Skip to content

Welcome to Arrow Beach (1974)

aka Tender Flesh

For his final film before his untimely death, one time Oscar nominee, Laurence Harvey, enters the world of Herschell Gordon Lewis by starring in and directing this bloody tale of murder and cannibalism. Thankfully he brings along a decent cast though I’m sure they’d all tell us this wasn’t their finest moment. Having said that, fans of 70’s schlock will probably find much to enjoy here in this rare film that was released following Harvey’s death.

Meg Foster stars as a young woman in an era of free love and drugs. She’s hitchhiking her way across California and isn’t very lucky when it comes to meeting strangers on her journey. First up is a very “hands on” Jesse Vint who picks her up in his hot rod doing high speeds that gets him spotted by patrol officer, Stuart Whitman. After a spectacular car crash, Foster is once again on her way and wanders down to the private waterfront of Arrow beach. Dropping her clothes, she wanders out into the surf under the watchful eye of Harvey who will saunter down to the beach and do his best to befriend the young woman. A dinner invitation soon follows. It’s at this point when we meet his sister, Joanna Pettet, that something seems amiss.

A quick edit to the oh so bloody cut of meat Foster enjoys for dinner while both Pettet and Harvey look on in what appears to be a painful disgust. The conversation at the table drifts around to her background like so many of these films do. Harvey seems delighted that she has no next of kin and is all alone in this big wide world. Surely you get the point I’m trying to make. A night of terror is about to be realized for the woman with the striking eyes. If you know Meg Foster than you know exactly what I mean. She’ll follow her intuition down to the basement where Harvey has a photography studio and more. When she sees Harvey in a butcher’s outfit wielding a meat cleaver dripping with thick red blood, the screaming begins and fortunately Meg does get away.

Bloodied and in shock, Meg will have to overcome the police department’s assumption that she’s just a drugged up hippie. That’s exactly what Whitman and his police chief, John Ireland, think she is. Now it’s up to Meg to convince them that the wealthy and respected Harvey has a secret hidden in the basement of his beach front estate.

Gore? While not quite in the same league as H.G. Lewis, Harvey does inject a gruesome scene where following Foster’s escape, he does lure an aging stripper to his photo lab that will end in a very crimson colored photo session. Meat cleaver in hand, I’m almost tempted to think this may have been influenced by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but the timelines don’t match up.

Choppy, an awkward soundtrack and a stomach churning topic puts Harvey a long way from classics like The Manchurian Candidate or blockbusters like The Alamo. Harvey was only 45 years of age at the time of his death due to stomach cancer following the completion of this film that was only his second official directorial job. The other being 1963’s The Ceremony. While I haven’t seen the earlier film, it’s notable that John Ireland also appeared in that film as well as Arrow Beach under Harvey’s guidance.

Ireland was no stranger to the low budget horror genre having appeared in titles like House of the Seven Corpses and Satan’s Cheerleaders among others. Both he and Stuart Whitman appeared together in a number of films during the decade along with Arrow Beach. Titles like Guyana Cult of the Damned, Maniac and Delta Fox. Truthfully neither one of them have all that much to do in this one other than add some name recognition to the 84 minute running time. Whitman was also becoming a regular in this type of fare. Ruby, Demonoid and The Monster Club being some examples.

I’m not sure if this is a readily available title but I suspect not. It’s hardly received any votes on the IMDB and aside from one copy that I was lucky enough to come across, I’ve not seen it before or since. As for the Tender Flesh title? The trailer included on the disc I have is using the more graphic title. Mind you if you didn’t know what the film was about, that title could also have served as a risqué one for the growing adult films populating the dimly lit theaters of the day on the famed 42nd street I continue to read or hear about in books and documentaries.

6 Comments »

  1. Never heard of this one, but a lot of names in that cast list. And I thought I hadn’t heard of Meg Foster until I saw her photo…oh yeah, I know her! From about a million TV shows of the 1970s! And a 1971 movie called ‘The Todd Killings’, which for obvious reasons I’ll have to watch and review for the CM site!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

CINESPIRIA

Shining a light on the deep recesses of film history

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

CINESPIRIA

Shining a light on the deep recesses of film history

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

%d bloggers like this: