Friday, July 22, 2011

Beach girls and the Monster (1965).

You can watch the whole film streaming here!

A young girl is killed at the beach in Malibu. Professor Otto Lindsay suspects that it is some form of mutated fish. However, his son Richard, who was a good friend of the girl, thinks that it is a madman who has a grudge against Richard and his friends. Soon the list of victims grows to include one of Rich's surfing buddies, Rich's bitchy stepmother Vicky and his friend Mark who was crippled in an auto accident. Written by Brian Washington VIA IMDB


"Dance Baby Dance"
Written by Frank Sinatra Jr. and Joan Gardner

"More Than Wanting You"
Written and Performed by Arnold Lessing

"There's a Monster in the Surf"
Written by Walker Edmiston and Elaine DuPont
Performed by Elaine DuPont and Kingsley the Lion

Despite the two-star IMDB review, I really like this beach party flick more than many of the others... It takes campiness to the extreme, but its a little less cheerful, less plastic, has better music and is more bizarre than some of the others.  I think the mid-60s black in white film is gritty and lovely, but a truly odd choice for this time period as black and white film was becoming passe, and summer flicks in general were expected to be bright and colorful.  The look of the film reminds me a bit of a Frankie and Annette movie mixed with a Russ Meyer film with a dash of "A Hard Days Night" and "Beat Girl". 

In comparison with some of the more popular beach party movies, this one actually humanizes the adults as their plot is intertwined with the teenage plot line.  The relationships between the grown-ups are the stuff of pure soap opera-- almost as if it was conceived of by a teenage screen writer picturing and the trials and tribulations of adult life.  There is adultery, seduction, and murder abounding.  All in all, its a strange blend of horror, melodrama, who-dun-it mystery, and teen beach party flick.  

The "beach monster" villain of the movie is truly ridiculous!  A man in a bad costume, Scooby-Doo-style for sure.  But to me, this just adds to the kitschy charm.  Not surprisingly, this film is listed among the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book The Official RAZZIE® Movie Guide.  The soundtrack is also quite fun... Word on the street is that Nancy Sinatra, the hit-maker she was at the time, was the first choice for the film music, but she turned down the project.  Who would the second choice be? Her little brother, of course!  Frank Sinatra Jr. sang the title song "Dance baby Dance" 


Surfer Chicks and Slimy Chills! 


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