Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December Beach Party: The Horror of Party Beach (1964)

The agents of M.O.S.S. (yes, we still kind of exist in our own, half-assed manner, and will even upgrade to three-quarters-assed soon) are nothing if not timely - or secret sympathizers of the Southern hemisphere - so December seems just like the right time to get down to the beach and find out what we find there.

Unfortunately, what I found for my second and final entry in the theme month is The Horror of Party Beach, a film I'd forgotten about. Or rather I had repressed how much I loathe it. In fact, I hate Party Beach so much, I was badly tempted to let this entry consist exclusively of a few hundred cartoon curses. But that would be tacky, particularly in the year in which the film's director (I use this term in the broadest possible sense) Del Tenney died.

So, I'll try to just keep to the facts here: radioactive goo creates incredibly goofy looking amphibian monsters looking like the Creature from the Black Lagoon as reimagined by a three year old with a thing for golf ball eyes. The creatures attack pillow fights and beach party people. Horrible music plays. The dances of the mad are danced. The sort of romance in which a "hunky" (beach party) scientist gets over the death of his estranged bad girl girlfriend right quick thanks to the efforts of an incredibly sanctimonious thirty year old teenager occurs. Jokes that would make the Riddler ashamed are told by actors who can barely speak. There's a racist caricature of a black maid walking around.

So, all in all, I really should love this thing, particularly since I've enjoyed films that are objectively even worse quite a bit, but I'm just not feeling it in Horror's case. Maybe it's the non-coastal person's distrust of beaches and the people who dwell on them, maybe it's an Innsmouth kind of thing, or maybe my irony glands just don't function as well as they should when confronted with The Horror of Party Beach. All I know is that watching it doesn't result in my giggling companionably to the nonsense happening on screen, or finding myself surprised by hidden depths (fat chance), or even just accepting the film with a feeling of mild tolerance and embarrassment on behalf of the filmmakers, but instead sees me ending up with a feeling of barely contained rage, as if Del Tenney and co.'s attempt at making a quick buck by mixing the outgoing beach party movie craze with the monster movie were are very personal affront. Which it well may be, for all I know.

Anyway, your beach party tolerance may vary.

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