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817 - The Horror of Party Beach
0817
Air Date September 6, 1997
MST3K Director Kevin Murphy
Movie Director Del Tenney
Year 1964
Cast John Scott
Alice Lyon
Allan Laurel
Eulabelle Moore
Marilyn Clarke
Preceded by 816 - Prince of Space
Followed by 818 - Devil Doll


"Dad's being smothered by a huge loaf of pepperoni-studded brown bread!"
  — Tom Servo


The Movie

"I generally had a positive impression of white people before this movie."

Synopsis

Partybeach

The Horror of Party Beach

Hank Green (Scott) and Tina, his girlfriend (Clark) drive to a public beach to have a good time and listen to the band The Del-Aires. They argue, and Tina separates from Hank and indulges in group beach dancing, which leads to her flirting with the leader of a motorcycle gang.

Hank commiserates with Elaine, his boss's daughter, over his difficulties with Tina. Hank and the gang leader fight, then Tina swims out to a rock off the beach to reflect. She is killed by a sea monster, which was spawned by the dumping of radioactive waste into a nearby harbor.

The police seek the aid of Dr. Gavin, a local scientist. Dr. Gavin shares his home with his daughter Elaine and Eulabelle, his housekeeper. Elaine expresses guilt over having intense feelings for Hank so soon after Tina has bought it.

Horroratpartybeachfilm
The monsters, who need human blood to live, killing over twenty girls at a slumber party, then three other women who are passing through town. They are foiled in an attempt to kill two women leaving a drugstore and shatter the storefront window of a clothing establishment, which causes one to sever an arm.

Much media attention is paid to the mayhem.

Meanwhile, Hank and Elaine go out on a date.Dr. Gavin meets with police in his home laboratory to analyze the appendage. Eulabelle comes into the lab and carelessly overturns a container of sodium onto the arm, ending its twitching. This reveals the weapon with which the monsters will be defeated.  Hank acquires enough sodium to kill the monsters before they can harm Elaine, whom they had kidnapped.

Information

  • Partybeach2

    The Horror of Party Beach

    Made in the spring of 1964 for a paltry $60,000, The Horror of Party Beach is Del Tenney's best-known film. He released this along with The Curse of the Living Corpse on a double bill in May 1964.
  • Del Tenney himself makes a brief appearance as a gas station attendant who flirts with a car full of girls.
  • This film is a personal favorite of Stephen King.
  • The Del-Aires were a real band, and a fairly popular one on the east coast. Bad Movie Planet has a full history and profile of them.
  • Director Del Tenney was apprehensive about the film's combination of the teen beach movie genre and the monster horror genre, not knowing how audiences would respond to it. Tenney said he was admittedly surprised by the film's success.
  • Horrorpartybeach
    Shot in three weeks.
  • The voice of actress Alice Lyon (Elaine) voice is dubbed throughout the entire film.
  • A promotional sign was posted at every theater showing this film which stated: "FOR YOUR PROTECTION! We will not permit you to see these shockers unless you agree to release the theater of all responsibility for death by fright!" Moviegoers actually had to sign a "Fright Release" before they entered the theater.
  • The 'underwater' transformation scene of the monsters was actually shot on a stage with images of fish in an aquarium superimposed over the dissolving stage shots.
  • Most of the secondary characters in the film were locals of Stamford, Connecticut that were cast on location.
  • Director Del Tenney said he kept the monster suits from this film for years afterward and wore them at parties for laughs
  • Chocolate syrup was used for blood during the monster attack scenes.
  • According to director Del Tenney, there were only two complete monster heads created for the film, which is why in most shots of multiple monsters you don't see their heads clearly. For the climatic scene at Fingle's Quarry, the shot of the horde of monsters running through the woods was created by superimposing different takes of the complete monsters together.
  • Cinematographer/co-writer Richard Hilliard cameos as the father watching the news report of the monster attacks on TV. Del Tenney's young son and daughter play the children in the same scene.
  • Because of the film's low-budget, the 'car crash' between the two drunks was faked by sound effects and placing the cars at an angle to make them appear to be touching.
  • TheBandHorrorBeach

    The Del-Aires

    For a meeting in which Del Tenney was going to show the film to executives from Twentieth Century Fox to see if they would pick it up, Tenney brought in some folks to wear the monster suits for promotion. One of the monsters just happened to be in the restroom when an executive from Twentieth Century came in. The gentleman was frightened by the sight of the monster Tenney recalled. Everyone had a good laugh about it and Twentieth Century Fox released the film.
  • The film was originally refused a UK cinema certificate and was only passed after heavy cuts which removed most of the attack scenes. The DVD is uncut and 12 rated.
  • Most of the soundtrack and musical sound effects were music library cues by Desmond Leslie and Eric Siday, found on "Vintage Sci-Fi"(JW 2073).
  • Inspired the song "The Horror of Party Beach" by Sloppy Seconds.
  • Assistant director Wayne Tippit plays one of the two drunks killed by the monster.

