Beach Girls and the Monster | 1965
70 min. | b&w | AIP-TV | released: september 1965
alternate titles: “Monster From the Surf”, “Surf Terror”
This blending of beach and monster movie genres is often overlooked in favor of “The Horror of Party Beach”, when “Beach Girls and the Monster” is equally bad and twice as entertaining.
Actor Jon Hall directs and stars in his final film. Hall plays Dr. Otto Lindsay, an oceanographer that lives near the beach with his trampy second wife, Vicky (Sue Casey), and son, Richard (Arnold Lessing). Otto has big plans for Richard to go into a research career with him. After Richard and his friend, Mark (Walker Edmiston), are nearly killed in a car accident, Richard realizes that he wants to live a little before committing his life to science. Richard begins to ignore his work in order to hang around the beach with the surfers. Otto feels Richard is throwing his life away and does what any parent would do … disguise himself in a rubber sea monster suit and murder his son’s friends.
All the beach kids are terribly distraught when their friend, Bunny (Gloria Neil), is murdered by the sea monster. But they get over it pretty quickly, and toward the end of the film, throw a beach party where they sit around the fire cheerily singing “There’s a monster in the surf, yeah, yeah, yeah!”. Respectful. It also goes to show how terrified of the monster they are. The monster, who laid low after his first kill, soon goes on a killing spree. First he murders another one of Richard’s friends at the beach party. Mark, who is first on the scene, is blamed. After he finds a piece of rubber near the corpse, Mark inexplicably deduces who’s really behind the killings. Even more inexplicably, Mark steals a nearby police car to go and confront Otto. When Mark gets to Otto’s he finds the doctor has killed his cheating wife. Mark is attacked by Otto, and whether he lived or died is up to the viewers imagination… but he looked pretty dead to me. Richard tries to chase down his father, but Otto drives off a cliff and dies in a fiery car wreck. The End.
Be warned. The soundtrack by Frank Sinatra Jr. will be stuck in your head for days after viewing “Beach Girls and the Monster”.
Elaine Dupont plays Janie, Richard’s girlfriend. Ms. Dupont was in several early Rock-N-Roll showcase movies in the fifties, as well as “Jailhouse Rock&” with Elvis and the great “Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow&” for AIP. This was her last movie.
The producers felt it necessary to give billing to a stuffed lion puppet. Look for Kingsley the Lion in the titles. This was Kingsley the Lion’s first and last film.
Released on a double bill with “War of the Zombies”.