Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

30 March 2008

Psycho Beach Party, dir. Robert Lee King (2000)

NIKKI says:
We're a good audience for this kind of movie. We're fans of crappy old horror films, and I don't think either of us would go past a bit of Beach Blanket Bingo on a Sunday afternoon. This movie pairs those concepts to create an overly satirical comedy that ends up feeling like a funny idea stretched to movie-length with no real purpose apart from reminding us how silly these films were.

We've got a killer, a girl with a split personality, surfers, and babes. Someone is knocking off people who lack in perfection -- a girl in a wheelchair, a guy with one testicle. There's no real development of this murder spree, and for much of the film we're led to believe the split-personality is involved. The reveal about who's doing what and why negates much of the story, and is really kind of boring.

There's lots of file footage and green screen -- stuff that's funny the first time we see it. There's lots of '50s lingo, but that was funnier in The Brady Bunch Movie and other films that understood that this kind of over-the-top satire still requires a decent plot.

I didn't enjoy this one much at all. But, really, how do you send-up something already inherently silly?


STEVE says:
I'm trying to imagine why - apart from the sheer absurdity of it, which I can respect on some level - someone would merge the Beach Movie and the Slasher Flick. Moreover, why make that movie a parody? Both genres have been parodied to death - Beach Movies by stuff like Back to the Beach and endless pop culture references, and Slasher Flicks by the Scary Movie franchise and by the fact that they've so over-stayed their welcome that their sequels have become parodies in themselves - so putting them together to create a hybrid Beach-Slasher parody seems like an exercise in redundancy.

Half a point to Lauren Ambrose for playing a range of characters. She'd get a whole point had any of these characters been more than a stereotype or caricature, but then that's all the movie really called for from anyone.

I maintain that clever, witty satire is not a thing of the past - though movies like Date Movie, Epic Movie, Scary Movie, and Meet the Spartans (all of which feature Carmen Electra - is that a rule, now?) would lead you to believe otherwise. But the material has to be relevant in order to work. Psycho Beach Party might have been clever and witty had it been written in the late 50s, but the material is so out of date now, there's no way it could work. Why do you think South Park doesn't riff on the Truman administration?


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