Psycho Beach Party

"Extraordinary"

Psycho Beach Party Review


Not since Rocky Horror has the film world produced such a vibrant farce of teen angst, violence, and sexual deviance. And here comes Rocky's comeuppance, as off-Broadway cult icon Charles Busch has scripted a work of sheer demented brilliance in the gleefully absurd Psycho Beach Party.

Originally performed on the stage, Psycho Beach Party is the story of a teenage girl who wants desperately to surf. It's also the story of a female cop who used to be a man. And some homoerotic surfers. And a beautiful movie star who's hiding from Hollywood. And an alcoholic mother with no grasp of the present. And a psychotic killer who hacks people up for their imperfections. And it all takes place at Malibu Beach in 1962.

Visually resplendent and constantly hilarious, this film has all the makings of a teen cult favorite. Combining the setting concepts of production designer Franco-Giacomo Carbone and the costuming of Camille Jumelle with the romping weirdness of an absolutely bizarre cast, Psycho Beach Party is a hilarious revelation of the pervasive neuroses welling up within the generation it represents.

Deftly acted to a sprightly, refined camp under the direction of Robert Lee King (Boys Life, The Disco Years), the entire cast deserves kudos. Particularly noteworthy is Lauren Ambrose (In & Out, Can't Hardly Wait) as Chicklet, the 16-year-old tomboy around whom the film's drama revolves. Through Ambrose's performance, Chicklet comes off like a psychotropic Gidget, the sort of girl the word "spunk" might seem to have been invented for. Her sudden, schizophrenic shifts from one personality to another are refreshingly ridiculous, riding a thin wire of sincerity and self-mockery one seldom sees in celluloid.

Thomas Gibson (ABC's Dharma & Greg) is funny in his role as surf-guru Kanaka, but often appears to be left out of the joke. Fortunately, the rest of the cast appears to get it and keeps the story rolling through a cavalcade of dorky music, lame plot twists, and insanely bad special effects. This is a movie you can laugh both with and at.

Charles Busch's role as Captain Monica Stark is funny and self-effacing. Australian beauty Kimberly Davies (The Next Best Thing) gives a performance evoking Gilligan's Island's Ginger as B-movie starlet-in-hiding Bettina. And keep and eye out for Splendor's Kathleen Robertson as Rhonda the wheelchair-bound psychobitch.

This movie is everything it sets out to be. Go for the cheap thrills; stay for the surprise ending.

Psycho killers.



Psycho Beach Party

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 1st September 2001

Budget: $1.5M

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: New Oz Productions, Red Horse Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Florence 'Chicklet' Forrest, as Starcat, as Marvel Ann, as Captain Monica Stark, as Kanaka, as Lars / Larry, as Mrs. Ruth Forrest, as Rhonda

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.