Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

There have been horror movie icons since the 1920s, and naturally enough, every one of them has to have their Very Last Horror Movie. But not a one of them had a grand finale to their time as a star of horror movies like Vincent Price, who was shipped out of the genre in grand […]

I would never have thought of this on my own, but now that I’ve been put in mind of it, it makes perfect sense that American International Pictures and Amicus Productions would team up together. You could never say that they occupy the same spot in their respective ecosystems, because the Hollywood and British film […]

Here begins the 2017 Summer of Bl the 2017 Summer of Haunted New York Real Estate The thing about The Amityville Horror, the 1979 blockbuster film and the bestselling 1977 book it was based upon alike, is that it’s been solved, quite as thoroughly as any work of narrative fiction can be said to have […]

One of the main unifying traits that connects nearly all the filmmakers who were part of the New Hollywood Cinema period (not every last one, of course) was their knowledge of cinema. For most of them, this was the result of having gone through film school rather than come up as an apprentice, the way […]

My first thought is not a very professional one: holy shit, Diane Ladd used to look exactly like her daughter. Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I can turn to the matter at hand. And the matter at hand is The Wild Angels, a film without which the subsequent history of cinema […]

In the waning days of the mid-’60s surf fad, and the short-lived but intense burst of beach party movies that tagged eagerly along, the brains at American International Pictures came up with many new ways to prolong the life of that cash cow which they had largely invented, each more weird and strange than the […]

Frankie Avalon wanted to play roles that befitted a man in his mid-to-late 20s, and new mom Annette Funicello wanted to spend time with her family, but by God, American International Pictures was American International Pictures, and they were going to make another beach party movie before all was said and done. That movie was […]

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is a film of lasts: the last of the American International beach party movies directed by the series’ animating spirit, William Asher; the last starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, no longer resembling teenagers even to the minute degree they did in the earliest films of the run, but […]

The fourth “true” film of American International’s beach series, Beach Blanket Bingo, is also all but universally regarded as the best, not by any little margin, either; and after a fashion, it is the last one before the wheels fell off entirely, for it was the last time that Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello were […]

It is a matter of debate amongst people whose priorities are severely misplaced whether 1964’s Pajama Party is, properly speaking, a part of American International Pictures’ beach party franchise or not. It ports over nearly the entire core cast of those films, but nearly all of them are playing different characters. It incorporates Southern California […]

Bitter, scrupulous honesty compels us to admit that Bikini Beach has an alarmingly defective screenplay; by which I do not mean “The script of Bikini Beach compares unfavorably to the script of Network“, or something dumb like that, because fucking duh. I mean, even by the standards of the American International beach party movies, Bikini […]

There were many knock-offs of American International’s Beach Party, the groundbreaking surf musical starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello; but AIP’s own first knock-off (for ripping itself off was one of the things the company did best) was Muscle Beach Party, released in the spring of 1964. Of course “knock-off” isn’t the word that the […]