel to walk serenely along the reef back to land. The captain is left on board to get eaten in a dramatic fashion by the crocodile who bursts through the hull of the wooden boat in precisely the place the captain was standing. Meanwhile the director who is tired of walking along the jagged coral looks for another route and lo! What should be floating by but a brand new surfboard, what luck! Of course as he skilfully surfs through the crashing waves (which luckily avoid the reef) he surfs right into the crocodiles mouth, literally. The three remaining characters each have a wise line to say about their directors demise, like “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer fellow.” And then there were three, a handsome surfer, a sexy woman and another woman that was attractive but flat chested. Who dies next I hear you cry? Well yes, it’s the flat-chested girl.

The rest of the plot is equally dire and I’ll not bore you with it but I have to tell you how it ends. After trying to kill the crocodile by blowing up a cliff face and causing a rock fall to crush the scaly reptile (why they didn’t blow up the crocodile directly is somewhat of a mystery), the attractive couple lure it off a cliff onto a piercing pinnacle while they swing to safety on a handily placed vine, and lo, they land on a soft mattress of green leaves, and set about another sex scene to conclude the film in a James Bond fashion, discussing if they wanted to be rescued from this tropical paradise. Leaving the viewer to suppose they lived happily ever after in the Garden of Eden or perhaps died of malnutrition and exposure or perhaps by the venom of some jungle creature. I like to think they lived happily ever after because I’m a born optimist, but please god, I hope they didn’t have children and pass on their genes.

Now the disturbing thing about all this is that I enjoyed the film, I laughed heartily all the way through, but what is more disturbing is that the captain also enjoyed the film but didn’t laugh; this leaves me to suspect that he took the film seriously, and that is a very worrying thought.

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