PSYCHO BEACH PARTY (2000)
This film, which is actually based on a stage play of the same name and rewritten for the screen by the play's writer Charles Busch (who also plays the police captain), has been touted as a mix of the 1960s beach blanket movies with the 1970s slasher. However, Busch is clearly more interested in sending up the beach party movies and their go-go style than making anything resembling a horror movie. Following Busch's script, director Robert Lee King explores the homo-erotic undertones of the surf movie culture, the commie fears of the McCarthy era, and the pure sexual energy of youth without fear of being blacklisted. King saturates his movie with a dripping and over-the-top style of the sixties beach movie with a loving tribute to the clothes, the cars, and drive-in culture of the era, and even goes so far as to have the actors "surf" in front of a projection screen.
Of the cast, each of whom look right at home in their bikinis, surf trunks and pastel dresses, are culled from mostly television productions. Lauren Ambrose (best known as the redhead in CAN'T HARDLY WAIT) plays the cute and innocent lead Florence. Ambrose knows exactly what King is looking for, and delivers a bubbly Sandra Dee-inspired performance to a T. The rest of cast perform their stereotyped roles admirably, and even their apparently weak and somewhat wooden delivery plays right into the movies they are sending up. Nicholas Brendon (Xander in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer") finds a role in the surfer gang, while Beth Broderick (of "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" and "Lost") plays Florence's mother. The movie also includes a killer surf music soundtrack, and features Los Straitjackets in a live performance during the luau scene.