Ha ha, it’s all so wiggy! Yes, it’s Burl here with another beach party movie to review – no, not The Beach Girls again, but one called The Girls on the Beach! Ha ha, this is one from back in the genre’s heyday, or at least shortly after, and it’s not an AIP one with Frankie and Annette and all that, but a copycat released by another studio!
And I’ll freely admit that, although the AIP beach pictures have their charms, they usually get too silly for ol’ Burl, and I tend to prefer the outsider ones more: pictures like Ride the Wild Surf, Palm Springs Weekend, and even drab little numbers like Wild on the Beach! The Girls on the Beach is another that, I must say, I would choose over, say, Beach Blanket Bingo, if I were for some reason given a choice!
The Girls on the Beach begins as it means to go on, with some fine music from the Beach Boys laid over shots of bikini-girls running hither and yon up and down the sand! Then we repair to a club, where the Boys are actually singing, and there we not only meet the quartet of sorority sisters who will be our protagonists and the trio of lads who will pursue them by unethical means, but the duo of waiters played by none other than little Dick “Get Crazy” Miller and big Leo “Bog” Gordon!
Dick Miller, who sure does appear in a lot of the movies I review, ha ha, plays a character with an inexplicable hate for the Beatles! “I wish they’d go back to where they came from,” he grouses! “England?” asks Leo, but Dick shouts “No, under a rock!” But too bad Dick, because everyone else in the movie loves those boys from Liverpool, and that love figures prominently in the plot, or at least in what this picture offers up in place of a plot, ha ha!
And what is this “plot?” Well, the sorority sisters, who are the executive of their chapter, are called back to their beautiful beach sorority house – yes, ha ha, you heard that right! – by the house mother, who reveals that, first, a rich and vengeful sorority sister, along the line of Sabra from Sorority Girl, who was kicked out at some point in the past and whom we never meet in this picture, has bought the house’s mortgage and plans to foreclose on it unless the sisters can come up with ten thousand dollars in two weeks! Secondly, the house mother admits, she spent the ten thousand dollar nest egg the house had banked for just such an eventuality! But because she spent it on humanitarian causes, the girls forgive her and set to raising the money by entering contests and such! After all, enthuses one of the girls, “a daily newspaper can be the greatest treasure map of all!”
The lads, meanwhile, want to make time with the ladies, and concoct a fabrication! They’re personal friends of the Beatles, they claim, and can get the four superstars to come and play a benefit concert for the sorority house! A fake phone call from Ringo – that is, from one of the boys doing the worst Ringo impression ever – seals the deal! The boys realize things have gone too far, but, after the girls have sold a bunch of tickets to this chimeric gala, they fail to figure out how to fix it, and simply confess their wrongdoing! It’s up to the girls to dress in Beatles drag and warble some Fab Four-style tunes of their own, including one called “I Want To Marry A Beatle!”
Ha ha, all of this must have seemed absurdly square in 1965! But it has lots of funny moments today! There’s a great scene where one of the shirtless lads, as part of their gambit to impress the gals with their superstar connections, bellows out “Fellas, I’m telling you, next time we come down here, we gotta bring Rock!” Only a few scenes later, the fellows get trapped in the sorority house and must dress as ladies, then endure the groping hands of the frat brothers before they're able to escape!
It’s a lovely little picture with plenty of attractive ladies and fine music from the Beach Boys, the Crickets and cute little Lesley Gore! We also get Bruno Ve Sota from Attack of the Giant Leeches as a telegram man named Pops! Sure, the movie is dumb and silly, and the way the ladies seem to instantly forgive the boys after their subterfuge is a little south of realistic, but it still works as a fine little document of the times! I enjoyed it, so I’m going to give The Girls on the Beach two and a half phone calls from “somebody named Ringo?” Ha ha!