cast

Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Martha Hyer, Keenan Wynn, Don Rickles, Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Donna Loren, Meredith MacRae, and Candy Johnson.

Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon, and Jody McCreaMeredith MacRae and Annette FunicelloJohn Ashley

Stills from AIP's Bikini Beach. LEFT: With Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon, and Jody McCrea. CENTER: With Meredith MacRae and Annette Funicello. RIGHT: John Ashley

plot synopsis

Released in July 1964, this third AIP beach party entry finds Frankie Avalon playing two roles: Frankie and "The Potato Bug," a British singer about whom all the girls are crazy---even Dee Dee (Annette Funicello). Added to the mix is Harvey Huntington Honeywagon III (Keenan Wynn), a rich newspaper columnist who attempts to prove that his pet chimpanzee Clyde is more intelligent than the teens who hang out on the beach. However, Honeywagon has a dual purpose: he also wants to build a retirement village on the beach and throw out the partying teens.

One-Sheet Bikini Beach posterBikini Beach stillAnnette FunicelloFrankie Avalon

LEFT: Original one-sheet poster. CENTER A: From the opening scene of the film, with the beach gang riding along. CENTER B: Dee Dee gets down at Big Drag's. RIGHT: Frankie Avalon meets "The Potato Bug"

Meanwhile, Frankie and the Potato Bug compete for Dee Dee's attention. Teacher Vivian Clements (Martha Hyer) attempts to talk some sense into Honeywagon, letting him know that the beach kids aren't as wild as he thinks they are. In the end, Frankie, the Potato Bug, and the beach kids join forces to put down Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and his biker gang, the Rats and Mice.

Annette FunicelloBikini BeachBikini Beach

LEFT: Annette Funicello at the drag strip. CENTER: Keenan Wynn in a stand-off with Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and his gang. RIGHT: Dragstrip scene with Annette Funicello

music

Stevie Wonder makes a rare early appearance and performs a song near the end of the film. Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, and Donna Loren sing the lion's share of songs in the movie.

Donna LorenMary HughesMary Hughes

Beach babes in Bikini Beach. LEFT: Classic Donna Loren still. CENTER and RIGHT: Curvaceous Mary Hughes (1944-2007) acted in six AIP beach party films, beginning with Muscle Beach Party. Hughes also appeared in other AIP flicks such as Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine and Fireball 500

trivia

  • Boris Karloff makes a cameo appearance as an art dealer who blanches at the sight of Don Rickles' paintings.
  • Look for the following kids on the beach in bit parts: Ned Wynn, Mary Hughes, Michael Nader, Luree Holmes, Patti Chandler, and Gary Usher.
  • American International spent $600,000 to make Bikini Beach, a large sum of money for an independent studio at that time.

bikini beach available on dvd from amazon.com

bikini beach books available

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This page premiered January 22, 1999.
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