|Index||9 reviews in total|
Staggeringly bad teen-fracas from Paramount begins with animated opening credits that look as if they were drawn by a ten-year-old...and it gets worse from there. Stock surfing footage, a hot rod show, Edd Byrnes showing off his hairy, flabby chest, four guys in drag--"Beach Ball" makes the modest Frankie & Annette "Beach Party" flicks seem masterful by comparison. Odd that a major movie studio like Paramount got caught knocking-off a B-studio series and still came up with a loser. This has some of the worst cinematography, writing, directing and acting I've ever seen in a major commercial release. "Beach Ball" does earn one lone star simply by featuring the fabulous Supremes at the hot rod show, singing the title track and "Surfer Boy" (Diana Ross, sporting an Annette-like bouffant, is far more accomplished at lip-synching than her cohorts, but they look great together and the two songs aren't bad). Otherwise, this "Ball" is deflated. * from ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie follows a kooky college drop out surf band named "the Wigglers" (corniest/funniest made up movie band name ever!) as they party and watusi it up non-stop! They need some bread man, cause this old grump from the music store named Mr. Wolf wants his instruments back! So Edd Kooky Burnns and his Wigglers try to con these nurdy college chicks out of some bread! The square chicks get hip to their plan and since they're such nurds try to devise a plan to get these college drop outs to return to school. DRAGSVILLE!! I seriously love every corn ball thing about this film! My favorite performances are by Mr. Wolf. It's a real hoot when Mr. Wolf gets eyes for the swingin' bikini bunnies that like to go-go it up at the Wigglers pad and forgets all about getting his musical instruments back. Mr. Wolf always ends up waking up the next morning in his pajamas out on the street where the fuzz bust him for indecent exposure. Har har! Watch out for my hero Dick Miller who makes an appearance as a cop! Another funny thing in this movie is all of the Wigglers music! It's like somebody wrote all of their surfin' songs in 5 minutes! My favorite is "We Got Money"!! I find myself singing this tune sometimes just to annoy other people who've seen this film. Another thing I really like about this film is the Hot Rod show with all the boss custom rods. Look for some of Ed Roths wheels in the background. There is also a character based on Ed "Big Daddy" Roth in this film who goes by the name "Little Daddy" which is kind of interesting. This movie also features Aron Kincaid who also is a semi AIP beach party regular so this picture kind of has that AIP feel to it. Oh yeah and this goofy looking guy who was in Gidget Goes to Hawaii was also in this film playing wiggler/Ski diver. Lets see what else do I want to say about this film.. The suprems singing a song called Surfer Boy is kind of funny, and or just plain weird.. The Walker Bros don't really do anything but bore me in this film, I'd much rather hear another goofy song by The Wigglers. The Hondells also make an appearance lip synching to "Buddy Seat" which is cool and kind of funny because a couple of the band members are playing instruments that are not even used in the song. You can really tell that the film makers just slapped this movie together fast (Ed Wood Style) and didn't really care about making the Lip Synched musical performances look believable, unlike in the American International Beach Party Films. If you really want to see the great Hondells in action watch Beach Blanket Bingo or the end of Ski Party.
Best part of movie outside the rock cameos is the cars. Two featured:
Bill Cushenberry's Silhouette which later became an AMT model and one
of the original HotWheels miniatures. Typical early Sixties custom with
open hood, bubble top and tuck and roll interior.
The movie also featured a car show that included Bob Urquhart's 1927 Model T Roadster which appeared on the cover of the October 1962 Hot Rod magazine and numerous other magazines through 1964. Car was powered by a 1954 DeSoto hemi and also featured a Cadillac transmission and Corvette rearend. Car is iconic of the "custom rod" era and is currently owned by Jim Gilliam of Des Moines and is being restored to original condition.
Because of Edd Byrnes, anyone in this movie rates a "3" on the Kevin Bacon scale.
You remember that routine that they used to do on NBC'S Saturday Night, the "Sixties Movie" thing? This is it. The lighting, the music (though persuasive... the Righteous Brothers kick butt), the chicks, the cars, the comic relief. It has "1965" scrawled all over it.
This movie is common for it's species, it's terrible. If there were a
writer, a director, or a plot then it would not even have mattered because
the cast is so terrible that whatever this is (or could have been) is so
beyond help that it needs never be mentioned as a film, or even a mild
stupid form of entertainment.
