PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX VOL. 39
Welcome to another edition of PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX! This week we’re going to get rid of those winter blahs by hitting the beach with ten flicks featuring surfing, bikini babes, and… say, is that a tentacle?
10. Tentacles (1977)
Why yes, it is! Hopefully slumming stars John Huston, Henry Fonda, Shelley Winters and Bo Hopkins can help out when a giant mutant octopus attacks a small seaside town — just in time for a big sailing regatta — in this San Diego-lensed flick from Ovidio G. Assonitis (BEYOND THE DOOR).
9. Miracle Beach (1992)
Sure, the best “summer fun” title starring Dean Cameron may be SUMMER SCHOOL, but that doesn’t have sexy genies played by the offspring of a Monkee. Ami Dolenz co-stars as the wish-granting lady of the lamp, but can she help Dean Cameron find happiness? With Alexis Arquette, Pat Morita, Allen Garfield, Martin Mull and Vincent Schiavelli, and from the director of PLAYBOY VIDEO PLAYMATE CALENDAR 1989 and PLAYBOY: SEXY LINGERIE III.
8. Beach Party (1963)
The beach flick that started them all isn’t the nuttiest of the group, but William Asher’s flick set all of the archetypes in place — low-rent relationship drama is just an excuse to watch rock’n’roll numbers and lots of attractive young people in skimpy clothing. Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello star, of course, with Robert Cummings, Dorothy Malone, Morey Amsterdam, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Dick Dale and the Del Tones, Vincent Price and Harvey Lembeck.
7. Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)
6. The Rosebud Beach Hotel (1984)
Colleen Camp and Peter Scolari take over a failing hotel and try to get it up to snuff with the help of a new callgirl support staff, including, er… Fran Drescher? Sure, why not. Especially if the rest of the cast includes Christopher Lee (as Camp’s dad!), Eddie Deezen, Cherie Currie, Monique Gabrielle and Chuck McCann.
5. Hunk (1987)
Just to make sure nobody thinks I’m content with pointing out sexy ladies, here’s some beefcake as well, as a lame computer nerd on the beach meets the devil (James Coco) who transforms him into the title object, played by John Allen Nelson. Can he now get the girl of his dreams? Probably! With Robert Morse and Avery Schreiber doing his Avery Schreiber thing.
4. California Dreaming (1979)
Those looking for a film in which no zaniness ensures may want to check out this light drama about a kid whom Chicago that makes his way to California to pursue his dreams as a surfer. Dennis Christopher stars, with Glynnis O’Connor, Seymour Cassel and Tanya Roberts.
3. For Those Who Think Young (1964)
While not part of AIP’s beach party flicks, this is still a bizarre and entertaining, if uneven ride, about a failing beach club and featuring the likes of Paul Lynde, Tina Louise, Nancy Sinatra, Ellen Burstyn and Bob Denver, who gets one of the oddest musical sequences in beach party history, as he sings with only his mouth unburied in sand. Also, Woody Woodbury. Wayyyy too much Woody Woodbury.
2. Piranha (2010)
Alexandre Aja’s remake of Joe Dante’s classic exploitation flick manages to hit all the right notes, in that it serves up sleaze in such an entertaining way that you kind of can’t help but to sit back and enjoy the carnage. Elizabeth Shue and Adam Scott star, with Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, Jerry O’Connell, Dina Meyer, Richard Dreyfuss and a vanishing Paul Scheer.
1. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
David Wain’s take on summer camp flicks may have tanked on initial release, but the cult has grown hugely since, and for good reason. It’s tons of fun, gleefully random and incessantly quotable. With Wain’s former “The State” co-stars Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Ken Marino and Joe Lo Truglio, along with Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Zak Orth, Paul Rudd, Chris Meloni, Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks and Judah Friedlander.