"Beach Party" was the first of of a series of seven related AIP beach party films. The others are Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Pajama Party, Beach Blanket Bingo, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini and The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini.
In the fourth of the highly successful Frankie and Annette beach party movies, a motorcycle gang led by Eric Von Zipper kidnaps singing star Sugar Kane managed by Bullets, who hires ... See full summary »
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On a college ski weekend, Todd and Craig pretend to be Jane and Nora, a pair of English girls. Their reasons? To meet girls, and to learn to ski. Along the way, Lesley Gore shows up on the ... See full summary »
Elvis is a singing rodeo rider who drifts into an expensive dude ranch patronized by wealthy glamour girls. The owner, Vera Radford, hires Elvis as a stable man. Pretty physical fitness ... See full summary »
Millionaire Harvey Huntington Honeywagon III tries to prove to his colleague Vivian Clements that his chimp, Clyde, is more intelligent than American teenagers. Meanwhile Dee Dee is torn between Frankie and British recording star, the Potato Bug. Eric Von Zipper shows up to aid Harvey's anti-teen campaign. Big Drag shows up with others in a gag bit part. Written by
This sequel to MUSCLE BEACH PARTY (1964) is only slightly better: much of the teen cast returns, as well as Don Rickles (but, having now forsaken muscle-men for drag-strip racing) and even Stevie Wonder. We do get a number of new faces eminent publisher Keenan Wynn (with a practiced simian in tow, he's intent on demonstrating that the youth of today have regressed to pretty much its primitive state!) and schoolteacher Martha Hyer constituting more or less the normal people (they start out as opponents but gradually come to understand and love one another), Harvey Lembeck as the overage leader of a motorcycle gang called Eric Von Zipper (actually, this character had already featured in BEACH PARTY : here, he's prone to falling victim, by his own hand, of Peter Lorre's paralysis-by-touch technique seen at the end of the previous film) and Timothy Carey (appearing very briefly as a pool-playing eccentric who has a werewolf, fitted with a leather jacket, for a sidekick!).
There's even a second role for Frankie Avalon doubling as a legendary mop-top and gap-toothed (essentially a cross between The Beatles and Terry-Thomas!) British singer/racer and, then, there's that great final gag involving Boris Karloff (seen a couple of times from behind throughout but only revealed at the very end as an art dealer interested in Rickles' abstract collection, quipping that he ought to tell his pal Vincent Price noted for his taste in fine art and at the time also contracted to AIP about it!). It's these quasi-surreal elements including the monkey driving Wynn's car (to the recurring consternation of two traffic cops) as well as a dragster, and even doing a bit of surf but extending to the final credits as blonde-with-powerful-hips Candy Johnson is joined in her wild dance by an aged member of Wynn's old folks' home! which render the film that much more enjoyable than its predecessor. Otherwise, we get a lot of the same shtick as before though the beach scenes themselves are thankfully downplayed here; the climax, then, involves a Keystone Kops-type chase which culminates in yet another gratuitous bit of brawling slapstick (this time occurring at Rickles' pseudo-beatnik joint).
Again, the songs are far from classics but, all in all, the film retains some interest (not least in the contribution of cinematographer Floyd Crosby, production designer Daniel Haller and composer Les Baxter all of them synonymous with Roger Corman's contemporaneous horror films based on the writings of Edgar Allan Poe!) in particular for characterizing the transition between two trends in youth-oriented pictures i.e. the Juvenile Delinquent films of the 1950s and the Counter-Culture efforts (advocating drug use and Free Love) that would prevail soon after
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