That said, I have the whole thing on tape and will preserve it forever in my archive.
Besides, the fact it was made for one reason and for one moment in time for a cotton-candy world where teens got their little fix of good-looking boys and girls in swim-suits while set to a compilation of hit songs that made for a perfect Saturday night with the girl next door...it was in essence a time like today where stupid teen movies and bad music dominate the entertainment needs of dumb kids. MTV madness!!!
So, I freaking hate this movie but...
Enough negativity. Let's now focus on the good points, no, Great points. Mixed into this soundtrak of terrible baby music are two moments of greatness. Number one is an appearence by the Walker Brothers. They do a terrible song but for those us of who are huge Scott Walker fans or admireres of the Walker Brothers it is a huge treat to simply look at them, at Scott while he breezes through this odd little movie shoot.
The other moment of pure genius is the performance of the legendary Supremes. We all know the three black girls and Diana and all of those hits etc...but here in this movie there is a song that is amazing, very dark, tonally intriguing, and to my ear one of the most serious pop songs of the early sixties. I have looked hard for this song on any Supremes product but cant find anyhing about it. The words "Surfer Boy" repeat in the chorus but I dont know the actual title of the song.
Without this movie life would be a little less good.
Still sportin' his "Kookie" combed hairdo, but looking a little
long-in-the-tooth to be playing a teenage surfer boy, Edd Byrnes (as
Dick "Dickie" Martin) and his rock 'n' roll group "The Wigglers" are in
danger of losing their unpaid-for musical instruments. The college
drop-outs fear they'll be "show business has-beens at twenty."
Fund-raising Byrnes, sky diver Robert Logan (as Bango), auto racer Aron
Kincaid (as Jack) and skin diver Don Edmonds (as Bob) are a
good-looking quartet. And, there are many nicely-proportioned,
bikini-ready girls to raise your interest...
In an arousing highlight, sweet blonde Chris Noel (as Susan Collins) bounces from her changing room with a parade of bikini-clad cuties. In between enjoying the bodies, you get a severely wigged Diana Ross with the Supremes singing the non-hit title song, the Four Seasons featuring Frankie Valli singing the hit "Dawn (Go Away)" and sandy songs from the Righteous Brothers, the Hondells and the Walker Brothers. Paramount's threadbare swipe at American International's "Beach Party" movies is less than ordinary, but it ends up with some unintended subversive sex play.
***** Beach Ball (9/29/65) Lennie Weinrib ~ Edd Byrnes, Robert Logan, Aron Kincaid, Don Edmonds
I don't know what I'm more angry at - frittering away an hour of my
life watching a chunk of this stinker or that it was released by
Paramount Pictures. What were they thinking? Yeah... yeah. We're the
oldest studio in Hollywood. Know what? Let's chuck all that and put out
a retarded beach movie.
When you see Edd "Kookie" Byrnes on any credit crawl, you know you're deep in the Bay of Crap. He's the leader of a surf band - right! - and they must raise a grand to keep their instruments out of hock. That's it. That's the movie. And there's skydiving, race-car driving, surfing and bikini waxing. ...All at the pace of glacier retreat at the end of the last Ice Age. There are four very lovely young gals who are uptight, neurotic Sybils until some bongo thumping gets them to unwind and uncork the cocoa butter. I hung around until I saw them in some rather tame bikinis and then hung it up.
This should be a drinking game. Everyone can knock one back every time someone in the cast says "daddio". Then, relax wait for those DTs to kick in. Oh... and vomit your guts out.
I only tuned into this film for a few minutes, but it was worth it...to see
the Supremes (from Detroit's Motown label) singing surfing songs. Anyone
who knows the geography of Detroit and the color of the Supremes knows why
this is so fascinating.
Of particular splendor is Diana Ross' hairdo -- a beehive with what I can only guess is supposed to be a "wave" on one side.
Let's see. . .twentysomethings who's only goal in life seems to be partying, comic book villain types who want to spoil their fun, popular R&B and rock groups of the day. Must be a 1960's beach movie! If you see this on video, fast forward to the musical acts, in particular, The Supremes singing "Surfer Boy". Otherwise, this movie is forgettable.
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