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The Beach Girls and the Monster (1966).

January 9, 2007

The Scoop:
This film has everything — swingin’ beach babes, a shambling monster (that looks like a cross between the Mummy and the Creature From the Black Lagoon), bad acting, a mad scientist, tons of surfing stock footage, bongos, a singing beatnik with a fake beard and a lion puppet, gaping plot holes, bland repetitive surf music, and even some “greasy kid stuff.”

Our teen hero Richard, played by Arnold Lessing, hangs out on the beach and bickers about his future with his science-minded father, while also sharing his house with his bitchy stepmom and a freelance sculptor. Meanwhile, a kid or two walk into the grasp of the murderous, slow-moving monster.

Oh, dear lord, what a mess.

Thankfully, it’s only 70 minutes long — but it’s a jaw-dropping 70 minutes. Even the inept “Horror of Party Beach” did it better.

(The film was packaged for TV under the title “Monster From the Surf,” and is available on video under both titles.)

Side Note:
This was the last role for ’30s and ’40s action star Jon Hall, who got top billing despite his relatively small role as Richard’s father. This movie may have been his last acting job, but it was his first directing job. His one other directing gig was the even-worse “The Navy vs. the Night Monsters” (1966), although he didn’t even get his name in the credits on that one. Suffering from cancer, he committed suicide in 1979 is buried near Buster Keaton.

Best Line:
“Here’s a dive you don’t see everyday!” (Followed by an ungraceful face-first flop)

Companion Viewing:
“Horror of Party Beach” (1964).


Take a Look:
Here’s the trailer. See if you can count how many times the boom mike makes an appearance:

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