Psycho Beach Party

Ever wonder what happened when a slasher movie, surf movie and thriller all come together? The answer is Psycho Beach Party, a sometimes deliriously funny new movie that feels like it could be decades old. Adapted by Charles Busch from his play, Psycho Beach Party is purposely bad and for the most part, manages to keep its level low without turning the audience against it. This is nothing more than mindless fun, and should appeal to fans of all three movies and any other type of camp.

Everything seems to revolve around Florence (Lauren Ambrose, Can't Hardly Wait). She doesn't understand why all the girls are drooling over guys, and she cannot understand why she has no breasts. She takes up surfing, much to the dismay of the local guys, who feel that women cannot surf. Oh, by the way, she two other personalities; Ann Bowman, a vampy bitch and a sassy black woman. Florence (or as she prefers, Chicklet) does not know about her other personalities, although others do. The problem is, when she blacks out, someone dies. Kanaka (Thomas Gibson, Eyes Wide Shut, ABC's Dharma & Greg) is the main object of Florence's affections. The always-rhyming ultra cool surf dude could care less about her. He prefers that Ann punish him. The other characters are also typically bizarre. Kanaka hangs out with some surfers who share a 'special' affection for each other, and Starcat (Nicholas Brendon, WB's Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the all-around nice guy who will obviously end up with Florence by the end.

Florence's friend Berdine (Danni Wheeler) is jealous that she is ignoring her and also has some special feelings of her own for Florence, movie star Bettina Barnes (Kimberly Davies, The Next Best Thing) is hiding out in a Malibu beach house, and Captain Monica Stark (Busch) is suspicious of everybody. Director Robert Lee King (Boys Life) weaves everything together capably. Psycho Beach Party is certainly a weirdly appealing film. The actors speak in the same lingo of the sixties beach movies while dealing with very nineties issues of homoerotic undertones. Heck, Florence and Kanaka even 'surf' - they stand and stick their arms out while images of waves show behind them. The look and feel of the film also looks authentic. Most of the kids are stupid, but not stupid enough to the point where they become annoying. King and Busch are not ones to underestimate their audience, and they hold a fond affection for bad movies. Oddly enough, movies made purposefully bad sometimes turn out, well, not as bad.

Mongoose Rates It: Not Bad, dude.
1 hour, 35 minutes, Not Rated but contains language and mild violence, would probably be a PG-13 or R.

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