The Beach Party Movie List: A to Z

Beach Party Movies A-ZRemember the life and legacy of the late great Annette Funicello (who passed away on April 8, 2013) with this celebration of classic beach party movies from Rick29:

A – It’s for Annette Funicello, of course! (Though Frankie Avalon is a fine choice, too.)

BBeach Party, the 1963 movie that started it all. Or, it can also be for Bonehead, Frankie’s dimwitted pal played by Jody McCrea (Joel’s son).

C – Candy Johnson, the fringe-dressed dancer who shimmies through most of the closing credits.

D – Dick Dale, the “King of the Surf Guitar,” who appeared in Beach Party and Muscle Beach Party with his band The Del-Tones. Quentin Tarantino used Dale’s “Misirlou” as the theme to Pulp Fiction.

EEva Six, the Hungarian bombshell who tries to lure Frankie from Annette in Beach Party.

F – “The Finger,” a self-defensive maneuver, also known as the Himalayan Time Suspension Technique, employed originally by Professor Sutwell (Robert Cummings) in Beach Party. Sutwell would place his index finger on a “complex pressure point” on his opponent’s temple. The victim’s body would then go into a state of “time suspension” for several hours. The most frequent victim was Eric Von Zipper.

G – Go Go (Tommy Kirk), a Martian teen who falls in love with Connie (Annette) instead of preparing for the Mars invasion of Earth in Pajama Party.

HDwayne Hickman, TV’s Dobie Gillis, who wooed Annette in How to Stuff a Wild Bikini. Or, it could be Susan Hart, the beauty who starred as The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini after an earlier appearance in Pajama Party.

I – “I Am My Ideal” a reprise of Eric Von Zipper’s “Follow Your Leader” music number that first appeared in Beach Blanket Bingo and then How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.

J – Jack Fanny, the bodybuilding trainer played by Don Rickles in Muscle Beach Party.

Beach Blanket Bingo – Sugar Kane, a singer played by Linda Evans in Beach Blanket Bingo (the song vocals are by Jackie Ward). Or, it can be for Buster Keaton, who appeared in Beach Blanket Bingo, Pajama Party, and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.

L – Lorelei (Marta Kristen), Bonehead’s mermaid girlfriend in Beach Blanket Bingo. It could also be for Donna Loren, who sings some of the best songs in the series, including “It Only Hurts When I Cry” (from Bingo).

M – Flex Martian, the bodybuilder played by Peter Lupus (Mission: Impossible) in Muscle Beach Party. Or, it could be Dorothy Malone, the only Oscar winner in a BP movie (Beach Party).

N – The Nooney Rickett Four, an L.A. rock band that appeared in Pajama Party.

O – “O Dio Mio,” a pre-Beach Party hit song for Annette.

P – The Potato Bug, a British rock singer played by Frankie Avalon in Bikini Beach (in addition to his regular role of Frankie).

QQuinn O’Hara, Scottish redhead who played Basil Rathbone’s homicidal daughter in The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini.

R – The Ratz, the name of Eric Von Zipper’s motorcycle gang. (The female members were known as the Mice.)

S – South Dakota Slim (Timothy Carey), the creepy pool shark from Bikini Beach and Bingo (where he kidnaps Sugar Kane). Or, it can for Bobbi Shaw, the curvaceous blonde with a fondness for taking baths in the final four Beach Party movies.

TToni Basil, one of the singer-dancers in Pajama Party. In 1982, she had a No. 1 hit song with “Mickey.”

U – Gary Usher, the influential 1960s composer, who wrote tunes for four Beach Party movies when not collaborating with Brian Wilson, The Byrds, and others.

V – Vivian Clements, a teacher played by Martha Hyer in Bikini Beach.

W – Little Stevie Wonder, who performed in Muscle Beach Party and Bikini Beach.

X - Francis X. Bushman, famous silent film actor and the first star labeled “King of the Movies.” He had a supporting role in The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini.

Y – “Yoots,” which is how Eric Von Zipper pronounces “youths” as in the Ratz being a bunch of “good clean American yoots.”

Z – Eric Von Zipper (a bit of cheat to make it to “Z”). Eric’s most famous quote: “I like you. And when Eric Von Zipper likes someone, they stay liked.”

BP - Annette and Frankie

Rick29 is a film reference book author and a regular contributor at the Classic Film & TV Café (http://classic-film-tv.blogspot.com/ and on Facebook). He’s a big fan of MovieFanFare, too, of course!

  • Butch Knouse

    Toni Basil was also in Mother, Jugs and Speed” as the junkie who killed Leroy.

  • l. hansen

    Does anyone know the name of that movie that happens in a house on a hill over a beach in Ca.where a guy parachutes into the pool and in the end the house slides down the hill onto the beach it’s a wild party scene and a main character shows off his rolls royce in the garage and it’s late sixties or so I can’t remember the stars it was on tv couple years ago thanks!

