“It’s a wiggy beach!”
Teen lovers Frankie (Frankie Avalon) and Dee Dee (Annette Funicello) find their relationship strained by the sudden arrival of a quibbling sky-diving duo (Deborah Walley and John Ashley) and a beautiful pop singer (Linda Evans). Meanwhile, their friend Bonehead (Jody McCrea) falls for a mermaid (Marta Kristen), while Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) — leader of a local motorcycle gang — falls for Sugar Kane (Evans).
This late entry in the “Beach Party” franchise is considered by many to be the best — and most entertaining — of the bunch. As usual, Frankie and Dee Dee find their relationship (temporarily) threatened by the presence of a buxom blonde who catches Frankie’s straying eye, while other stock characters — including surfer Bonehead (Joel McCrea’s son, Jody) and fascist motorcyclist Eric Von Zipper (the humorously over-age Harvey Lembeck) — get involved in a variety of innocuous romances or minor scrapes. This time around, skydiving offers the primary “alternative thrill” for these beach-loving teens — but the sport doesn’t serve much purpose other than to introduce Deborah Walley and John Ashley as the requisite rivals for Frankie and Dee Dee’s attention. Beach Blanket Bingo‘s main redeeming quality is the presence of Paul Lynde as Linda Evans’ snide talent agent; his delivery of one-liners (ten times smarter than the teens themselves) is priceless. Ultimately, however, this innocuous comedy will only be of real interest to die-hard fans of the series; all-purpose film fanatics would be best served simply watching the 1963 original (Beach Party) to get a sense of what was to come.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Paul Lynde as Evans’ talent agent: “Not too close, Sugar — he’s a carrier…”
- Funicello and Avalon singing “I Think You Think” while strolling along the beach
No, unless you’re a die-hard fan of the series. Listed as Camp Classic in the back of Peary’s book.
Posted on March 17th, 2008 by admin
Filed under: Original Reviews