Stomp! Shout! Scream!
Some people -- okay, us -- would classify Gidget as a monster movie. No, Sandra Dee was not the Devil and Moondoggie wasn't her slavering hellhound, but their 1959 flick ushered in the frightful genre known as the beach-party movie. Now, Gidget was foul, but it was at least digestible. Its most notorious spawn, American International's 1965 Annette Funicello/Frankie Avalon vehicle Beach Blanket Bingo, was a virulent new strain of wretched. We were about 12 when we first saw it, and though our hormones were raging and the cinematic wipeout was brimming with fulsome bosoms and thinly veiled sexual innuendo, we still nearly puked. It was ghastly, lurid, macabre. It was the Robot Monster of the '60s. No, worse. It was the From Justin to Kelly of the '60s. Peee-yooo.
If there's any upside to these vacuous constructs, it's that they provided endless cannon fodder for parodists in all reaches of pop culture (most spectacularly in Charles Busch's Broadway-to-the-big-screen musical Psycho Beach Party). That's what the best bad films do.
Is the indie Stomp! Shout! Scream! a satire for the ages? Well, the plot sounds coolio -- all-girl garage band is menaced by a Southern-fried Bigfoot named the Skunk Ape -- and it's got three major things going for it: 1) it bears the hip imprimatur of Jay Wade Edwards (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Adult Swim), 2) it has a kickin' soundtrack that includes tracks by Catfight, The Woggles, The Evidents, The Hate Bombs, The Vendettas, and The Penetrators, and 3) it simultaneously sends up beach flicks and lousy monster movies, potentially appealing to both audiences. We'll see.
Sat., Aug. 2, 7 p.m., 2008
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