Sunday, October 16, 2016

SKI PARTY (1965)

Shoehorned between the superior BEACH BLANKET BINGO and the lame HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI (all three were released within three months of each other!), SKI PARTY tells the completely nonsensical tale of two friends, Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman, who, instead of simply talking to the two girls they like, go through a ridiculous amount of trouble to try and hook up with them.

After a "failed" date at a drive-in, the two boys tag along on a school skiing trip that the girls are going on.  Nothing wrong with that.  Things seem to be going well, but then when the boys realize that they don't know how to ski...they, for whatever insane movie logic reason, decide to dress up like women!  And to compound the problem, the most popular boy in school now has the major hots for the female version of Dwayne!  It's actually kinda funny.  Also Frankie Avalon enters a ski jumping contest in order to impress Bobbie Shaw who he's been fake-flirting with in order to make the girl he secretly likes jealous!  That's right...instead of simply saying "I like you." to the the girl he likes, he follows her to another state, temporarily impersonates being a woman, fakes liking another girl and then enters a ski jumping contest to impress the girl he doesn't like.  With writing like that I guess it shouldn't surprise you that James Brown & The Famous Flames show up as a ski patrol.

Wacky story, some really good songs, beautiful locations in Sun Valley, Idaho and on Santa Monica Beach, California, humorous "breaking the 4th wall" moment, charmingly terrible special effects, Dick Miller in a small role as a taxi driver, lots of attractive girls in the background, brief Annette Funicello appearance as a college professor and the end credits promise of a "Cruise Party" movie that sadly never happened.

Attentive viewers will notice that in SKI PARTY Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman's characters are named Todd Armstrong and Craig Gamble, but in the same years DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE BIKINI MACHINE Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman character's names are switched.  Meaning Frankie is Todd in this film, but Craig in DGATBM and Dwayne is Craig here, but Todd in DGATBM.