The Horror of Party Beach | 1964

78 min. | b&w | 20th Century Fox | released: june 1, 1964

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“The Horror of Party Beach” is the first movie to blend the popularity of AIP’s “Beach Party” series with the monster movie genre. The results are truly bad. This black and white epic was incompetently filmed in Connecticut. Sometimes the leaves are on the trees, sometimes the trees are bare. In one shot it may be day, in the next it may be night. You get the idea.

Barrels of toxic sludge are tossed off the side of a boat, leak onto some bones and create some of the dumbest looking sea monsters in movie history. The creatures wouldn’t look half bad if they didn’t appear to have a mouth full of sausage-like tongues.

Square but handsome, Hank (John Scott) and his wild girlfriend, Tina (Marilyn Clarke) speed to the beach in Hank’s sporty convertible to swim, dance, and listen to tunes like “The Zombie Stomp” by The Del-Aires. After a particularly nasty fight, Tina makes Hank jealous by dancing lewdly for a pack of bikers. Tina starts to strip but has trouble dancing and undoing the buttons of her blouse at the same time. A brawl breaks out between Hank’s friends and the bikers, in which nobody really wins or loses. Afterward, a satisfied Tina goes for a dip in the ocean and becomes the first victim of the monsters.

Following the murder, Tina’s friend, Elaine (Alice Lyon), feels incredibly guilty because of her secret love for Hank. Hank works with her father Dr. Gavin (Allan Laurel) in the doctor’s lab and is always hanging around their house. The police enlist Dr. Gavin and Hank to help fight the invasion from the sea. While the heroes search for answers, the sea monsters attack a slumber party, a carload of girls on their way to New York, and a couple of the most annoying drunks ever.

When one of the monsters attacks a mannequin in a shop display window, it’s arm gets severed off and discovered by the authorities. It’s brought back to Gavin’s lab where his maid, Eulabelle (Eulabelle Moore), promply knocks a beaker full of sodium onto it, causing it to burst into flames. Hank takes off for New York to pick up a large batch of sodium from a chemical supplier while Elaine searches nearby bodies of water for the monster’s lair. She finds the monsters in Fingle’s Quarry, then falls while running from them, trapping her foot beneath a rock! Hank shows up just in the nick of time with the precious metal, and the new couple hurl sodium bombs at the creatures.

A comic/magazine using stills from the movie instead of drawings was published in tandem with the movie. The creators of the magazine must have thought the monsters looked dumb too, because they painted out the sausages hanging out of the creatures’ mouths.

Released on a double bill with “Curse of the Living Corpse”, another Del Tenney masterpiece.