Beach bingo monster movie - yeah!
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The Horror Of Party Beach (1962)
28th Jul 06
A small American town is terrorized by a bunch of ridiculous looking monsters while The Del-Airs play such classics as 'Zombie Stomp'.
If any site is going to review a 60s drive-in monster mash classic like The Horror of Party Beach, it's this one. I mean, what's not to like? It's got beach babes, bikers, a few big dance numbers, guys dumping toxic waste off the side of their boat, some very bad rubber monsters, a handful of not very inventive but quite bloodstained (for the time) deaths, a sheriff's office, and a kooky old scientist who saves the day with some unconvincing, err, science. Brilliant.
So, let's get on with. The Horror of Party Beach opens with a big beach party that young all-American sweethearts Hank and Tina have just arrived. But all is obviously not well on the Hank and Tina show or she wouldn't have been giving the eye to that big gang of bikers that have followed them since the credits. And when this flirting goes to far, when the bikers arrive at the party too and start to interrupt The Del-Aiers rock'n'roll set, Hank gets really pissed off. Thank goodness then that he has all round lovely girl-next-door Elaine's shoulder to cry on while Tina does the slutty dance thing with the lead biker. God bless the 60s, eh?
However, things aren't quite as they seem. It being the 60s, it's quite hard to tell who's bad and who's good. Take the bikers, for example, they have neat hair cuts and wear tapered chinos, tight leather jackets and neckerchiefs. Hell's Angels on Wheels this ain't. And what about the Tina versus Elaine debate? Is Tina really a trampy slut or just misunderstood? And is Elaine really such nice girl, or is she just a bunny-boiler in the making that can't wait to get her claws into gullible Hank?
Anyway, while all this is going on illegal things are happening on the other side of the cove. A bunch of no good opportunists are dumping standard issue toxic waste into the harbour and, through a dodgy stop-motion metamorphosis, the waste causes a couple skeletons on the sea bed to turn into cheap rubber sea monsters with what looks like loads of mini-baguettes stuffed in their mouths. Yes, they're even worse than that stupid monster in Swamp Thing whose eyes don't even move. (Case in point - the monsters' eyes in this flick do move, or rather the eyes are on the end of stalks which occasionally wiggle).
So it's not long before the monsters hit the beach and all hell breaks loose, with the obvious unscrupulous characters biting the bullet first (i.e. sluts and bikers) before the monsters move on to killing innocent beach bums and frisky teenagers. What are Hank and Elaine going to do? Well isn't it lucky that the local marine scientist is very knowledgeable about the subject and soon comes up with a hair-brained scheme to save the day? Although it's a good job they didn't listen to Eulabella his maid as she's convinced it's voodoo. What does she know?
All in all The Horror of Party Beach is a fun but quite silly piece of cheapo black and white 60s drive-in cinema which is loads of fun but only if you know what to expect. It starts off like a beach-blanket-bingo movie as The Del-Aires perform several hits back to back (including 'Zombie Stomp', fittingly), and then the monsters attack and it turns into another daft 50s style monster movie, albeit with a little bit more gore than you'd expect. The monsters are crap, the sheriff's office is a kitchen and the acting is as wooden as the ending, but if you can let the movie breath a little you might just have loads of fun. And anyway, it's always great to discover a new fishman movie even if, as these monsters started off as human skeleton, they're officially zombies. Perish the thought.
Incidentally, The Horror of Party Beach did receive the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 treatment, which you can get hold off on DVDR from www.mst3kvideos.com. And if you do head over there tell them we sent you and order Time of the Apes, because it's my favourite.
Versions Available as a Region 1 double-bill with Curse of the Living Corpse. Oh, and the MST3K version is available from specialist suppliers.