“Today Tina and alcohol are going to have a great cocktail.”
I first heard about this movie via The Book of List edited by Irving Wallace et al. In the list of worst movies, this one, Plan 9 and Robot Monster to me had to be the worst of the worst. Plan 9 and Robot Monster I already knew, so Party Beach had to be something great-bad as well. Right? Wrong.
It was one of the most disappointing bad movies I’ve ever seen. As a result of the failure to live down to its billing, it has become one of my favorite episodes. It isn’t so much bad as annoying. The Del-Aires have that mugging Buddy Holly wannabe I wish was on the plane instead. (note: here is a webpage with an interview with said Buddy Holly wannabe, http://www.badmovieplanet.com/3btheater/tributes/delaires/delairesindex.html) The ‘friendly thin men’ don’t belong on a beach with that many girls. The motorcycle gang would have been beaten up by the Von Zipper gang. The oddly placed moral lessons from Dr. Gavin and Eulabelle just don’t fit. The whole lack of urgency over the killings or in getting the sodium bugs the hell out of me.
More than anything, it is the lack of commitment which bothers me. The first 20 minutes hint at a promising concept-I love the AIP Beach Movie-even if the humor falls flat. Then it devolves into what would be that era’s equivalent of gore (Tina, the slumber party, and the car girls deaths are cut short for the SOL. Mostly it involved smearing chocolate syrup all over the women) somehow without evolving any other part of the plot.
The “romance” between Elaine and Hank is so flat and uninspired. I am glad these two dreadfully dull and boring people found each other. No one else will have to be poisoned by their empty personalities. There is your real monsters, boring people. At the dance (“Summer Love”) there is a shot of a kiss, but not between Elaine and Hank. Random people kissing was more interesting than a kiss between our main characters.
Why are girls still going to the beach? Why are they still hanging out by water? Don’t they know a monster is about? Why would sodium effect a salt water creature?
The last 20 minutes is probably the least urgent chase in movie history. Riveting phone call action!
Watchability: 1 of 5. Disappointing and disjointed. If they had picked a lane and stuck with it, you might have had something. They couldn’t figure out if it was parody, horror, gore or suspense. Bad, but not in the way I wanted it to be all those years ago.
Missing the Riffs: 1 of 5. I would not recommend watching without the SOL crew.