The Beach Girls and the Monster (1965) – Jon Hall

Sometimes bad is bad, but sometimes, sometimes it’s so bad it’s good, and I had a great time with this title which is the next one featured in DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies.

Filled with a swingin’ beach soundtrack, this one ended up being delightful, and had me laughing out loud as a dangerous monster, supposedly a form of mutated fish is killing a bevy of bikini clad babes, and their surfer friends. But that won’t stop the party.

Just down the hill from his house, Richard Lindsay (Arnold Lessing) is discovering himself at the beach, he’s meeting girls, surfing and enjoying all life has to offer. Unfortunately his oceanographic studies with his father, Dr. Otto Lindsay (Jon Hall, who also directed, and served as DOP), are sliding as a result.

When a beach party comes to a horrific end with one of the girls killed, though it’s referred to as an accident for the rest of the film, Richard and his friends (including the lovely Elaine DuPont, and a lion puppet named Kingsley) are determined to find out what is going on.

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Throw in Otto’s philandering wife, Vicky (Sue Casey) who only married him for the money, and not the awesome beach house, as she flirts and seduces her way through the film and you get a hilarious, and wonderfully short (just over an hour) monster beach movie, that is just so out there, and so bad, that it’s hard not to have a good time with it.

The monster is goofy looking and the bikinis are plentiful. There’s great surf music, odd characters and watching this film I had to wonder, did anyone ever really have a beach party like the ones in this film? I get the idea of sitting around a bonfire and singing and laughing and drinking, but these guys are playing reel to real tapes and dancing on the sand in the afternoon. Did this ever happen anyplace outside of a movie?

I don’t quite know who would have gone to see this in the theatre, but I can imagine it playing on countless late night horror marathons, and people sitting around razzing one another, and the film, while just having a grand old time.

Let me say, I am really enjoying this chapter of Monsters in the Movies, and can’t wait to see what is coming up next. Honestly, I think I may end up being a sucker for a beach movie, so if there are more coming, I can’t wait to dig in.

What’s your favourite genre of creature feature? Perhaps you can find it, or discover something new to you in DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies!

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