The Episode

Host Segments

Partybeach3

Observer and Callipygeas bond. Pearl and Flavia, not so much.

Prologue: While Mike tries to explain their present situation, Tom takes a leaf out the book of the Gyuto Monks of Tibet and attempts to harmonize his overtones with the fundamental.

Segment One: Mike marvels at Tom's multi-layered chanting, until he discovers the little robot has some pre-recorded assistance. Meanwhile down in Ancient Rome Apearlo and Brainguyus attempt to convince a delighted Callipygeas and a suspicious Flavia that they are in fact gods. They "prove" themselves when they communicate with the average-looking man-god, the golden spider duck, and the squat crimson pig living in the stars.

817

Mike's trunks are a bit too small

Segment Two: Crow and Tom are in costume for their manly beach dance, but the swimming trunks they've made for Mike to wear are a tad small, in the sense that he's effectively nude.

Segment Three: Pearl and Observer continue try and convince their hosts that they're gods, opting for the music of the gods, including 'Seasons In The Sun' by Terry Jacks and a beef flavored hoe-down!
Sodium

Sodium!

Segment Four: Impressed by the extremely up-to-date newspaper boy from the movie, Tom goes one better and offers copies of the S.O.L. Post with to the second updated headlines to Mike, covering his increasing annoyance at the skit.


Closing (Segment Five): Dressed as the Del-Aires, Mike and the Bots reach out to youth of today and sing of Sodium!, while down in Rome as Brain Guy and Callipygeas increasingly bond, Pearl and Flavia increasingly trade insults.

Stinger: The semi-nude thin guy in full swing at the beach dance.

Trivia

  • Michael J. Nelson once called this one of his favorite episodes of MST3K. He said that The Horror of Party Beach (1964) was an especially enjoyable film to riff.
  • Patrick Brantseg is listed as the Set Designer for the first time in the credits. He'll retain that title for the reminder of the series.
  • The movie “was billed as ‘the first horror musical,’ however the similarly-hyped 812 The Incredibly Strange Creatures... was released the year before.
  • This is the last episode that “The authors of the First Amendment” would be thanked at the end of the credits.

Callbacks

Quotes & References

  • "Oh, another Afrikaner beach movie!"

Afrikaners are the descendants of early Dutch settlers in South Africa. They formed the major support for the racist policy of apartheid.

  • "Sturgis: a city on the move."

A reference to the South Dakota city that holds the famous annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

  • "The monster gets up and immediately puts on 'Metal Machine Music'."

Metal Machine Music is an album by Lou Reed. It consists of 64 minutes of guitar feedback.

  • "Oh, I am so Twila Tharp...!"

Twila Tharp is a New York choreographer and dancer, who often uses pop music in her work.

  • "I want my Peter Allen records back."

Peter Allen was a songwriter and performer who 'outed' himself following his divorce from Liza Minelli.

  • "Look out, Ted Kennedy's drivin' home!"

​United States Senator Ted Kennedy (who had a reputation for drinking heavily) drove his car off a bridge on Martha's Vineyard, which resulted in the suffocation/drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne , a passenger in his car. His actions immediately following the accident (such as making no attempt rescue Ms. Kopechne, and wearing a neck brace at press conference) were widely criticized. The incident was a continual source of controversy throughout Kennedy's long political career.

  • "Mother Angelica is on!"

Mother Mary Angelica is the founder of the Eternal Word Television Network , which broadcasts Catholic-themed programming; she hosted a talk show named 'Mother Angelica Live.'

  • (Eulabelle: 'It's a human thing!') "...You wouldn't understand."

​A riff on a famous line ("It's a black thing; you wouldn't understand.") from the Spike Lee movie Do The Right Thing'.

