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How to Stuff a Wild Bikini

Overview

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is an atypical entry in the "Beach Party" series. One can guess that from the delightful claymation opening credit sequence devised by Gumby-creator Art Clokey, which is a great moment in movie opening credits, and the most inventive material seen in the entire series. The movie itself plays like a mix of Bye Bye Birdie, Bewitched, and a bad James Bond rip-off, all built around Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello -- but even that is deceptive, because for all of their importance to the...
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Irene Tsu, Len Lesser, Marianne Gaba, Jody McCrea, John Ashley, Beverly Adams, Harvey Lembeck, Brian Donlevy, Dwayne Hickman,... 04/01/2001 DVD Fine 1965 Run time: 93. Books, ... CDs, DVDs, Videogames, LPs & more! Fast shipping! All items guaranteed! Read more Show Less

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Overview

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is an atypical entry in the "Beach Party" series. One can guess that from the delightful claymation opening credit sequence devised by Gumby-creator Art Clokey, which is a great moment in movie opening credits, and the most inventive material seen in the entire series. The movie itself plays like a mix of Bye Bye Birdie, Bewitched, and a bad James Bond rip-off, all built around Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello -- but even that is deceptive, because for all of their importance to the "plot," such as it is, Avalon is barely in the movie, and Funicello, who was several months pregnant at the time (and doesn't really conceal her condition completely), has so little to do on screen that she's almost a supporting player for the first hour. The film also makes use of music in a more sophisticated fashion than the earlier entries, integrating the production numbers better into the action and building them around songs that refer to and advance the plot, almost in the manner of Bye Bye Birdie. If the score isn't remotely as appealing as the latter, then at least the late Harvey Lembeck (playing nutty bike gang leader Erik Von Zipper) had fun doing his number. Timothy Carey doesn't get a musical sequence, but he has a lot of fun in a totally deadpan, comically sinister role. Frankie (Frankie Avalon), off in the navy, makes a deal with Bwana, a befuddled witch doctor (Buster Keaton), to help keep his girlfriend Dee Dee (Annette Funicello) faithful while he's away, and ends up conjuring up a woman (Beverly Adams) that no man can resist. This leads to complications when advertising man Mickey Rooney decides to turn her into the nation's next hot sex symbol. Okay, so we're not exactly dealing with Citizen Kane here, but How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is still a '60s pop-culture maven's paradise, as well as entertaining in its own snide way. A good chunk of the plot is a satire of the advertising and television industries, mid-'60s youth culture, and the way the two exploited each other. The film is also a transitional work in the history of American International Pictures, which produced it; made two years after the first Beach Party movie, it contains motorcycle racing scenes that anticipate elements of the biker movies that AIP and other B-studio rivals began making later in the decade. The pop culture influences go much deeper than that, however. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini was co-authored and directed by William Asher, who was also the producer of the television series Bewitched, and the movie is filled little references to the latter program. Bwana the witch doctor (Buster Keaton), who keeps popping in and out with spells, is practically the model for Dr. Bombay from Bewitched, and if the use of little phrases like "witch's honor" doesn't seal the deal, then a certain gag cameo by the director's wife at the end does. The DVD is a marvel on the technical side, especially the letterboxed presentation of the movie in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, apparently made from an exceptionally sharp 35 mm print. The photography by Floyd Crosby (father of David Crosby) looks stunning, the color radiant, so much so that one can enjoy looking at the movie without necessarily "watching" it, and the detail is stunning -- the full-screen version of the movie on the other side of the disc isn't as enjoyable or easy to watch. Equally important, the sound is loud and full, which helps one appreciate the score. The girl-group numbers are pleasing enough in a generic way, and the Kingsmen show up playing a solid garage punk number, "Give Her Lovin''." Both sides contain the same letterboxed trailer.
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Special Features

