Reviews

Beach Girls And The Monster, The (1965)

Summer is here! It’s time to surf!! AND DIE!!!

Richard just graduated from college. He works with his father Otto at a science lab. After a car accident paralyzes his friend’s foot, Rich decides to live the good life. This includes surfing, hanging out with his girlfriend, and singing songs on the beach. Otto does not approve! He says that kids who hang out on the beach are “nothing but tramps!” Meanwhile, Richard’s vampy stepmother cheats on his father and a ferocious sub-sub-sub Gill-Man murders bikini-clad girls on the beach. There is also a lot of go-go dancing.

When The Beach Boys released “Surfin'” in 1961, they had no idea that they were changing the world. And by “changing the world,” I mean to say that Brian Wilson and his crew made it okay for a movie called The Beach Girls and the Monster to exist. This is the world’s first (and only and best) monster-surfing movie starring a puppet named Kingsley The Lion. Don’t worry about the plot. Don’t bother with the purpose. Just know that this movie takes the blueprint of Del Tenney’s superior Horror Of Party Beach, adds some higher production values, and rips-off the rip-off ending of Tod Browning’s Mark of the Vampire. Basically, Beach Girls and the Monster is really fun. Even when it’s boring.

The Beach Girls and the Monster wasn’t marketed as a straight horror movie. Obviously. It’s got the look and feel of a 1950s sitcom and a genuine carefree goofiness that could only be produced in 1965, kind of like DC Comics from around the same time period. Sure, this movie is a lunkhead and has some padding. But it’s cheap, fast (66 minutes!), and features melancholy surf songs by Frank Sinatra, Jr. This movie is THE taste of summer for people who live only for: 1. Monsters, and 2. Surfing.

This means you.

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