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