VAMOS A LA PLAYA - BEACH PARTY & BEACH HORROR FILMS | Offscreen
Break out your Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirts and bikinis! Summer is coming early to Cinema Nova as "Vamos a la Playa" shines a light on those subgenres in which seaside, beach and the coast all get their moment in the cinematic sun. A wave of "beach party" movies and musical comedies featuring swimsuit-clad teens dabbling in holiday romance and Californian surf culture showcase the 60s at their retro-grooviest. Life is a beach not just for Elvis Presley in "Blue Hawaii" but also for the communist youth of East Germany in "Heißer Sommer". But the sea is also home to uncanny lifeforms in "Beach Horror" films, in which rubber monsters, mermaids or underwater Nazi zombies crawl ashore or lurk beneath the sand to target unwitting beachgoers and coast dwellers. After these bloody creature features ("Blood Beach") and rare boardwalk gems ("Night Tide"), your annual beach holiday will never seem the same again.
CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA
Legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, shooting on the cheap in Puerto Rico, mashes together mobsters, Cuban counter-revolutionaries and a sea creature resembling the Cookie Monster in this mad horror parody. Fun fact: Robert Towne, future Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Chinatown", plays the government agent.
BEACH HORROR & PARTY NIGHT
American cult film specialist Mike Hunchback zips through the B-movie history of beach horror, sea monsters and scantily clad bathers via three features ("The Horror of Party Beach", "Shock Waves" and "Blood Beach") and a crazy cocktail of trailers and surprise acts. Get ready for a beach party at the Nova-Tikibar where Hawaiian Hula alternates with 60s surf & garage beats.
THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH
The "First Horror Monster Musical" has been hailed as one of the worst films ever made, but there’s never a dull moment as radioactive waste transforms skeletons into bug-eyed aquatic humanoid creatures that prey on the women on the coast of Connecticut, including a couple of dozen chicks at a slumber party.
Shipwrecked tourists find themselves stranded on an island off the coast of Florida, inhabited only by an SS commander (Peter Cushing) and an entire secret army of undead storm troopers, whose modus operandi runs more to drowning people than to eating them. The original underwater Nazi zombie movie!
"Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water… you can’t get to it." Nice old ladies, young hotties, beachcombers, would-be rapists and a fluffy dog all get sucked into the sand and chomped on by an unseen creature in this bonkers horror movie set on and around Venice Beach in Los Angeles.
Fresh-faced youngsters head for the popular holiday resort of Rügen Island in the Baltic Sea in this East German variation on the Cliff Richard classic "Summer Holiday". At first, the unruly boys threaten to spoil the fun for the girls, but soon the two groups learn to get along, with lots of singing and dancing.
Young Dennis Hopper plays a sailor who falls in love with a carnival mermaid in this eerie low-budget debut by Curtis Harrington ("What’s the Matter With Helen?"), filmed on and around the boardwalks of Santa Monica. But will he meet the same fate as her previous boyfriends, who have all come to watery ends?
MATINEE: BLUE HAWAII
It’s Hawaiian shirts and leis galore as Elvis Presley plays beach-loving ex-G.I. Chad, who gets work as a tour guide even though his mom (Angela Lansbury, in real life only 10 years older than Elvis) wants him to carry on the family fruit business. Songs include "Can’t Help Falling in Love" and "Rock-A-Hula Baby".
NEITHER THE SEA NOR THE SAND
The love between Anna and Hugh is so strong that even his sudden death can’t stop him coming back to her. But his return is not without complications. An atmospheric romantic tragedy, adapted from a novel by British newscaster Gordon Honeycombe, and filmed on beautiful beach locations in the Channel Islands.
In Kitano’s breakthrough film, the cult actor-director plays a yakuza enforcer sent by his Tokyo boss to Okinawa. After an ambush, he and fellow survivors seek refuge at the beach, where they play children’s games. Genre thrills evolve into the alternately lyrical and brutal character study of a damned soul.
CINEMA BIS BELGE: LES DEMONIAQUES
Two women make a pact with the devil to avenge their rape and murder in this erotic thriller by the legendary Jean Rollin, who infuses it with his customary dreamlike imagery and pastel coloured chiffon. Co-produced by Brussels-based Général Films; atmospheric Belgian locations include the ruined Abbaye de Villers.