From The Deuce
Beach Party opens with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, two icons of the beach party film if there ever was two, singing as they drive along with two surfboards in the back. The film's, and genre's, roots are betrayed right at this very moment. The viewer can't help but think Elvis. The film doesn't disappoint either. All the things that made Elvis' forays into film so popular and entertaining during the sixties are present in this film. Handsome teenagers, including the aforementioned Annette Funicello and the busty Eva Six, grooving on the beach to popular teen-centric music and conflict in the form of a biker gang and an older anthropologist studying teenage activity fills out the film. But frankly (no pun intended), what the film is really about is music. Good-looking people and groovy music. The same formula that got audiences to Elvis' film. And on that front, the film doesn't disappoint. Instead of appealing to our sexual and violent fantasies as is often the case with exploitation, Beach Party is just about getting those fun-loving teenagers into the theatres. It offers the same excitement that watching Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire singing and dancing offers. But just a little more crazy. --Rick "Angel" S.