Tom C. (tc) from WALTHAM, MA Reviewed on 3/23/2008...
Destined to be a cult classic. This black comedy is a send-up of campy beach and schlock horror.
Thrill to the epic beach party dance off!
Witness the horror of the heartbreak of Psoriasis!
Feel for the young beach gal who wants to fit in!
Fear for the innocent youth as they are stalked by a homicidal killer!
If your tastes for funny run slightly off kilter, than you have got to check this film out.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Bridgette K. from FORT MYERS, FL Reviewed on 1/25/2008...
This is a great satire horror-comedy, which pokes fun at "B" beach movies of the 60's. Great cast: Lauren Ambrose plays Chick-lit, the girl next door who channels her mother's "loose" alter-ego. The police chief is a man-playing a women-dating a man, thing "John walters", and you get the picture. Thomas Gibson plays the aging surf champion that had once dated the police chief. With all the twists and turns of this psycho comedy you won't want to go to the restroom to miss anything! There are still more twists and turns, and a subplot line, but I don't want to ruin it for you. I watch this movie at least once a month just for pure entertainment.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Charles Busch is a genius
Kitten With a Whip | The Hellmouth | 05/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, anyone who comes up with the movie title "Sex Kittens Go Bossa Nova" deserves some sort of award or national holiday in their honor for that alone. I was sold on this movie way before the incredibly cool opening credits rolled. Actually, I was sold when we saw the trailer for it in the theater, and almost instantly said, "we're there". There's about a dozen different elements to this fun flick that would have made me see it if only one of them had been present. First, I've seen almost every 60's Beach Party movie (though I'm sure Charles Busch has most people beat on the number of times they were watched) and this is not only a hilarious parody, but the 60's detail down to the costumes, sets, make-up, and hair is so dead-on I wouldn't have been surprised to see Donna Loren or Deborah Walley show up. Check out the cover and poster art if you want to see how perfect it is. The soundtrack is really, really great, some of the best surf music that wasn't actually recorded in the 1960's I've ever heard. The plot is actually really clever, with one of the best twist-upon-twist endings I've ever seen. The opening credits and closing credits are great, and I'm sure any guys who didn't really want to see the movie but were dragged by their girlfriends will dig the hot Ann-Margret crossed with a Bada-Bing! girl go-go dancer. I first heard about this movie when I read about it in Fangoria, of all places. I was interested by what I read but thought, "they better not screw this up". Once I saw about 30 seconds of the trailer- which by the way is featured on both the VHS and DVD versions, along with a music video- I realized they knew exactly what they were doing. The movie actually has more of an actual plot than many of the 60's beach movies did (not that either really needed one). The plot centers on a series of Blood-Feast type murders in Malibu. In their search for the killer, the female police detective (Charles Busch, who is probably the funniest of anyone in the movie) focuses on Florence (Lauren Ambrose, almost as funny), who suffers from a very entertaining form of multiple personality disorder but doesn't know it yet. There's a huge number of great supporting characters, such as her love interests Starcat and surf God Kanaka. Bettina Barnes, a B-movie actress on the lam from Hollywood who is renting a haunted house on the beach, shows up to add extra glamour. Also especially funny-especially if you thought parts of those old beach movies got kind of homoerotic-are young beach studs Yo-Yo and Provoloney (next to John Waters, this movie has to have come up with the greatest names for characters of all time) who are suspiciously more interested in wrestling each other than checking out the chicks in bikinis. If this weren't enough, Busch also makes almost every single line include some sort of campy and hilarious 60's lingo. If you've read or seen the play the movie was based on, you know exactly what I mean. The young cast, which could have ruined the movie if they winked at the camera even once, are talented enough to take lines like, "Is this a beach shack or the Malibu branch of the CIA?" and "They look like beatniks...should I unpack my bongos?" and make them sound fresh and funny. Considering most of them probably weren't born until a decade or so after these type of movies came out (yikes), this is pretty impressive. Ambrose is perfect as Florence "Chicklet" Forrest/Ann Bowman, and if Busch (who played the part onstage) had to tutor her at all on how to play it, she picked it up pretty well. Busch has less scenes, but almost steals the movie- he's probably the funniest (and best) drag performer I've seen in a movie since Divine left us to go make heaven flashy. His facial expressions alone made me laugh so hard when I saw it in the theater that I was worried the usher might come over. Fortunately everyone else was laughing just as hard. There's plenty of shockingly raunchy jokes, but somehow the whole movie still seems as innocent and good-natured as if it were rated G. Ok, maybe not G, but you get the idea. Everyone involved in the making of the film obviously loved what they were doing -not only this movie, but also the subject matter that inspired it. A completely fun, clever but brainless, campy movie with an awesome cast, screenplay, wardrobe and soundtrack, perfect from the font used in the opening credits down to the last tiki torches. It's pretty hard for me to think of anyone who this movie wouldn't at least bring a smile to. You don't even need to have seen a Beach Party movie to have a good time-it's not all in-jokey (though those who grew up on those movies will probably notice and appreciate some smaller details more). Even if you have no idea who Annette and Frankie are, as long as have a sense of humor, you should still enjoy it. If you liked Hairspray...well, now that I think of it, most fans of Hairspray probably have already seen the movie. If you liked that movie, if you want to forget about your problems for 90 minutes and have a good time, if you're into surf or just surf music, or 60's movies, or if your favorite cocktail comes in a coconut shell or tiki mug, drop everything and rent this movie now if you haven't seen it yet. You'll have a blast. Dig it?"
