The Beach Girls and the Monster
|The Beach Girls and the Monster|
|Directed by||Jon Hall|
|Produced by||Edward Janis|
|Written by||Joan Gardner|
|Music by||Frank Sinatra Jr.
|Editing by||Radley Metzger
|Distributed by||U.S. Films|
|Release dates||September 1965|
|Running time||70 min.|
Young Richard Lindsay (Arnold Lessing) has given up his career in science in favor of his newfound passion, surfing on the Santa Monica beachfront near his father and stepmother's house, where he lives. This is to the great displeasure of his father, the noted oceanographer Dr. Otto Lindsay (Jon Hall), who is married to the younger Vicky (Sue Casey), who is dissatisfied with Otto's relative lack of devotion to her. Also living with the Lindsays is Richard's sculptor buddy Mark (Walker Edmiston), who walks with a limp as a result of an auto accident Richard had earlier.
While Vicky hits on her stepson and teases his friend Mark, a loathsome seaweed shrouded monster starts slaughtering the kids on the beach. Dr. Lindsay seems convinced that it is a mutated carnivorous South American "fantigua fish" that has grown large enough to exist out of the ocean.
The surfing footage, used for the scene where Richard runs a film for Mark was shot by one of the most prolific surf filmmakers of the 1960s, Dale Davis, who produced Walk on the Wet Side, Strictly Hot, and the landmark The Golden Breed. For some release prints, the footage was printed in color.
Most of the interior shots - specifically all those of the Lindsay home - were shot at the actual home of director and star Jon Hall.
All the sculptures and the 'Kingsley the Lion' puppet used in the film, were created by the actor who played Mark - Walker Edmiston, the host of "The Walker Edmiston Show", a children's television program in Los Angeles that featured puppets of his own creation including 'Kingsley the Lion.'
The score for The Beach Girls and the Monster was arranged and conducted by Chuck Sagle, and a few of the musicians assembled for the soundtrack were members of the surf band The Hustlers (who are known for their songs "Kopout," "Inertia" and "Wailin’ Out") from Riverside, California. In the book, Pop Surf Culture, written by Brian Chidester and Dominic Priore, the soundtrack of The Beach Girls and the Monster "has got to rank up there among the best … no fewer than 13 different sections of full-bore, deep-reverb tank surf instrumentals throb the soundtrack".
The theme song, titled "Dance Baby Dance," was written by Frank Sinatra, Jr. and Joan Janis, and produced by Edward Janis. Arnold Lessing, who plays Richard, wrote the song he sings in the film, "More Than Wanting You." Walker Edmiston and Elaine DuPont, who play Mark and Jane respectively, wrote "There's a Monster in the Surf."
The film was featured in an episode of Deadly Cinema. The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of the The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnlL4yKrD2s The Beach Girls and the Monster trailer on YouTube
- The Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2007. Walker Edmiston Obituary By Dennis McLellan
- Pop Surf Culture: Music, Design, Film, and Fashion from the Bohemian Surf Boom by Brian Chidester & Domenic Priore, pg 171-172.
- Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-69334-0.