The concept of Ride the Wild Surf started off EXTREMELY well, one might even say it was made for me. ;-D
I can seriously imagine a executive over at Columbia pitching this idea:
"Hey let's make a Beach Party knock-off, but WE'LL have actual surfing, instead of those odd little 1ft. waves over at AIP [American International Pictures]. AND, we'll throw in Peter Brown as a surfer. OHH, and we can totally use the brilliant Barbara Eden as his girlfriend. And best of all, we'll have Jan and Dean's "Ride The Wild Surf" be the theme song. Can you imagine what a great mind-smushing semi-review we'll get from The Millie?! IT WILL MAKE OUR FILM. Oh, and by the way, we can fit Susan Hart in the movie somehow, we know how The Millie loves her because of her surfer awesomeness/native Washingtonianness."
This is clearly how it all went down. THEY HAD ME IN MIND.
And then something terrible happened.
I can't be ABSOLUTELY sure...but it's pretty obvious Randolph Scott had something to do with the terribleness.
List of terribleness:
Always annoying, but here Fabian tried to give this weird Bobby Darin mixed with Frankie Avalon impression (with some odd bit of a pathetic James Dean impersonation) . HIGHLY DISTURBING.
Tab Hunter. GAHHHH! I hate Tab Hunter! Why did Randolph Scott insist on putting Tab Hunter in this movie?! And Tab Hunter kept doing his creepy Richard-Widmark-is-going-to-kill-you eyes! This was also highly disturbing.
Hmmmm. There was this really boring blonde (trying to be Sandra Dee) with a famous name that I totally know, but cannot for the life of me remember at this instant. She of course was paired with Fabian. And together they made up a very bland and annoying Bobby + Sandy wanna-be couple. THIS WAS PAINFUL TO WATCH.
^This is her at her most interesting.
Roger Davis showed up. Let me repeat that. THE HANNIBAL HEYES IMPOSTOR SHOWED UP.
^Look at him smiling evilly. Tab Hunter is even giving him the Richard-Widmark-is-going-to-kill-you eyes!
And after Randolph Scott had done all this to the formerly perfectly wonderful film, he decided to ruin even what little joy I had.
First: He took poor Peter Brown and had his hair bleached an extremely creepy platinum blonde. AND NOT EVEN ALL OF HIS HAIR. Just random parts of his hair, so that some of his hair was creepy platinum blonde and some was normal dark brown.
^Note: I didn't intentionally take a screen shot of Fabian looking that way. It just randomly happened. heh heh heh...
And then Barbara Eden had dark brown/red hair....which was a little odd...but perfectly fine, because Barbara Eden would look cool even with bright green hair.
^I don't think it's possible for her to look uncool.
But, at this point, the sabotage against me....was quite obvious. Randolph Scott was out to get me.
He even forced Susan Hart into being a traitor. He had her poor character fall in love with TAB HUNTER. I am truly sorry Susan. All of Washington mourns with you.
But, SOMEHOW, a few awesome things still managed to slip into the film (despite all of Randolph Scott's attempts to stop them...):
As I mentioned above, the surfing footage in this film is PHENOMENAL. As much as I completely adore AIP films, the surfing is pretty pathetic. I mean, they have stunt actors surfing 1ft. waves (not that I'd even be able to do that ;-D) while Frankie + Annette pretend to surf against a screen. It's awesome. But, not PHENOMENAL. Like this movie.
They went and actually filmed in Hawaii at some of the craziest surfing spots, where the waves are literally 30 feet high. IT'S AMAZING. (The actors are still pretending to fake surf against a background...but the stunt actors have clearly improved. ;-D)
Barbara Eden's car:
That's right. You know want that vehicle. ;-D
Hmmm, well that's actually about it for serious coolness (besides the aforementioned title song).
OH. I remember what I wanted to say.
James Mitchum plays the main villain in this movie (villain because he's the main competition on the surf against Fabian. Personally I consider that more on the heroic side...)
EXACT COPY OF HIS FATHER.
It was weird actually.
It's just like the Beach Party movies with their ever-present Jody McCrea (an exact duplicate of HIS father)!
There were some other surfers too, and although I can't recall their actual names, there were a couple who stood out to me.
One, there was this random Australian surfer who somehow managed to mention that he was Australian IN EVERY SINGLE LINE OF DIALOGUE. It was quite impressive. Actually.
And there was another surfer, I believe his character was called Russ, who looked exactly like he should be the fire-chief at Station 51. It was actually impeding my ability to view his scenes as a surfer with a proper lack-of-seriousness.*
*A) These two sentences make absolutely no sense. B) If you know what I mean when I say Station 51...you are seriously cool individual.
ALSO: This has nothing to do with the surfers, but there was this completely creepy narrator. He would randomly start talking over certain scenes, and then he would disappear for a while...and you would forget he existed...AND THERE HE WOULD BE AGAIN. So creepy. And unnecessary. There was one scene when they were surfing and the narrator's voice suddenly appeared to say: "Makaha was just plain scary."
Seriously. That's all he said. And then he disappeared again. It was just weird. (<-- "It was just weird" should be the tag-line for this movie).
I swear, I NEED to seriously start watching the trailers for these movies, BEFORE I watch the movies. If I had watched the trailer for Ride The Wild Surf, I would have known ALL I needed to know.
Oh, I remembered the OTHER thing I wanted to say! The entire reason for me watching this film is actually because of an email sent to me by Emm (who is currently on a HOPEFULLY short hiatus from blogging...her awesomeness is severely missed)! She asked what my opinion on this film was. She further informed me that she was wanting to see it because of Peter Brown, but at the same time hesitant to see it because Peter Brown had bleached hair AND because everyone who's ever seen it thinks it's amazing because it's "more serious" than AIP stuff (this is the first warning sign. MIND-SMUSHING ENTERTAINMENT SHOULD NOT BE SERIOUS. EVER.)
ODDLY enough, those were also my EXACT reasons for wanting to see/not wanting to see Ride The Wild Surf. (Peter Brown + platinum bleached hair is a singularly disturbing prospect).
Of course I HAD to go watch it.
Which is why you are reading this semi-review right now.
^Random photo of Barbara Eden because she's awesome.
Anyways, I keep thinking there was one other thing I wanted to say...and I really just can't remember. Perhaps I'll remember some day and add it into this post, somewhere, randomly, to create even more confusion and disjointedness! ;-D
In conclusion, this movie started out very well, Randolph Scott became involved out of petty dislike for me, and everything went downhill. This film included a remarkable amount of actors I can't stand, a completely insufferable under-lying "seriousness", and sadly platinum blonde Peter Brown.
Oddly enough, I rather liked the movie as a whole. I would almost, maybe, um, cough, cough, recommend it.
I DON'T KNOW. Stop asking me difficult questions. My mind is still trying to comprehend WHY Peter Brown has platinum blonde hair.
P.S. To the best of my knowledge Randolph Scott had NOTHING to do with the making of this film. Although, it would have been JUST like him to ruin it for me on purpose. ;-D