tek's rating: booo!

Ski Party (not rated)
IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon

This came out in 1965, but I didn't see it until 2023, just because it was included in a set of Beach Party movies I own. It's one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It's nominally a spin-off of the "Beach Party" franchise, though it has none of the same characters. It's done in a similar comedic vein, with one of the same main actors, but it's just terrible in every way. A number of times throughout the movie, I asked myself why I was still watching it, and nearly turned it off. But I managed to get through the whole thing.

Frankie Avalon plays a college kid named Todd, who has a best friend named Craig (Dwayne Hickman, from "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis"). They're both annoyed that they can't get anywhere with a couple of girls named Linda (Deborah Walley, who I've seen in a few other movies including Beach Blanket Bingo, though I didn't recognize her) and Barbara (Yvonne Craig), with whom they've had a couple of dates. They're especially annoyed that a guy named Freddie constantly has a ton of girls following him around, including Linda and Barbara. When a group of students go on a ski holiday, Todd decides that he and Craig should go too, to make sure the girls don't forget about them. Of course, they don't know how to ski, and for some reason it seems like the ski instructor for all the boys expects them to know the basics already and the ski instructor for the girls, Nita (Bobbi Shaw, who played different characters in a few different Beach movies), tries to teach the basics. So Todd decides that he and Craig should dress as girls named Jane and Nora. At first this is so they can learn to ski, but soon they befriend Linda and Barbara. Also, Freddie falls for Nora. Hilarity, I promise you, fails to ensue. (I am really not a fan of drag played for this kind of "comedy".)

There's really not much else to say. There are several musical numbers, including one by Lesley Gore and one by James Brown and the Famous Flames, and I just felt sad for them, being in such an awful movie. And the guy in charge of the ski lodge, Mr. Pevney, apparently has a history of mental illness from which he's trying to recover, and Todd decides he and Craig should mess with him, which is probably the most distasteful aspect of the movie, which is saying a lot. Annette Funicello, from the Beach movies, also has a minor role as a college professor, who in one scene is apparently on a date with a student. That was also a pretty cringey gag. And of course, in the end Linda and Barbara decide they were in the wrong for how they treated Todd and Craig on their dates, and decide to become better girlfriends to them. Blech. During the end credits, another movie called "Cruise Party" was announced, but that was never made. Which I almost feel is a shame, because I expect it would have been at least a little bit better than this mess.

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