The Horror of Party Beach & The Curse
of the Living Corpse
By Dan Century
The Horror of Party
Beach was featured in episode 817 of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I
wonder why they didnt feature it sooner? The Horror of Party Beach
is an absolute classic of exploitation cinema, which transcends the beach
party genre adding horror, super science and voodoo to the mix.
The film begins with budding scientist and frat jock Hank
Green arguing with his hose-monster girlfriend Rita. Hank wants to get serious
about life, and Rita wants to beach party all the time You
aint seen living till you see Rita swing!
Meanwhile, out at sea, the Floating Pig trash
barge is dumping radioactive waste. Surprise! The movie takes place in
Connecticut, not New Jersey or Los Angeles. Apparently, when you dump
radioactive waste on human skeletons, sea life begins to grow around bones, and
before you know it youve got 6 or 7 radioactive sea monsters to deal
with. Sea monsters, or actors in costumes who stumble around like they
cant find the costume eye holes.
Back on the beach, the camera focuses on a womans
shaking buttocks and one of the beach boys says: Hey, that reminds me,
did I bring my hotdog buns? Hilarious!
Rita is on the loose, and horny to hook up. While Hank is
off thinking about science, Rita is checking out a bikers anatomy. This
leads to a classic beach party film cliché: the fight scene between the
clean cut jocks and the bikers. This happens in every beach party movie. During
the fight scene Hank does a back flip and kick that looks more like spastic
ballet than fighting.
Rita is confused and disgusted because Hank fights like
Peter Pan and still managed to kick the bikers ass, so she goes for a
swim in the sea. Waiting in the ocean is one of the radioactive sea monsters
that either brutally murders her or erotically massages chocolate frosting all
over her body. Honestly, I couldnt tell.
Rita is as dead as Hanks libido, and its up to
science to discover the answer why. Thankfully Hanks mentor Dr. Gavin is
an expert in Carbon 14 and genetic testing, and his maid Eulabelle is an expert
in zombies and voodoo. Eulabelle is a classic B-Movie character her
constant jibber jabber about voodoo and zombies makes the film all the more
Nothing can slake the radioactive zombie sea monsters
thirst for blood, and soon they claim three bad girls lost in the
woods (not sure how the creatures got from the beach to the woods), as well as
20 sorority girls who smell something fishy and mistake the sea
monsters for frat boys. No movie stereotype is safe: screaming teenagers in
pools and comical drunks get slaughtered too.
Fortunately the sea monsters are as dumb as a stack of dead
fish, and one of them attacks a mannequin in a store window, slicing off one of
its arms in the process. The arm seems to be made out of garbage and live
centipedes. Kudos, props department! Dr. Gavin provides a lengthy, but riveting
scientific explanation of how the creatures are actually humans whose flesh has
been replaced by protozoa and sea anemones, and the reason why they need to
drink blood is because they lack a human digestive system. Wow! Ironically
voodoo-obsessed Eulabelle discovers the way to destroy the creatures when she
inadvertently knocks a glass of liquid sodium on the severed arm. Apparently
this isnt the same kind of sodium that you find in the salt water the
creatures come from.
Now they have a way to kill the monsters, and after some
more pseudo-scientific expository dialog, they determine they can track the
creatures with Geiger counters. At this point Hank drives to New York City to
score some sodium, and as if to prove hes actually in New York he passes
the Guggenheim, the MET and Washington Square Park (in the correct order). All
I can thinl is why? Why are we suddenly in the middle of Manhattan,
when minutes ago we were at a beach full of blood thirsty monsters?
The film ends with a showdown with the monsters, as you
would expect. If you enjoy B-Movie cheese like Plan 9 from Outer Space,
the Horror of Party Beach is worth a look. The soundtrack, provided by a
surf rock band called the Del-Aires, is sweet as well.
The Curse of the Living Corpse opens in 19th century
New England at the funeral of Rufus Sinclair, patriarch of the Sinclair family.
In the beginning moments of the film we witness the selfish Sinclair family
violate all the stipulations of Rufus Sinclairs last will and testament.
Rufus feared that his family would bury him alive, and so he crafted a
terrifying will to punish his family with terror. According to the will:
· His wife Abigail would die in a fire,
His son Bruce the first of many disappointments would die with
his face disfigured.
· His other son, the sickly Philip, would be
choked or smothered to death.
· Vivian, Philips unfaithful
wife, would drown.
· Cousin Robert would have his beloved wife take
from him, and
· Seth, the handyman, would join Philip in his
Since all of them violated the will in the first scene, it
was only a matter of time before the body count began. After a make out session
in the tomb with Bruce, Letty the maid is relieved of her cranium by a cloaked
phantom. Is Rufus really alive and back to murder his clan? It would seem so.
In the first of many classic, gristly scenes Lettys
head arrives in Bruces room served on a platter (instead of Bruces
breakfast). Bruce remains cool and calm and reveals Lettys head to Vivian
while delivering the classic line would you prefer a better menu?
Bruce convinces Vivian to aid in the disposal of Lettys halves in a
Before long Bruce is murdered, and his precious face is
destroyed. At this point the family is certain that Rufus has risen from his
tomb. The lawyer offers these gangster rap-like lines: If he was buried
alive you can be sure of one thing, by now he is hopelessly insane, a homicidal
maniac bent on one thing, revenge by the most horrible means. What means
are those? Being forced to watch this movie twice? Just kidding Im
actually enjoying this film.
The family enlists the aide of the bumbling local police.
The best protection the police can offer is by helping Philip polish off a
bottle of whiskey; official procedure, just to make sure it hasnt
been tampered with. As you might guess the murders continue until the
end, which I wont spoil for you because I think this is a rather good
film and I think its worth seeing without further spoilers.
The Curse of the Living Corpse benefits greatly from
the strength of the two lead actors, Roy Jaws Scheider and Robert
Milli, as well as a fair amount of clever and quotable dialog its
a shame Del Tenny didnt write more scripts. My favorite quote has to be:
The body is a long insatiable tube, in need of drink and
relaxation. Theres even some side boob action about as good
as it gets in 1964. The Curse of the Living Corpse is an enjoyable
mystery that would make an excellent remake if Hollywood were looking for
scripts to resurrect. Maybe they can remake it with gangsta rappers!
Dark Sky Films
Post: MPI Media Group, 16101 S 108th Ave., Orland Park, IL, 60467,
Click to Buy!