  • "Someone set The Second Sex to music."

The Second Sex was written by Simone de Beauvoir and is considered a major work of feminist literature. The "folk song" being sung here ("Oh hard is the fortune of all womenkind . . .") is "The Wagoner's Lad", a folk-song often sung a capella by Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia.

  • The Ipswich Women's Club presents Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery'."

"The Lottery" is a famous short story in which a woman is stoned to death. The Ispwich Woman's Club is an old English social club. Additionally, "The Batley Townswomens' Guild presents the Battle of Pearl Harbour " was a sketch in the 11th episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

  • "I just saw 'Rent!'"

A reference to the long-running Broadway musical .

  • "They're headed to the Lavern De Fazio convention."

​'Laverne De Fazio' was the name of Penny Marshall's character from the sitcom Laverne & Shirley .

  • Tonight on "Roar"...

Roar was a short lived action/adventure series which aired in 1997 on Fox created by former 70's hearthrob and TV producer, Shaun Cassidy as a cash-in of the Hercules/Xena craze. It starred Heath Ledger as a young Celtic chieftain fighting Roman invaders in Ancient Ireland.

  • "I'm Margaret Chase Smith, running for Senate..."

​Margaret Chase Smith was a Republican politician from Maine, and the first woman to serve in both the House and Senate.

  • "Baby Bop is a prowler!"

Baby Bop is one of the secondary characters from the children's show Barney & Friends .

Referencing Billy Idol's hit song 'Eyes Without a Face.'

  • "The birth of a media empire!" "Rusty Murdoch!"

Jokingly placing the kid as a young Rupert Murdoch; founder of News Corp.

  • "Is Dear Abby running 'Please God, I'm Only 17' again?"

Deary Abby once ran a letter written from the point of view of a dead teenager that has the teenager looking down at his body at the accident scene, watching his parents identify his body, and attending his funeral, before ending with the boy pleading for one more chance at life, and how he'll be "he most careful driver in the whole world".

Memorable Quotes

[The opening titles are accompanied by surf rock]
Servo: A-hehehehe! Horror!
Crow: Yeah, the only horror at Party Beach is Cindy's cheese dip!
[During a driving scene]
Mike: Nude driving: a new fad among the teens.
[Over the "Additional Dialogue by" credit]
Mike: What is "additional dialogue", anyway?
Crow: Oh, things like "Hey you!", "Get off that!", and "Why not?"
Crow: Sturgis: a city on the move!
Crow: I bet that would be good with drawn butter. Of course, I'd eat my own *head* with drawn butter.
[A man in a t-shirt and Speedo-type swimwear jumps into the frame, sickening Mike and the 'bots]
Crow: Men should not have bikini areas!
[Young beachgoers perform the "Zombie Stomp" dance]
Mike: I'm starting to agree with the Taliban militia: dancing should not be allowed.
[The guitarist of the band sings while rolling his eyes back into his head]
Crow: MY SKULL!
[A baggy-eyed monster with a head fin and hot-dog-like mouth protrusions emerges from behind a rock]
Crow: Whoa! A creature whose face is 80% eyebag.
Servo: So, radiation has a sense of humor!
[On the beach, the biker-gang leader fights lean Hank]
Servo [as Biker/Johnny Mathis][singing to "Chances Are"]
Chances are
That I'll kick your scrawny ass...
. . .
[Eventually, the gang leader relents and offers Hank his hand]
Mike [as Gang Leader]: You have defeated me, sir; you and your noble band of choreographers.
[The monsters attack an all-girl slumber party]
Mike: [They] don't even know what panties are, yet they feel compelled to raid.
Servo: Every male of any species has the biological urge to panty-raid.
[A grocer's sign in the background reads "Look Polish"]
Mike: Wait— "Look Polish?"
Servo: Huh?
Mike: It's—it was right there in the shot is was somethi—see? It says "Look Polish"!
Servo: "Look Polish"!
Crow: Or maybe it's "Look! Polish!"
[Dr. Gavin, daughter Elaine, and others are examining a severed monster arm when they hear a noise]
Elaine[whispering] I hear something.
Servo [as Elaine][whispering] He's coming! Look Polish, everyone!
Tom: What are we looking at and why are we looking at it?
[The time of day has been changing]
Tom: Uh, meanwhile later yesterday afternoon, I guess ... 

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