Beach Girls and the Monster (1965): Sort of a beach blast, I guess


One of Beach Girls and the Monster’s taglines is promising: “Beach party lovers make hey! hey! in the moonlight…while the Monster lurks in the shadows!”

After watching (and reviewing) the film Invisible Agent, it only makes sense to examine other films starring Jon Hall. Interestingly, though, I had no idea I’d be doing this.

It was by sheer coincidence that I watched Invisible Agent after recently watching Beach Girls and the Monster. In fact, prior to watching him as the Invisible Agent, I didn’t even know who Jon Hall was! It turns out I needn’t feel guilty about that, because Jon Hall is a bit of a mixed bag, talent-wise. Beach Girls and the Monster, which he directed, one of Jon Hall’s lesser projects. Granted, it may have some fans here and there, but it would be a great stretch to consider it a masterpiece. In fact, even the title is a bit clunky.

The film takes place mostly on a California beachfront, because the main character, Richard Lindsay (Arnold Lessing) lives there. There are really only two interesting characters, though. Jeff’s parents, Dr. Otto Lindsay (Jon Hall) and stepmom Vicky (Sue Casey), are a struggling couple and perhaps the most interesting aspect of the movie. Vicky hits on her stepson fairly often, before the phenomenon became so popular in porn (not that I know that from experience — it was a research study, I tell you! I had a grant and everything! Now, where did I put that thesis?).

Anyway, at some point, a fish-monster thingie starts terrorizing people, and there’s a bit of a murder mystery element that develops. The monster movie aspect is only semi-interesting, as it’s more interesting to see a marriage fall apart. Still, that’s not exactly the biggest sell on getting a bag of popcorn and watching this sucker!

The Monster

So, what about the monster? It’s another extra-cheesy looking, rubbery-suited character. This will either be a major draw or major drawback for horror fans. Personally, I would have actually preferred a more realistic looking monster, because it’s a little too distracting from the otherwise dramatic aspects of the film.

It can still be fun to see a rubber monster, but that almost seems more due to production limitations than style. On that note (and as weird as this may sound), I actually wish this movie had been more serious. Still, I probably will end up seeing this again at some point, because it is still somewhat likable.

Plus, I feel like I may have missed something the first time or two I’ve seen this. Or at least it seems like I saw this once before. Yes, this is one of those movies where you’ll swear you’ve already seen it, yet you just can’t be sure. Is it bad memory, selective amnesia, or so traumatic that your mind tries blocking it out? One may never know until one sees it again!

What’s your favorite tagline?

This film has 4 major taglines to choose from as your favorite:
1. Go! Go! Go! The Coolest Monster Shindig of Chicks and Chills!
2. Surfer Chicks and Slimey Chills!
3. Call it a Bash! Call it a Bull! Call it a Blast!
4. Beach party lovers make hey! hey! in the moonlight…while the Monster lurks in the shadows!

My favorite is “hey! hey! in the moonlight,” because it’s got that quirkiness, that clunkiness, that element of zany mischief! Too bad this movie is actually surprisingly serious at times, making the silly taglines seem a bit out of place. Then again, maybe that only makes them sillier!

Beach Girls and the Monster: The soundtrack and the stars

More from 1428 Elm

John Wilson’s book, The Official Razzie Movie Guide, calls “Beach Girls and the Monster” one of “The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.” To me, this movie works best as a sleep aid. Still, if you like surf music and bikini-clad women, you could do worse than watching this film. The film says the music is by Frank Sinatra, Jr., and also “The Illusions.” The Illusions apparently include members of the surf band The Hustlers!

Honestly, though, don’t know who made the music here. For all I know the picked names out of a hat. Still, the music is alright. It might make you want to ride some waves and wrestle some giant fish monsters!

Still, if this Jon Hall film isn’t to your liking, you may want to give him a chance in something else. He was in a lot of movies and TV shows in his day, and has two stars on  the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Similarly, Sue Casey was in a surprising number of films. Though she rarely had starring roles, she was in films like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Hitchock’s Rear Window (1954), Breakfast at Tiffany‘s (1961) and even American Beauty (1999). She died recently on Feb. 21, 2019, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen her if you’ve watched a number of older movies, even if you didn’t know who she was.  It’s also good to know Beach Girls and the Monster didn’t ruin her career.

Next. DC Universe drops official Swamp Thing trailer. dark

What are your thoughts on Beach Girls and the Monster? Enjoy the 1965 black and white classic? Let us know in the comments!