tek's rating: meh-ish

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (not rated)
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streaming sites: Amazon; iTunes

This is the sixth movie in the "Beach Party" series, released in 1965. I first saw it in 2022, during my summer of beach movies. But while some scenes do take place on a beach, there's no surfing, and I think of it more as a general comedy than an actual beach movie. (I also could have filed it under "weird", which is true of the entire Beach Party series.) There were times I almost stopped watching this movie, I thought it was so bad. But ultimately I guess I'm glad I kept watching, especially for a really cool non-speaking cameo appearance at the end of the movie, which I won't spoil.

It begins with Frankie on an island in the South Pacific. (Wikipedia says it's Tahiti, but that's not what Frankie called it in the movie. He didn't specify one island, he just said it was part of a group of islands, and I forget what he called them. But that's not important.) He's in the Naval Reserve, but we just see him relaxing with a native girl whom he's apparently been dating (her name isn't mentioned, as far as I recall). Of course, being a jerk with sexist double standards, he thinks it's okay for him to cheat on Dee Dee, but not for her to do the same. He doesn't think she would, but his current girlfriend gives him reason to worry (and she hopes Dee Dee will cheat on him). She takes him to see a witch doctor named Bwana (Buster Keaton), who sends a pelican to spy on Dee Dee, as well as conjuring up a girl named Cassandra who's magically supposed to be so attractive that all the guys will be into her and no one will be interested in Dee Dee. Cassandra falls for a guy named Ricky (Dwayne Hickman, best known for "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis"), but somehow he's immune to the spell, and is more interested in Dee Dee. She remains somewhat aloof, but still agrees to spend her time with Ricky. (I liked that she said her name was Dolores, but her friends call her Dee Dee, which answered a question I've had ever since the second movie in the series.) Meanwhile, all the other guys on the beach are obsessed with Cassandra, which makes all the girls jealous.

Ricky works for an ad man named Peachy Keane (Mickey Rooney), who works for an executive named B.D. "Big Deal" McPherson. Ricky is supposed to be "the boy next door" and compete in a motorcycle race, to change the image of bikers. Peachy has come to Malibu to recruit a "girl next door" to ride with Ricky in the race, and he chooses Cassandra. But Eric Von Zipper sets his sights on Cassandra, and the two of them end up riding together, which leaves Dee Dee to ride with Ricky. Also, in two previous Beach Party movies, there was a minor bad guy character I guess I never mentioned by name, South Dakota Slim. In this movie, we meet his brother, North Dakota Pete, who claims to be even worse than Slim. He comes up with some cartoonish obstacles to help Von Zipper win the race, but I don't want to say how the race actually turns out. Also, because Von Zipper is now working for Peachy's ad agency, he has to change his image, and forces his reluctant gang to do the same, which I guess was kind of amusing. And... I don't want to reveal any more of the plot.

Well, I didn't really care for any of the songs, but that's not super unusual, for these movies. The whole plot was redonkulous, which also is par for the course. There were some bits I found kind of offensive, which isn't unusual. As I look back at the movie to write this review the morning after I watched it, I can't really remember why I liked it less than the other movies in the series. It wasn't all bad. But it certainly wasn't good. I guess it was just coasting on the franchise's formula of general wackiness and whatnot, and not doing it quite as well as it had in the past. (Not that it ever did it super well.) Or maybe I was just sick of the formula, by this point.

teen comedy index

Beach Party series

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