Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

Surf Soiree part 1

April 13th, 2011

Many, many movies piled up on both the DVR and my “To Be Watched” shelves. I’ll be doing a Noir Fest in a couple of weeks, but first I wanted to do something a little different.

Surfing Movies!

First, we have to go back to Summer 2008. I was working a miserable job and needed some kind of escape. In June, I read Don Winslow’s surf noir The Dawn Patrol (one of the best mysteries I’d read in a long, long time). That was it – The Beach, The Water, Surfing! After that, I watched the majority of the Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello movies, had Mary make me the ultimate Surf music CD and managed to write both a short story and a short play revolving around surfing (the play debuts in Chicago this June!)

So I’ve been on the lookout for surf stuff for a while.

Some of these films will be obvious and some may be a bit of a stretch, but it’s my festival and I can define it any way I want.

And – No. Even though it’s awesome, I won’t be watching Point Break.

So grab your board and let’s take-off!


Monday April 11, 2011……….TRIPLE FEATURE
Back to the Beach (1987)
Directed by Lyndall Hobbs, screenplay by Peter Krikes, Steve Meerson and Christopher Thompson. Starring Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello and Connie Stevens.
I’d seen this one before, but not since I watched the original 60’s movies. You can’t parody something that’s already supposed to be funny. As a result, Back to the Beach isn’t a parody of the Frankie & Annette movies of the 1960’s, but actually a fairly good recreation of those films (and, let’s face it, those movies were pretty bad). With a distinct 80’s feel, it revolves around bathing suits, tricking your boyfriend or girlfriend, music, partying on the beach and then all wraps up with a bodacious surfing duel.
3 out of 5 stars.
Ride the Wild Surf (1964)
Directed by Don Taylor, screenplay by Joe Napoleon and Art Napoleon. Starring Fabian, Tab Hunter, Shelley Fabares, Barbara Eden and James Mitchum (Robert Mitchum’s son).
Three buddies go to Hawaii to catch some big waves and each of them meets the woman that will change their life forever. Then it all wraps up with a bodacious surfing duel. Ride the Wild Surf takes itself more seriously than the Frankie and Annette movies of the same period and, as a result, isn’t quite as entertaining. Good surfing footage and the title song is one of my surf music standards.
2.5 out of 5 stars.
Dark Star (1974)
Directed by John Carpenter, screenplay by John Carpenter and Dan O’Bannon. Starring Brian Narelle, Dre Pahich, Cal Kuniholme and Dan O’Bannon.
This is one that’s outside the box. The spaceship Dark Star travels the universe, blazing the way for future settlers. We spend some time with the crew and see some things go wrong. There’s a nice surfing monologue and surf-related death as well as a killer beach ball.
3 out of 5 stars.

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