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07 August, 2010

Junkyardfilm.com's Moldy Oldie Movie of the Month: BEACH GIRLS AND THE MONSTER

Title:  BEACH GIRLS AND THE MONSTER

Year of Release—Film:  1965



Surf!  Sand!  Sun!  Summer fun in the form of gyrating teens wiggling their bikini-clad bottoms at each other and at the camera.  Sound like the highly popular and profitable AIP Beach movies of the 60's?  Hardly!  While there are all of the above, we also have a monster who loves nothing more than slaughtering the surfing teens.

 Richard Lindsay (Arnold Lessing) lives with his oceanographer father Dr. Otto Lindsay (Jon Hall) and the doctor's second wife Vickie (Sue Casey), a cold bitch with a wandering eye.  Also in the house is artist Mark (Walker Edmiston) who was hurt in a car accident with teen Richard and now walks with a pronounced limp.  Dr. Otto has Richard's life all planned out for him.  He will follow in his father's footsteps.  However, Richard, grateful to be alive after the car accident, wants only to party on the beach with his newfound surfing buddies, and cuddle with his beach-bunny girlfriend Jane (Elaine DuPont).

 One day, a couple of teens wander off to have some romantic time away from the group and the girl half of this team is brutally killed by the monster.  The cops are called but can offer no explanation so a plaster cast of the monster's foot print is taken to Dr. Otto for examination who is convinced that it's a mutated carnivorous "fantigua fish" grown to gigantic proportions.  He seems unconcerned so the teens go back to dancing in the sand.

 Meanwhile, Vickie comes on to her stepson and is rudely rejected.  So, she, too, goes for a swim, narrowly eluding the grip of the monster.  Later, she rejects her husband's romantic gestures and leaves to party with another man at her side.  Meanwhile, the teens are lounging on the beach listening to a corny song sung by a lion hand puppet operated by the world's worst ventriloquist.  Richard and Jane kiss dispassionately.  The other teens pair off and wander into the darkness leaving behind one victim...er...teen boy who is immediately killed by the monster.  Mark, who advances have just been rejected by Vickie, sees the attack and limps to help but is too late.  However, he's immediately suspected of having committed the crime and is arrested.

Teens dance endlessly to bad 60's rock music while the monster continues to bump them off one at a time.  Mark, clearly innocent, is released from jail.  A drunken Vickie is trapped in the house by the monster and savagely mauled.  Richard comes to her defense and stabs the monster in its side.  Clutching its wounds, the monster falls to the floor dislodging its rubber full-head mask to reveal Dr. Otto's face.  Dr. Otto jumps in his car to escape and is followed by a frantic Richard and Jane.  After a spectacularly bad rear-projection car chase, Dr. Otto misses a curve in the road and plunges to his death.  The end.

AIP/ TV began to produce made-for-TV movies and TV shows in 1964 and this is one of its first efforts.  Directed by and starring actor/ director Jon Hall who had made a name for himself in the early fifties TV series RAMAR OF THE JUNGLE, this would be his only directorial effort.  If this movie is any example, we should all be thankful for that!  It comes off as no more than a sodium-free HORROR OF PARTY BEACH!  Same silly teen songs, same stupid comedic efforts, same bad acting and script.  And, if you thought the hot dog monster from HORROR OF PARTY BEACH was laughable, wait till you get a look at Dr. Otto in his rubber monster suit!  This is 70 minutes of my life I won't get back.

  My advice is that if you are looking for some summer fun in the sand, stick to the far superior Beach series starring Annette and Frankie.

MSTJunkie

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