817. The Horror of Party Beach (1964)

Classified as a “horror film in the beach party genre”, The Horror of Party Beach (1964) offers teens, bands, moves, and monsters. No Annette Funicello or Frankie Avalon nor any star cameos though we have The Del-Aires. Radioactive Waste, Humanoid Monsters, Voodoo, Table Salt, Hand-To-Hand Combat. It’s hard to decipher. Chants, Gods, Manly Beach Dance, The SOL Post, “Sodium!” “Ooh… They must’ve edited the crap out of this thing”, “Nude driving, a new fad among the teens”, “You want your Dick Butkus Collectible Mug?” “The monsters win the pennant!” or “She’s dressed like Colonel Sanders”?

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Mike Nelson is reportedly something of a horror movie wimp, and has said that this one actually scared him.

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I love this one! The hot dog riffs, the paper-white people shamelessly shaking their butts in their horrifyingly tiny bikinis, and most of all for the riff “I don’t like slumber parties now that I’m in my forties.”

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817 Promos.

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I think one of my favorite riffs ever was the “It’s a human thing!” “You wouldn’t understand!” bit. Just a perfect riff handed out on a silver platter.

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Sodium!

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A black and white horror movie with a ludicrously goofy looking monster? I am so there! This one’s perfect riffing fodder, with the bizarre accent (which the crew gleefully rips apart) the male lead adopts whenever he talks to the real hero Eulabelle, the hot dogs, the… the everything on screen! This one’s a cozy blanket to wrap up in whenever you need a monster fix. Lots of monster misogyny, though, which can sometimes be a bit much. Why can’t we get one of these where the monster goes after nubile football players, who can only sceam and twist their ankles as they flee, only to be saved by all the brainy women who got called out for not conforming in the old shorts?

Remember, look polish everyone.

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There’s always something vaguely pathetic about thirty-somethings attempting to portray teenagers on film. Especially when engaging in activities associated with the younger end of the spectrum, like slumber parties. This is even more evident with independent productions like this one, as they rarely have access to relatively youthful looking performers that are available to major Hollywood studios.

The title is a bit misleading, as virtually all the monster attacks occur away from the titular beach. Even by the already low standards of B-movie monsters of the 1950s and 1960s, these were particularly ill-conceived. In particular, I have been unable to unearth an explanation (convincing or otherwise) as to the purpose of the mouth hot dogs.

One thing that’s sure to rub modern audiences the wrong way is Eulabelle. Her character is so much of a 1930s stereotype that it’s hard to believe that this was made in 1964. Then again, Hurry Sundown came out in 1967.

While I’ve largely enjoyed the adventures through time and space, I will readily acknowledge that the Roman Times host segments (introduced in this episode) were the weakest of the lot by far.

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Trailers From Hell. The Horror of Party Beach (1964).

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Party Beach Fight.

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The Day The Mudskippers Fought Back.

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Love the hell out of this one. Season 8 is something spectacular, and really, I think this should be regarded as highly as other season favorites like Space Mutiny, Time Chasers, and Overdrawn at the Memory Bank.

They’re not in it for the whole movie, but I’m particularly fond of the scenes where the gang is riffing on the soundtrack by the Del-Aires. It’s fun music, and the SOL crew keeps finding great ways to bust on that. The chief riff being, of course, Crow’s “MY SKULL!!!”

It’s a brief moment, but I love the part where we see that TV announcer who keeps determinedly talking about “HUMAN BEANS.”

As I’ve said elsewhere, the party beach horrors are among the worst designed creatures in MSTory, and the riffs at their expense are terrific, ranging from “COOKIE!” to “Is there anyone who likes pickles as much as I do?” to that classic poison ivy joke.

This being a 50s creature feature, the moments of comic relief are reliably terrible, so Mike and the 'Bots counteracting those stupid moments is key, like the scene with the two drunks. There’s an artistry in even a crude joke like “Do farts have lumps?”

While we’re on the subject of those drunks, that’s gotta be one of MST3K’s most inexplicable scenes, where one of the drunks only becomes aware that a person was mauled to death after turning his disfigured face AWAY from himself and out of his line of vision. Like… what?

Gotta love the well-riffed hunt for sodium, too, and how that gives us that great sodium jam right at the end, complete with a fun end credits gag:

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Plus you have the poor dubbing, the ludicrous slumber party, the SHARP Jersey accented women, Eulabelle, and a lunk-headed protagonist, and it all adds up to a top-notch episode. I wish that it were more commonly appraised as such.

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To highlight a hilarious facet of how this movie just can’t get anything right, the filmmakers use the poster to hype the movie up as “THE FIRST HORROR MONSTER MUSICAL!”

Well…

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… pity that they were beat to the punch by The Incredibly Strange Creatures etc. by a few months.

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The Zombie Stomp. The Del-Aires.

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You Are Not A Summer Love. The Del-Aires.

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He’ll kick your scrawny ass!
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Eugene Levy’s finest (early) role.

I puzzle a lot over the two male victims who show up when half the movie’s already done. Did the filmmakers just run out of women to victimize, or were these partial backers of this quasi queasy sea dog who they owed a favor to? Uh… maybe men are distasteful to Hot Dog-zillas unless they’re brandied first? :thinking: I dunno’…

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P.S. - I can never watch this (perfectly good, if not spectacular) episode without thinking of those damn Frankfurter Crowns. Take note that you can find the whole sordid tale (as well as this incredible portrait which I stole), over at culinary atrocities dot com.

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Absolutely classic!

And I love Crow building on that riff a little later with: :musical_note: And all the flesh slipped off my skuuuuuuuuuuull… :musical_note:

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