Color, 1982, 90m.
Directed by Bud Townsend
Starring Debra Blee, James Daughton, Val Kline, Jeana Keough, Adam Roarke, Mary Jo Catlett, Herb Braha
Scorpion (Blu-Ray & DVD) (US R0 HD/NTSC), Mill Creek, BCI/Eclipse (DVD) / WS (1.78:1) (16:9), Rhino (US R1 NTSC)
Part pot comedy and part T&A romp, The Beach Girls was a big drive-in hit for Crown International right around the same time they were diving into '80s teen comedies with the likes of Tomboy and My Tutor. That same spirit carries over here for what amounts to a glossier spin on their '70s programmers like The Van and Malibu Beach, here centering around the mayhem that erupts when three girls decide to spend the summer at a beach house. The property is owned by Uncle Carl (Dirty Mary Crazy Larry's Roarke), whose niece Sarah (Savage Streets' Blee) is the most inhibited and "nice" girl of the trio. Also on hand are Ducky (Thomasina) and Ginger (Kline), who have no problem popping their tops and splashing around in any body of water handy from the swimming pool to the ocean.
During all the partying and pizza deliveries, things take a crazier turn when Carl shows up and says the shenanigans have to stop by the next morning, while some nosy neighbors (including Diff'rent Strokes' Catlett) seem determined to put a halt to this debauchery even faster. Ducky and Ginger decide to take matters with Carl into their own hands with Carl, while Sarah starts to think she might have to be more like her friends if she wants to land the guy of her dreams, guitar-strumming Scott (Daughton, best known as Greg Marmalard from National Lampoon's Animal House). On top of that, some bags of marijuana tossed overboard by jittery drug dealers wash up on their doorstop, with the authorities in tow and the kids putting it all to use for one big final blow out.
So featherweight it almost evaporates in front of your eyes, The Beach Girls is a rollicking, brainless slice of fun buoyed by a peppy soundtrack. It's the kind of film that seems designed to pop up on Cinemax at midnight when your defenses are lowered and its silly cheerfulness can really take effect. There's some playful nudity every five minutes or so and plenty of other distractions like a completely random kung fu fight, so needless to say, there's plenty of fun here to be had by all.
The Beach Girls first surfaced on DVD from Rhino in a lackluster 2003 double feature with The Pom Pom Girls, followed by a greatly improved anamorphic transfer in 2007 from BCI Eclipse paired up with Coach. Like most of its '80s Crown stable mates, it wound up getting recycled into the 12-film Too Cool for School Collection from Mill Creek in 2009, followed by a few other similar collections from the same label.
In keeping with its solid track record with Crown titles, Scorpion's 2013 Blu-ray upgrade is the best presentation to date. Crown has kept its elements in superb shape over the years, and not surprisingly, everything here looks great with crisp detail and bright colors that often threaten to pop off the screen. Label hostess Katarina Leigh Waters returns and goes through several costume changes as she bounces her way through gags involving pizza delivery, dancing food, and bathing suits while chatting about the cast and crew. Also included are bonus trailers for The Pom Pom Girls, MyTutor, Tomboy, and House on Sorority Row, any of which would make an ideal second feature.
Reviewed on December 31, 2013.