Pajama Party (not rated)
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streaming sites: Amazon Prime; iTunes; Vudu
This is the fourth movie in the "Beach Party" series, released in 1964, but I didn't see it until 2022. It's not really a "beach" movie, despite like one scene on a beach, and there's no surfing. So I can't file my review under "surf & beach movies", and I'm calling it a "comedy" instead, though I seriously considered filing it under "weird". Because this is one of the most redonkulous things I've ever seen. Annette Funicello plays a girl named Connie (not Dee Dee), and unlike the other movies in the series (so far), she's not dating Frankie, as that character doesn't appear in this film. (Though Frankie Avalon does appear in a small, very different role.) Instead, Connie is dating a volley ball player called Big Lunk (Jody McCrea, who played a different character called Deadhead in the previous beach party movies). But Big Lunk doesn't pay enough attention to Connie, so she seeks to make him jealous by dating a guy named... No, wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. In one of the weird aspects of the movie, Martians are planning to invade Earth, and they send an advance scout ahead named Go Go (Tommy Kirk, who has appeared in other, quite different movies with Funicello). When he gets to Earth, he first meets an older woman whom all the local teens call "Aunt Wendy". She doesn't like the name "Go Go", and instead decides to call him "George", which is how she introduces him to Connie, along with the plan to make Big Lunk jealous. Incidentally, Big Lunk is actually Wendy's nephew. Go Go has no idea he's just supposed to make Lunk jealous, and he soon falls for Connie, who also falls for him.
Meanwhile, there's a con man named J. Sinister Hulk who has rented the house next door to Aunt Wendy's, because he has a scheme to steal the money that's hidden somewhere in her house. He has three people working for him: A dope named Fleegle, an offensive caricature of a Native American named Chief Rotten Eagle (Buster Keaton), and a Swedish bombshell named Helga, who speaks practically no English. Hulk's plan is for Helga to seduce Lunk and get him to tell her where the money is hidden. When that doesn't pan out, he decides to throw a pajama party at his house and invite all the teens who have been staying with Aunt Wendy. So he sends Fleegle into town to hire some average American teens to pose as Hulk's nieces and nephews. Of course Fleegle ends up hiring Eric Von Zipper and his gang, who have spent the whole movie so far wanting to, I dunno, scare away the other teens, or whatever.
And, I dunno, various other stuff happens. Some random kid occasionally spies on the teens and disdainfully says "Mush". There are a couple of aliens overseeing Go Go's mission progress, one of them played by Don Rickles. There's a teenager who is apparently named Jilda, who... just dances, but I want to say she seems to have stolen the shtick of a girl named Candy, from the previous films. (Candy also appears in this film, but it's just not the same.) And as in the previous two films, Donna Loren has a song. There's also a song by Dorothy Lamour, who plays a saleslady at the clothing store Aunt Wendy owns. Anyway... I'm not sure how funny I found anything in the movie. As I said, I was offended by the Rotten Eagle character, and everything else was just as nonsensical as that. A lot of it did make me smile, just out of vague appreciation for the weirdness of it all, or maybe it was because of the Twisted Tea I was drinking. Either way, I don't feel like it would be accurate to say I liked the movie, but I... guess I'm sort of glad to have seen it.
Beach Party *
Muscle Beach Party *
Bikini Beach *
Pajama Party *
Beach Blanket Bingo *
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini *
Ghost in the Invisible Bikini
see also Ski Party