I like this movie, but...
Scaramouche | Redlands, CA United States | 07/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I like this movie, but...$31.99 !? Give me a break!"
It's the 1960's All Over Again
James V. Ruocco | Waterbury, CT United States | 05/06/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When "Psycho Beach Party" debuted off Broadway in 1987, half the fun was watching sometime drag actor Charles Busch play the part of a psycho surfer girl as if he was Joan Crawford, Annette Funicello and Sandra Dee all rolled into one. That plus the actor/playwright's keen and perverse observations of beatniks, alternate sexual lifestyles and Hollwood B-movies kept you howling madly for nearly two hours. On film, most of the original story remains intact. It's fun but the off-Broadway show was better. Florence/Chicklet, the mad surfer beach girl, still suffers from multiple split personalities. Bettina, the queen of the B-horror movies, longs for something greater. And surfer hunks Yo-Yo and Provoloney finally admit their undying love for one another. The biggest difference between the play and the movie is that Busch no longer plays Florence/Chicklett. The part is played by Lauren Ambrose, a dead ringer for "Gidget." Busch does show up as Captain Mona Stark, a police investigator who thinks somethings afoot on the Malibu beaches, which it is. It's a pretty campy turn, but it's fun nonetheless. Director Robert Lee King superbly captures the look, feel and sound of the 1960's while borrowing heavily from all those dopey "Beach Party" movies, "Gidget," "Marnie," "Mildred Pierce" and "Scream." Add to the mix: funky surf music, picture perfect '60s costuming, settings, lingo, cars and actors riding the surf in typical low budget fashion backed by outdoor footage of some pretty incredible waves."
"Sorry kid, go back to Mom and Papa square."
Cubist | United States | 06/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Surf's up all you hep cats and hep kitties! Psycho Beach Party is a crazy movie that parodies and celebrates those kitschy beach party movies of the'60s and sci-fi films of the'50s.Like John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China before it, Psycho Beach Party is a clever satire of genre films because it faithfully presents all the important characteristics of the beach party movie, the psychological thriller and the slasher film and then turns them on their head.One of the movie's strengths is the wonderful casting against type. Nicholas Brendon, known for playing the geeky Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is cast as a confident surfer with issues. Thomas Gibson, whose claim to fame was playing a straight-laced office worker on the popular T.V. series, Dharma and Greg, is the Great Kanaka, the suave king of the local surfers.The extras are slim at best, however, the engaging audio commentary by director Robert Lee King and screenwriter Charles Busch is excellent. They talk about the constraints they faced with a tight shooting schedule and a low budget.The DVD also features a music video for the song Los Straitjackets performs during the climatic luau in the movie. The video features footage of the band with the go-go dancer from the opening and closing credits cut together with clips from the movie. Finally, there is the theatrical trailer for the movie.Psycho Beach Party is a fun movie that features an diverse cast, a killer soundtrack of contemporary surf music (from the likes of Man or Astro-Man and The Hillbilly Soul Surfers) and some truly memorable dialogue. This is a movie that slipped through the cracks of theatrical distribution only to find new life on Cable T.V. and video."
Twisted, silly, and clever
DonMac | Lynn, MA United States | 07/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good one for when you are in one of THOSE moods. The plot is cheesy serial killer whodunnit mixed with b-movie melodrama and the results are really funny. Lauren Ambrose is a riot as the outsider beachy Gidget character - with multiple personalities no less. The voices she does combined with the over-the-top dialogue make her "crazy" scenes those stop-and-go-back moments becaue you don't want to miss a line. Charles Busch is a hoot as the "female" detective with a past and the other supporting actors/characters round out the insanity. Good, silly fun. Enjoy!"