Monday, August 12, 2019

Phil’s Horror Watch: THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH (1964) from Severin Films - August 6, 2019


Starring John Scott, Alice Lyon, Allan Laurel, Eulabelle Moore, Marilyn Clarke, Agustin Mayor, Damon Kebroyd, The Del-Aires
Screenplay by Richard Hilliard (additional dialogue by Ronald Gianettino, Lou Binder)
Cinematography by Richard Hilliard
Edited by Richard Hilliard, Leonard De Munde, David Simpson
Produced by Del Tenney, Alan V. Isolines
Directed by Del Tenney
Originally distributed by 20th Century Fox
Re-released by Severin Films

Horror films of the 1960’s were interesting to watch, to say the least. It really depended on the size of its budget. You had the Roger Corman directed, AIP produced, Edgar Allen Poe adaptations that are now considered to be classics in the genre, the game changing reincarnations of classic horror monsters from Hammer Films from Great Britain, and then there were the small, DIY horror films that challenged society’s standards on what was acceptable and what was deemed immoral, grotesque, and offensive. And then there were the cheapie fright flicks, that have gone one to become cult classics despite their limitations. Case in point, the fine people at Severin Films have restored the one and only THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH for a whole generation of horror fans who may have never seen or heard of the film before!

The film’s official synopsis: In 1964, 20th Century Fox released an independent shocker – shot in two weeks for $50,000 outside Stamford, Connecticut by local producer/director Del Tenney – advertised as ‘The First Horror-Monster Musical’. More than 50 years later, this “absolute classic of exploitation cinema” (Legends Magazine) returns like you’ve never seen or heard it before: When nuclear waste dumped into the ocean mutates a shipwreck full of corpses, it will unleash an onslaught of bikini teens, surprising gore, dubious science, an intrepid maid, The Del-Aires, and arguably the greatest worst monsters in horror movie history.

Original Theatrical Poster (1964)
I was first introduced to the movie through the Paramount Pictures tribute to bad movies 1982 film entitled IT CAME FROM HOLLYWOOD. Years later, I would see the movie again via the cult classic television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 (which is available in one of the many boxsets available from Shout Factory). I was finally to rent a copy at my local mom & pop video store and it was so bad I laughed the whole way through my viewing! Much like Edward D. Wood, Jr., Tenney tried so damn hard to make a good movie, but failed every step of the way! But it's his determination and spirit that makes the movie so much fun to watch!

Filmed in a mere three weeks with most of the secondary characters in the film were locals of Stamford, Connecticut, Tenney shot this film back-to-back with his other horror film THE CURSE OF THE LIVING CORPSE. The film's original working title was INVASION OF THE ZOMBIES before it was changed to its more infamous title. And despite being billed as "The First Horror Monster Musical" in the advertisements, filmmaker Ray Denis Steckler's The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies beat the film to the theaters by a couple of months. However, it did tremendous business at the box office for 20th Century Fox, when they picked up the film and released on June 1, 1964.

Severin Film did a tremendous job of restoring the film to its original glory, featuring a new 2k scan from the original negative and loaded with all-new special features! The special features include: Return to Party Beach: A Retrospective Documentary on THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH, It’s the Living End: An Encounter with The Del-Aires – Interview with Band Members Bobby Osborne and Ronnie Linares, Shock & Roll: filmmaker Tim Sullivan On Rock & Roll Horror Movies, Archival Interview With director Del Tenney, and the film's original theatrical trailer.

THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH is a truly beloved cult horror film classic that is rip for discovery by a all-new generation of horror fans that might have missed out on it originally! Filled with cheesy rubber monster costumes, insane acting, surf music, teen beach party, it contains everything you would want to watch with a bunch of your friends on a Friday night! Forget about going out to see a movie at the mall! Call up your buddies, grab some pizzas and sodas, kick back and watch this movie! You'll be glad that you did! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH is available on both Blu-Ray and DVD from Severin Films. To purchase a copy, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

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