Friday, August 11, 2017

A Quick Look: BACK TO THE BEACH (1986 - color)

   In the 80's, America was riding a bit of a nostalgia wave (no pun intended). Part of that was BACK TO THE BEACH, a valentine/update to the Frankie/Annette beach movies AIP made during the 60's. A tribute to all things surf culture, the story saw our sweetheart couple coping with the adult world. Frankie has become a work-a-holic car salesman, while Annette must deal with the pair's young delinquent son. The couple finally decide to take a much-needed vacation to Hawaii. We catch up with our heroes as they make a stop at their old beach, where their daughter is carrying on with a beach bum. When Frankie and Annette have a fight, they end up staying on the beach to help their children. Very quickly, our stars fall back into their old world and help a new generation of surfers save their beach from a punk motorcycle/surf gang -which their son has joined! Although given an 80's make-over, BACK TO THE BEACH is largely in the same spirit as the original films. The emphasis here is strictly on fun, and by the time things are over you feel very good. In addition to the AIP beach movies, BACK TO THE BEACH salutes the entire 60's scene. Connie Stevens is the aging 'bad' girl now raising a son. Bob Denver, in full Gilligan costume, is the bartender who keeps trying to tell patrons about the years he spent as a castaway. ("There were girls, but you couldn't touch 'em.") Don Adams is the harbor master. The cast of Leave It To Beaver, meanwhile, judge the climactic surfing competition! It became a TV staple for a few years. Due to copyright issues, Frankie's character is never actually called by name, and is credited simply as "Annette's Husband"!

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