Beach Blanket Bingo – Reviewed

Hardcore hot and sexy, the Funicello way.

Hardcore hot and sexy, the Funicello way.

The fourth Frankie (Avalon) and Annette (Funicello) beach movie is probably the most well-known. It’s big, stupid, gaudy fun with a plot that revolves around a sky-diving publicity stunt for a sexy pop singer named Sugar Kane(!) played by the extremely cute Linda Evans. Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) leads a biker gang of idiots who may be the least menacing of their type in the history of film. The late great Paul Lynde plays Evans’ smarmy publicist and Don Rickles is the owner of a skydive company. There’s no denying the cutesy charm of the two leads — their virginal innocence seems downright otherworldly in this day and age. Outside of the titular opening tune I enjoyed their duet, “I Think” best. Buster Keaton pops up from time to time, usually chasing a bathing bombshell. It was well publicized that Funicello is virtually the only female cast member wearing a one-piece bathing suit — keeping her bellybutton under wraps, all out of misplaced respect for Uncle Walt (Disney). Check out Back to the Beach, the 1987 send-up in which Avalon and Annette play themselves as parents returning to old glories — If for no other reason than to see Pee-Wee Herman sing “The Surfin’ Bird.”

~ by Number5ive on July 23, 2008.

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