Thursday, August 21, 2014

Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)

Director: William Asher

Writers: William Asher, Leo Townsend

Composer: Les Baxter

Starring: Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Deborah Walley, Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Donna Loren, Marta Kristen, Linda Evans, Timothy Carey, Don Rickles, Paul Lynde, Buster Keaton, The Hondells, Earl Wilson, Bobby Shaw

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Any number can play...but it's better with just two!

Plot: 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 sky-diving surfers Steve and Bonnie from Big Drop for a publicity stunt. With the usual gang of kids and a mermaid named Lorelei.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Dumb, silly, idiotic and sometimes fun, but it's the interesting cast that can't let me pass it up.  It's great seeing Rickles, Lynde, Carey, Lembeck and Keaton (who's got some really funny bits) in one picture.  The humor is way over the top.  I dig slapstick but I wasn't partial to what this picture was serving up.  In fact, I was wondering who was diggin' this stuff 50 years ago.  We watched the film outside on a big screen in my backyard and hung out in the pool which was fun.  It's a film that plays much better when you're watching it with friends.  I wouldn't recommend seeing it alone.  I think the only times I laughed were at the ridiculousness of it all.  Was Avalon wearing a toupee?  The songs are bad to OK with one standout sung by Jackie Ward (lip synced by Linda Evans)...

The end credits were fun and the song was catchy (we were all singing the tune for a few minutes after it was over but quickly forgot it when the second movie started).  It's pretty tame (no surprise) and most of the jokes fall flat but it's an over the top product of its time and it was popular, making lots of dough.  There are a few other films made by the same folks and I'll eventually watch them all and mostly because they're sprinkled with actors I dig. 

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