HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI (1965)
Article #1537 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-30-2005
Posting Date: 10-27-2005
Directed by William Asher
Featuring Annette Funicello, Dwayne Hickman, Brian Donlevy
Frankie is worried that Dee Dee will be unfaithful to him while he is in the naval reserve on a tropical island. He consults a local witch doctor, who agrees to do two things; he sends an attractive woman to the beach to keep the guys’ eyes off of Dee Dee, and sends out a pelican to keep an eye on Dee Dee.
I’ve had little call to cover any of the Beach Party movies as part of the series (unless DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE BIKINI MACHINE, which makes a few references to the series, counts), and this is said to be one of the weaker entries. Based on this one, I’d have to say that the movies seem a little dumb but also rather disarming; there’s something about the spirit in which they are done which makes them painless viewing, and the silly hijinks come naturally (whereas they feel forced in some of the imitators). Then there are also the guest stars to pep things up, and this one features Brian Donlevy (as B.D., which stands for several different things as far as I can tell) and Buster Keaton as Bwana, the Witch Doctor; though the latter role might seem a little embarrassing, it’s still a huge step up for Keaton from stuff like BOOM IN THE MOON). Nonetheless, it’s Mickey Rooney who comes across best among the guest stars; in many ways, this sort of movie wasn’t all that far from the kinds of movies he made with Judy Garland, and he gets right in to the spirit of things. The movie also features the usual antics of Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and his motorcycle gang, a tough guy named North Dakota Pete (played by Len Lesser), the aforementioned scene-stealing pelican, and a memorable cameo appearance from someone playing the Witch Doctor’s daughter (it’s best to let this one catch you by surprise).