    • Tim

      This wouldn’t be “Don’t Make Waves” with Tony Curtis, would it?  A nice quirky, odd, funny, cult favorite..I love it..*L*

  • Blair Kramer.

    I’ve just gotta say, Annette looks great in that white top.

    • R.B. Armstrong

      I concur!

  • Evie

    Wasn’t Dave Draper, the body builder with white blonde hair in those movies?

  • Rick29

    Annette always looked awesome, though that’s my favorite photo of her from a Beach Party movie. The movie where the house slides down the hill may be Don’t Makes Waves with Tony Curtis and Sharon Tate.

    • R.B. Armstrong

      Yes, that’s Don’t Make Waves…which is rarely shown, though it has a minor cult following. I love the photos of Annette in her fish-net top.

  • Page

    Rick,
    A very clever post! I had no idea Stevie Wonder was in any of the Beach Party films. Loved the pool shark and Bobbi Shaw comments.
    Page

    • R.B. Armstrong

      Bobbie Shaw Chance, as she’s known today, runs an acting school in California. She even has a web site.

  • Bill C.

    What? No love for S – “Ski Party” where Frankie and crew still found ways to get into bathing suits even though it was winter? (Also great musical performance by James Brown & the Famous Flames!)

    • Bill

      AND… Leslie Gore on the bus singing, “Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows!

      • R.B. Armstrong

        A great scene!

    • R.B. Armstrong

      It’s a great variation on SOME LIKE IT HOT. I always torn whether to count it as a BP movie. There’s no character links (e.g., no Eric Von Zipper), but the cast and tone is BP all the way.

  • Salty Jack

    Under “W” you can add Val Warren who was the teenage werewolf in “Bikini Beach” – He won a makeup contest through ‘Famous Monsters of Filmland’ magazine where the first prize was a bit part in an AIP movie of his choice. He chose “Bikini Beach” when he found out Boris Karloff had a cameo in the film. Warren’s brief scene is in a pool room with Timothy Carey – Warren is wearing his winning werewolf makeup and is a member of Von Zipper’s motorcycle gang. Carey asks him ‘How you fixed for blood?’ Warren responds by growling at Carey while holding a glass of milk. A lot of us monster fans were envious of Warren and his first prize. It was cool, though. Cool makeup. Cool to be in a film featuring Annette and all the cute bikini girls and Boris Karloff! We were hoping Val Warren would be asked back for more of the Beach films and further expand on his character. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

  • Patrick

    You could have added K for Kitten, the ultimate beach party babe (in high heels!)in George Axelrod’s anti-beach party movie “Lord Love a Duck.” I always remember her mantra: “Oh, Harry, you’re SUCH A DRAG.”

  • Frank

    Great  movies, saw them all!

  • Mike

    I didn’t think much of these movies, though I have them all on DVD. I have loved Annette since I was 12 years old. She was 14. You do the math. I bought all of Annette’s Beach party Albums.

    • R.B. Armstrong

      If you still have those albums, they may be worth something!

  • Monica

    I don’t care how corny those beach party movies are! They are cult classics in my book! I absolutely LOVE Frankie and Annette!! I even named my daughter Annette as a tribute to her and of course my dad who at 12 was madly in love with Annette when she was a Mouseketeer!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/debra.m.murray Debra Menard Murray

    What about B for Beach House? A little bit of Heaven” I always wanted my parents to let my friends and I stay at our Lake Superior cabin like that. A rope to separate boys and girls! Loved it!,,

  • tpoffj

    Annette Funicello was a lovely lady in looks and spirit. R.I.P.

  • Wayne P.

    Nice trivia and/or back-story comments in the post, Rick29, and thanks for including them! And, I do know that Francis X. Bushman is NOT the only Francis X. from the earlier days of fim. The others name was Francis X. Shields, who played in “Come and Get It” with Edward Arnold and Joel McCrea. He played the ‘bohunk’ to EA’s daughter in the film which won Walter Brennan his first of 3 best supporting actor Oscars. But, what some folks may not know is he was Brooke Shields’ grandfather and was ranked #1 in the U.S. in tennis in 1930!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carolyn-Ferrante/100000671220210 Carolyn Ferrante

    You know, even though I am of the Funicello-Avalon generation, I never went to see their movies. Now I wish I had. These “kids” were icons of the late 1950s-’60s, and they beat out what young folk have today — Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, etc. I so miss those days!

  • Bill Roberts

    I’m older than most of their fans (81) but still enjoyed all of their silly high jinks One thing I was always curious about, how come Annette never got her perfect hairdo messed up or wet?

    • http://www.facebook.com/lobo711 Lorraine Boyd

      That’s Hollywood for you! :)

    • R.B. Armstrong

      Waster-proof hair spray?

  • Bruce Reber

    How about for E – Elvis Presley! The King of Rock starred in five movies with a beach setting (or locations associated with the beach) – “Blue Hawaii” (1961), “Girls, Girls, Girls!” (1962), “Fun In Acapulco” (1963), “Paradise Hawaiian Style” (1966) and “Live A Little, Love A Little” (1968).

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