Wednesday, July 20, 2011
BACK TO THE BEACH
Back To The Beach opens with an intro blending the world of movies and TV with real life. We are told all about Frankie being a teen idol and that he was once a great surfer and that Annette used to belong to a cult known as The Mickey Mouse Club and has an addiction to Peanut Butter (she once did commercials for Skippy). This was a nice touch and is probably the way those who grew up with Frankie and Annette could actually jumble reality and fantasy in the deep recesses of their minds. On a side note, the name "Frankie" is never used in Back To The Beach due to some legality with the original series. Avalon is always referred to as either The Big Kahuna or some play off that name and the end credits list him simply as Annette's husband.
Back To The Beach's plot is on par with the original Beach Party Movies and pokes gentle fun at all the tropes from those movies. Frankie and Annette live in Ohio and decide to take a vacation. They'll stop in California and visit their daughter for a couple of hours. Of course this visit turns into an extended stay and, as if you couldn't guess, Frankie and Annette wind up becoming jealous of one another, have a spat and, of course, get back together before the end of the movie.
Even with the recycled plot, Back To The Beach is a fun movie. Not only did I get to revisit with Frankie and Annette, but Back To The Beach is filled with cameos: Bob Denver and Alan Hale Jr. from Gilligan's Island, Barbara Billingsley, Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow from Leave It To Beaver, Ed "Kookie: Byrnes from 77 Sunset Strip, plus Don Adams of Get Smart fame has an extended role. I should also mention that everyone's favorite football star/convict, O.J. Simpson, makes an appearance spoofing his old Hertz commercials.
On to the musicians: Dick Dale, Frankie, and Connie Stevens sing "California Sun", Fishbone and Annette sing "Jamaica Ska", Stevie Ray Vaughn and Dick Dale perform "Pipeline", Pee Wee Herman rocks out on "Surfin Bird" and Frankie, Annette and the cast all sing "Some Things Go On Forever". Plus, the soundtrack from the movie is loaded with other great "feel good" songs.
I really enjoyed Back To The Beach and I think you will too, if you enjoyed the original Beach Party Movies. So, check out Back To The Beach, I don't think you'll be disappointed and you'll probably have a smile on your face when the movie is finished.