[The Wavelength Drive-In Cinema is back for 2021, bringing you a range of surf cinema, cult classics and family favourites from the clifftops of Cornwall, including two screenings of Blue Juice. Browse the full lineup and get your tickets here. Or, subscribe to Wavelength now to get free entry to a screening of your choice.]
While surfing’s long and tumultuous relationship with feature films has been at best, crap, there are always the exceptions that prove the rule.
Among them is the mid 90’s feel good vibes of Blue Juice, where Cool Britannia meets the Cornish surf scene in a funny, entertaining rollick through British shred sensibilities at a time when king skins and Gary Abletts were as much a part of the scene as a banana rockered Fluid Juice (no relation) 6’3” x 17 3/4” with Nose Guard.
With a strong cast of now global stars including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sean Pertwee, Ewan McGregor & Steve Mackintosh, some beautiful locations across the county and an entertaining storyline, the plot is of course, of its time.
These days, the idea of the erring surfing male cowed by the inner conflict of reaching 30 and settling down with his (punching above his weight beautiful) non-surfing girlfriend feels like the heavy hand of the patriarchy trying to keep sistas out of the barrel.
JC (Pertwee) is a Cornish shredder with London based mates who come to visit and test his relationship with Chloe (Zeta-Jones) in various ways. JC is torn between the classic male testosterone challenge of a mythic spot known as The Boneyard, the skulduggery of his drug-dealing, wide boy mates and an around the world surf trip tugging at his various strings.
Aside from the location anoraking to be done (St Agnes, Porthtowan, Mousehole, St Ives and many more) and loads of cool ellipse surf logos peppering the visuals, notably Surfers Against Sewage, Stussy and 100% Mambo, there are also stunt double appearances for the surf scenes by the likes of Brit shredders Gabe Davies and Steve England on location in the hollow reefs of Lanzarote (The Boneyard).
With the various dancefloor scenes filmed at such legendary dens of debauchery as the SAS Ball and Tall Trees nightclub in Newquay, if, in the 90’s, you didn’t know someone who claimed to have been gurning on a podium in a Blue Juice outtake, well then you weren’t really there.
Directed by Carl Prechezer, Blue Juice got a warm reception from the critics, including Empire Magazine who concluded, “Events culminate in a genuinely thrilling surfers-in-peril finalé that’s as good as anything you might see in a movie a hundred times as expensive.”
If you didn’t catch Blue Juice first time around, you need to go and see it, and if you did catch it first time around (or know someone gurning on a podium), even more so.
It may have been a real-life version of Heathcore Williams’ shaper/guru character, who only emerges from the shaping bay to offer spiritual observations and surf forecasts who once remarked, ‘Nostalgia is the file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.’