Directed by William Asher
Starring Annette Funicello, Dwayne Hickman, Brian Donlevy, Buster Keaton, Beverly Adams, Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Mickey Rooney, Len Lesser, Bobbi Shaw, Michele Carey, The Kingsmen, Frankie Avalon, Elizabeth Montgomery
Okay, so maybe the whole Beach Party thing was starting to run out of steam by the time they got around to How To Stuff A Wild Bikini (1965). But who cares? All the elements are in place, from Frankie and Annette to Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and Bonehead (Jody McCrea) to the later addition Buster Keaton (as Bwana in this one).
It’s plenty stupid and tons of Pathécolor, Panavision fun. And I’m so stoked that it’s making its way to Blu-Ray from the folks at Olive Films. They did a tremendous job bringing Muscle Beach Party (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) to high definition. Coming (in off the curl) in late June.
Dick Dale (Richard Monsour)
May 4, 1937 – March 16, 2019
Dick Dale, The King Of The Surf Guitar, maybe the inventor of Surf Music — and easily the loudest musical performance I ever experienced, has passed away at 81. He’s seen here in Muscle Beach Party (1965) with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.
Dale’s 1963 single “The Wedge,” when played at maximum volume, is one of Mankind’s greatest achievements.
(February 26, 1943 – November 21, 2018)
Just saw that Michele Carey has passed away. She didn’t make many movies, but when you’ve worked with John Wayne, Howard Hawks and Robert Mitchum (El Dorado, 1967) and Elvis (Live A Little, Love A Little, 1968), not to mention Frank Sinatra (Dirty Dingus Magee, 1970) — what else do you need? Oh, and then there’s How To Stuff A Wild Bikini (1965).
She’s terrific in El Dorado — everyone is. She holds her own up against some real heavyweights, in a movie that relied on Hawks’ typical rambling, improvisational tone. That’s no small task.
Directed by Roger Corman
Starring Susan Cabot, Anthony Eisley, Barboura Morris, William Roerick, Michael Mark, Lynn Cartwright
The Wasp Woman (1959) was produced and directed by Roger Corman and stars Susan Cabot and Anthony Eisley (who turns up in several episodes of Dragnet). It was written by character actor Leo Gordon. He’s not in it, but his wife Lynn Cartwright is. The budget was around $50,000. The Wasp Woman in the movie looks nothing like the incredible poster art.
This is already available on Blu-Ray from Retromedia. I’m looking forward to seeing what extras Scream Factory will include in their version, coming in October.
Directed by Eddie Romero
Starring John Ashley, Pat Woodell, Jan Merlin, Pam Grier
This is an update to a previous post.
VCI has announced a Blu-Ray release of Twilight People (1972) for January 2018. Eddie Romero directed this Filipino-American take on H.G. Wells’ The Island Of Dr. Moreau — with a little of Romero’s previous Terror Is A Man (1959) thrown in for good measure.
Star John Ashley was one of the producers. He and Eddie Romero became quite successful with their cheap horror movies, stuff like Brides Of Blood (1968), Beast Of Blood (1970) and The Woman Hunt (1972, yet another version of The Most Dangerous Game). Their films were often done for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, with budgets of around $125,000. This one was the first film released by Dimension Pictures. It played in double bills with everything from Man Beast (1956) to The Sin Of Adam And Eve (1969) to Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972).
John Ashley had a fascinating career, going from AIP to TV shows like The Beverly Hillbillies to the wonderfully awful AIP TV movie The Eye Creatures (1965) to these Filipino movies to consulting on Apocalypse Now (1979, shot in the Philippines) to producing The A-Team and Walker, Texas Ranger. Wish he’d written his memoirs before passing away in 1997.
VCI put Twilight People out on VHS back in the day, and their eventual DVD was pretty good. This Blu-Ray release will feature a 2K scan of the original negative, presented in the proper aspect ratio. Extras will include a video interview with Eddie Romero, a still and poster gallery, and a commentary by Toby Roan.
Directed by Ishirô Honda
Starring Nick Adams, Tadao Takashima, Kumi Mizuno, Yoshio Tsuchiya
Directed by Ishirô Honda
Starring Russ Tamblyn, Kumi Mizuno, Kenji Sahara, Nobuo Nakamura
Boy, I’d love to make it to this. The New Beverly has Toho’s Frankenstein Conquers The World (1966) paired with its sequel War Of The Gargantuas (1970) this Friday and Saturday.
The alterations to the US versions remove any indication that the two films are related. My best friend and I saw Gargantuas at a Saturday matinee many years ago and loved it. It remains one of my favorite of the Kaiju movies.
Tim Lucas has written a great piece on these films for The New Beverly’s blog.
January 3, 1941 – May 5, 2017
Quinn O’Hara didn’t make many movies, but if you turn up in an AIP Beach Party movie and an episode of Dragnet, that’s resume enough for me. She has passed away at 76.
She’s seen above with Aaron Kincaid in Ghost In The Invisible Bikini (1966). It’s one of the weaker ones in the series, but it’s got Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Harvey Lembeck (as Eric Von Zipper), Nancy Sinatra and The Bobby Fuller Four(!). Miss O’Hara is quite funny as Rathbone’s nearsighted daughter.
She worked pretty steadily on TV in everything from The Beverly Hillbillies and The Man From UNCLE to CHiPs and Dallas. She eventually became a nurse.