Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Ski Party is the beach party entry into the "Some Like It Hot" category, since Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman spend a good part of the film in drag. Frankie and Dwayne are college buddies who are losers with their gals (Deborah Walley and Yvonne Craig). Speaking of gals, Annette has a cameo as a professor at the school. Were Frankie and Dwayne so dumb that by the time they made it to college, Annette had already graduated and became a professor? Anyway, watch for a pretty good gag with Annette in the film... Back to the story...when Frankie & Dwayne hear there's going to be a ski trip sponsored by the school's playboy, they decide to tag along and see if they can change their luck. On the trip up, Lesley Gore is on the bus and sings the infectious "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows" and everyone else on the bus joins in on the chorus.
Once at the ski lodge, which just happens to have a heated pool, all the girls get into their bikinis, and Frankie sings a nice upbeat song "Lots, Lots More" as he lies on the diving board. Frankie doesn't fare as well on his other number, which also includes Hickman, Walley and Craig, entitled "Paintin' the Town", which is just a terrible song and doesn't match up to the quality of any of the other songs in the film. Later, Walley and Craig sing "We'll Never Change Them," which almost sounds like a song left off an old Ronnettes album. It was actually previously titled "I'll Never Change Him" and sung by Annette in the initial release of Beach Blanket Bingo, but the song was cut from all home movie releases.
And now we come to the THE BEST REASON to watch Ski Party... James Brown. James has a comedic skit as a ski ranger and then sings "I Got You" with The Flames as his backup dancers. At the end of the song, he dances out the door and does a split as his finale. This is the highlight of the movie and you really owe it to yourself to check it out. If you don't won't to watch the whole film for his performance, it's on youtube just google "james brown ski party". A bit of trivia I gleaned from imdb "James Brown said out of all the times he did splits, the only time he ever ripped his pants was in this movie."
At the end of the film, the gang winds up back at the beach where The Hondells (who also sing the title song of the movie, but do not perform it in the film) are hanging out on the beach singing "The Gasser", a pretty decent surf/hot rod song. Of course, this gives the filmmakers another chance to have girls dancing in bikinis. At the end of Ski Party there's a note to stay on the lookout for the next film in the series "Cruise Party", a film that was never made, since "the beach party series" had pretty much run its course by 1965/66.