The reason I watched The Horror Of Party Beach is because it appeared in an article about “The Best Cult Musicals”, and regular readers will know I love watching them more than I do movies where Mel Gibson is viciously tortured and then killed for over twenty three minutes. But the writers of the list were lying shits sadly as this isn’t a film where anyone bursts in to song to explain their character’s motivation, or just to have a bit of a croon, other than a band who in the first twenty minutes trot out the odd song while hanging about on a beach.
The songs are mostly vapid and they sound all but identical as well, sure Surf Rock rarely had much variety to it but this is taking the piss and then some. Which is a shame as the lyrics occasionally amuse and if the tunes had been a bit more inventive it could have been a soundtrack I might have obtained, but that’s definitely not going to be the case as it is. As for the film itself, well, vapid is a pretty accurate description for the whole thing too, and it only tries to be a comedy for the first twenty five minutes or so as characters make bad jokes (like “Do you like bathing beauties? / “I don’t know, I’ve never bathed one”) only to never be seen again. Which is probably for the best.
During this time a bunch of teenagers (all of whom look like they’re in their thirties, and their late thirties at that) are dancing about on the beach and having the odd fight, the main one being a surprisingly polite brawl between Hank (John Scott, reasonably terrible) and the leader of a local motorcycle gang as both fancy Tina (Marilyn Clarke), who afterwards sulks off only to get mauled by a sea zombie, the result of a local university pouring toxic sludge in to the sea and creating a weird kind of the undead.
After the beach segment is over with the film follows a bunch of adults including Dr Gavin (Allan Laurel, unreasonably terrible) and his daughter Elaine (Alice Lyon), with Dr Gavin seemingly more bothered by his daughter’s lack of manners when it comes to attending a nearby slumber party than the fact that a girl has died. The police who investigate the death (and soon deaths) are rather blase about the whole thing as well, even when the death count is in to double figures thanks to a massacre at that slumber party.
As mentioned above it only tries to be a comedy for the first quarter of the film and then becomes a by the numbers creature feature, but if anything it’s funnier during the final three quarters due to the terrible script, and oddly casual and mundane murders that take place, the slumber party being especially funny (if in a rather twisted manner) as rather than attempting to run away the girls just stand about and wait their turn to be killed off. Meanwhile every so often new characters are introduced only to be murdered seconds later, in pleasingly absurd and ridiculously cheap ways.
The majority of the acting is pretty shocking and it didn’t come as a surprise to learn that this is the only credit for nearly all involved, and those with more only have three or four at best. The dialogue is turgid and the direction only just about competent, and it really isn’t something even horror fans will enjoy, but those who like “So bad they’re mildly amusing” films might get something of a kick out of this.