Collectible booklet; Original theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
For sheer in-joke references and pop-culture density, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is the most rewarding entry in the entire "Beach Party" series. From the delightful Claymation opening credit sequence devised by Gumby-creator Art Clokey, one can tell that the producers were putting a little extra into this picture, probably because there was a lot less of both Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello onscreen than in prior films. Avalon, who was making other films at the time, is barely in it, except at the beginning and the end, and Funicello was several months pregnant at the time and director William Asher was doing his best to shoot around her condition. They made up for the two stars' relative non-appearances with a very busy, goofy plot that managed to satirize the advertising industry, early '60s youth culture, and even exploitation movies of this kind (Keaton looks at the camera after delivering some explanatory dialogue and says "And that's all the plot you're gonna get out of me!") The script and plot are also filled -- practically to the penultimate scene, a great comic cameo by Elizabeth Montgomery -- with lines and characterizations that were lifted right out of the television series Bewitched, no surprise since this movie was co-authored and directed by William Asher, the producer of Bewitched. The presence of Dwayne Hickman, TV's Dobie Gillis, in a prominent role, is also exploited to the fullest, even allowing the actor to address the camera (as in that television series). There are also some surprising bonuses in the music -- all good surf songs and girl-group numbers -- which are much better integrated into the plot than any of the earlier movies, advancing the story like a real musical rather than stopping it cold. Brian Wilson is on hand as an anonymous beach denizen, but the Kingsmen grab the onscreen musical glory with a superb punk number called "Give Her Lovin'." And in the middle is a line of dialogue -- "If you can't be with the girl you love, love the girl you're with" -- lifted in part from Finian's Rainbow, but anticipating Stephen Stills' pop-sexist anthem "Love the One You're With" by seven years. Anyone with a sharp eye or ear and a memory for the time will need a scorecard to sort it all out -- if they can stop chuckling long enough.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/28/2000
  • UPC: 027616806222
  • Original Release: 1965
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Pan & Scan / Dolby 5.1 / Mono
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:33:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Annette Funicello Dee Dee
Dwayne Hickman Ricky
Brian Donlevy B.D.
Harvey Lembeck Eric Von Zipper
Beverly Adams Cassandra
Buster Keaton Bwana
Jody McCrea Bonehead
Mickey Rooney Peachy Keane
John Ashley Johnny
Marianne Gaba Animal
Len Lesser North Dakota Pete
Irene Tsu Native Girl
Arthur Julian Dr. Melamed
Bobbi Shaw Khola Khola
Alberta Nelson Puss
John Macchia Rat Pack
Jerry Brutsche Rat Pack
Bob Harvey Rat Pack
Myrna Ross Rat Pack
Sig Frohlich Ad Man
Tom Quine Ad Man
Hollis Morrison Ad Men
George Boyce Ad Man
Patti Chandler Patti
Mike Nader Mike
Luree Holmes Beach Girls
Jo Collins Beach Girls
Mary Hughes Beach Girls
Ed Garner Beach Boys
John Fain Beach Boys
Mickey Dora Beach Boys
Ned Wynn Beach Boys
Ronnie Dayton Beach Boy
Salli Sachse Bookends
Marianne Gordon Chickie
Sheila Stephenson Secretary
Toni Harper Barberette
Victoria Carroll Shoe Shine Girl
Frankie Avalon Frankie
The Kingsmen Themselves
Andy Romano J.D.
Brian Wilson A Beachboy
Allen Fife Rat Pack
Guy Hemric Ad Man
Rick Jones
Darryl Hickman
Technical Credits
William Asher Director, Screenwriter
Samuel Z. Arkoff Producer
Jack Baker Choreography
Les Baxter Score Composer
Richard Bruno Costumes/Costume Designer
Howard Campbell Art Director
Anthony Carras Co-producer
Floyd D.Crosby Cinematographer
Guy Hemric Songwriter
Eve Newman Editor
James H. Nicholson Producer
Jerry Styner Songwriter
Leo Townsend Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Standard
0. Scene Selections
1. Logo/Main Title [3:04]
2. Frankie Needs Help [5:17]
3. Stuff A Wild Bikini [2:40]
4. A Long Hot Summer [1:02]
5. Girl Next Door? [2:31]
6. The Hard Way [:54]
7. "How About Us?" [3:52]
8. Mad Avenue Dad [2:31]
9. Operation Cassandra [4:18]
10. A Wild Ride [1:14]
11. Torpedo Juice [1:05]
12. Clumsy [4:55]
13. The Games They Play [1:21]
14. Setting Their Sights [3:38]
15. The Boy Next Door [2:40]
16. Male-O-Phobia [1:59]
17. Getting His Girl [7:59]
18. North Dakota Pete [2:21]
19. Japanese Living [5:59]
20. A Different Tune [2:55]
21. "I Am My Ideal" [3:56]
22. If It Had To Be [4:42]
23. Insurance Policy [4:10]
24. The Race [7:34]
25. Who Wins? [2:10]
26. Not The Marrying Kind [2:24]
27. Magic [3:19]
28. End Credits [2:17]
Side #2 -- Widescreen
0. Scene Selections
1. Logo/Main Title [3:04]
2. Frankie Needs Help [5:17]
3. Stuff A Wild Bikini [2:40]
4. A Long Hot Summer [1:02]
5. Girl Next Door? [2:31]
6. The Hard Way [:54]
7. "How About Us?" [3:52]
8. Mad Avenue Dad [2:31]
9. Operation Cassandra [4:18]
10. A Wild Ride [1:14]
11. Torpedo Juice [1:05]
12. Clumsy [4:54]
13. The Games They Play [1:21]
14. Setting Their Sights [3:38]
15. The Boy Next Door [2:40]
16. Male-O-Phobia [1:59]
17. Getting His Girl [7:59]
18. North Dakota Pete [2:21]
19. Japanese Living [5:59]
20. A Different Tune [2:55]
21. "I Am My Ideal" [3:56]
22. If It Had To Be [4:42]
23. Insurance Policy [4:10]
24. The Race [7:34]
25. Who Wins? [2:10]
26. Not the Marrying Kind [2:24]
27. Magic [3:19]
28. End Credits [2:17]
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Menu

Side #1 -- Standard
Side #2 -- Widescreen
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