Spoof of 1960's Beach Party/Gidget surfing movies mixed with slasher horror films stars Lauren Ambrose as Florence Forrest, a not-so-innocent girl in 1960's Malibu who becomes "Chicklet" ...
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Spoof of 1960's Beach Party/Gidget surfing movies mixed with slasher horror films stars Lauren Ambrose as Florence Forrest, a not-so-innocent girl in 1960's Malibu who becomes "Chicklet" the first girl surfer at Malibu Beach, only Florence suffers from dissociative identity disorder and occasionally her alter ego Ann Bowman, a sexually aggressive, foul-speaking girl, comes out in which during that time several beach goers are found murdered. The suspects include Chicklet herself, surfer Kanaka, B-horror film actress Bettina Barnes, exchange student Lars, and even Chicklet's own mother. Written by
Absurdity never seemed so straight and the straight and narrow never took so many turns. Psycho Beach Party is the most outrageous fun since Rocky Horror Picture Show hit the screen. Of all the films that poke fun at male-female, male-male, and female-female sexuality this summer, Psycho Beach Party takes the cake. The comparison is apt. Both films were adapted from successful small theatrical hits. Both films take innocence and sexuality to their extremes. What Rocky Horror did for monster movies, musicals and science fiction, Psycho Beach Party does to psychological thrillers, surfer/Gidget movies and slasher films. Charles Busch, the writer of the film and the play, has been New York's dirty little secret for over a decade. When Busch's "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom" was a hit downtown, I remember seeing people read the marquee, laugh, wince, then laugh again self consciously. Charles Busch brings this same combination of joy and guilt together wonderfully in Psycho Beach Party. He acts in it as well, he's the female detective that looks so damned good in that blue uniform. Its a shame theater doesn't inspire film as often as it once did. Theatrical dialogue, laced as it is the references and innuendo, requires a bit more suspension of disbelief from the audience. I'm not sure the "American Pie" generation is sophisticated enough to sit through something both silly and clever. Everyone shines in this cast, but no one outshines Chiclet. Let's leave it at that, in the wake of the "What Lies Beneath" fiasco, I'll leave the plot for people to discover. Unlike everyone at Universal Studios, I don't think people really want to know what happens before they go to the movies. Director Robert Lee King mocks the cinematic conceit of putting a film within a film not once but four times in less than a minute of screen time. It's a left, a right, a right, and a left knockout punch. And when you finish laughing about it -- King's little stunt will come back to haunt you later that night. Like Rocky Horror Picture Show, Psycho Beach Party is not the campy little trifle you thought you were being served...........
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