The older I get, the less sure I am that I believe in the concept of a guilty pleasure. If I like something, I don't really see the need to feel guilty about it. That said, if there's anything that comes close to fitting the description for me, it's beach movies. I know they're shallow and downright silly, but I can't help it. I love 'em.
I recently watched BEACH PARTY again for the first time in a number of years. This is the movie that invented the genre, and I'm glad to say that it holds up pretty well for me. Some funny bits, excellent music (with the exception of Annette's ballad) that's stuck in my head for almost fifty years now, the timing of an old pro like Bob Cummings, the beautiful Dorothy Malone, Harvey Lembeck chewing the scenery as Erich Von Zipper, Jody McCrea as Deadhead (he always cracks me up), the great Candy Johnson in a shimmy dress, and lots of girls in bikinis. What's not to like?
Well, to put it bluntly, Annette. What did Frankie ever see in Dee-Dee, anyway? Yeah, he's kind of a jerk at times, but she's awful. (I should make it clear that I'm talking about the character, not Annette Funicello herself, who I liked when she was a Mousketeer.)
Other than that, I had a great time watching BEACH PARTY. I'm sure my opinion is colored by the nostalgia value of having seen this and most of the other beach movies at the Eagle Drive-in Theater when I was a kid, but I don't care. And I should warn you: Livia gave me a boxed set of them on DVD for my birthday, including a few I actually haven't seen before, so you may be reading more of these posts before the summer is over.
And now, because you can never have too much Candy Johnson: