It's summer here down under, and that means it's time for us Surfin' Sweeties to hit the glorious beaches of Melbourne.
We love nothing more than sand, sun, surf and sweet sweet sounds to swing and shake to!
As with every summer we are dreaming of being Beach Bunnies in a Beach Party film of the 60's. This specific genre began with the like's of the initial Gidget and Beach Party films, then developing into a full blown B-movie genre. Typically of American International Pictures make, these films can be identified purely through there focus on teenagers, surfing, rock music, bikini's and go-go dancing.
As much as we loved good girl Annette Funicello as Dee Dee in these films, we've always had a soft spot for the wild ones such as Ava, Animal, Candy, Sugar Kane and Cassandra.
Celia Bow is a beach party film fanatic and has listed her top 5 favourite 60's summer films.
1. Beach Party (1963)
You can't beat the original Beach Party film that started it all! Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, as Dolores a.k.a Dee Dee and Frankie, are two love struck teens hanging out for the summer at the beach, however the introduction of a sexy German babe Ava, a pig-bristled anthropologist and a clumsy biker gang leader cause their summer to be anything but a breeze. Campy love songs and Candy Johnson's go-go power make this film the ultimate Beach Party classic!
2. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini ( 1965)
Most of the Beach Party films follow the same plot and can become a bit of a bore with repetitive conventions, but this one is a stand out. From weird animated ghost bikini's to wicked surf songs about beach babes with 36-22- 36 bodies.This film is beach party gold! Buster Keaton also makes a random appearance as witch doctor Bwana. The Kingsman play some good songs as well. This film is great for it's obvious comedic flaws. Look out for the the lead singer of the Kingsman pretend to play sax in the background in a song that has no saxophone, or Annette Funicello trying to hide her pregnant stomach with long sleeves clothes on the beach or a random Kentucky Fried chicken bucket.
3. Psycho Beach Party (2000)
Although this isn't an authentic beach party film from the 60's, it's pretty much better then all of them. It's a complete scream! This camp film spoofs the original films with great lingo, crass humour, slasher murders, The Los Straitjackets, a young Amy Adams and a drag queen policeman.
Need I say more!
The opening go-go sequence is also a gem. I know this is a fav film of Sherbet Shaker as well!
4. Muscle Beach Party ( 1964)
This is pretty similar to most of the other Beach Party films but this one has hunky bodybuilders so I guess it makes it a bit better!. Also a really young Stevie Wonder appears in it as well as Luciana Paluzzi a.k.a Fiona Volpe from Thunderball as a rich Italian cougar trying to steal Frankie away from Dee Dee.
5. Bikini Beach ( 1964)
This one is so bad it's good! This time Frankie Avalon plays not only Frankie, but also Potato Bug an overtly steroetyped British Beatles copycat rocker/ drag racer who lives in a circus like tent on the beach. Zany enough? There is also a chimp that surfs and a drag race for love ending.
So even if it's not summer on your side of the world, put on a Beach Party flick and you'll be swinging like it's summer in no time. If you don't know how just follow Miss Candy Johnson, an original Super Vixen who showed us that Go-Go dancing has power!