Friday, February 20, 2015
The Horror Of Party Beach
Dull Hank (John Scott) fights with his alcoholic girlfriend Tina (Marilyn Clarke) on their way to a beach party. “You ain’t seen livin’ ‘til you’ve seen Tina swing,” she says, as she leaps into the fray and shakes her moneymaker at leather-jacketed tough Mike (Agustin Mayor), who fights with Hank over the cheap little tease.
Meanwhile, some boaters dump into the ocean a barrel of radioactive waste, which pops open upon hitting the bottom and soaks a skull buried there. Via clumsy time-lapse photography, the skull transforms into…well, it’s hard to describe. Something like a slimy green sea monster with bulbous eyes and a dozen frankfurters sticking out of its throat. Whatever it is, it’s ahead of its time, because fifteen years before slasher movies established the rules for screen killing, the monster attacks the slutty girl first, ripping Tina to a bloody shred.
Director Del Tenney (I EAT YOUR SKIN) mixes lowbrow humor with the shocks, contributing groaners such as two boys watching a girl in a bikini shaking her pert ass, and one of them saying to the other, “That reminds me. Did anyone bring hot dog buns?” That night, the monsters attack a slumber party where 22 girls wear nighties and have a pillow fight. Best. Movie. Ever. Unfortunately for them, my dream bash turns into a hootenanny, which causes the monsters to slaughter all the girls. Lesson #1: sea zombies hate folk music.
With the local police befuddled (“You think it might be a wild shark?"), Dr. Gavin (Allan Laurel), who pushes his daughter Elaine (Alice Lyon) to pursue Hank now that his girlfriend is out of the picture (dead), works to discover a method of destroying the monster horde. The Gavins’ superstitious black maid Eulabelle (Eulabelle Moore) even gets into the matchmaking act, scolding Elaine for lying around the house moping the day after 22 of her friends were murdered and pushing her to get out of the house to have some fun.
With the Del-Aires thumping their Fender Jaguars and the ridiculous-looking “sea zombies” stalking the Eastern seaboard, THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH remains a memorable movie, spawning an episode of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 and a 1964 Warren comic book assembled by Russ Jones and comics legend Wally Wood.