03 December 2008

Computer Beach Party

United States - 1985
Director – Gary Troy
Vestron Video, 1988, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 37 minutes

Bespectacled Andy and his muscly but self-conscious and hyperactive beach pal Dennis are a couple of average Galveston nerds. They spend their days sail-buggying along Galveston beach, working on Andy’s sweet computer or his ’67 convertible Caddy, and checking out chicks. While they pose painfully for the camera (a disconcerting trend throughout the film), local brick-dumb bully Turk speeds up in his Jeep causing Andy and Dennis to wreck their sail-buggies. Thinking themselves face down in the sands of shame, they must alter the very fabric of beleivability to redeem their honor and win back the beach they so adore.

At the same time, Andy finds himself enamored of Turks passenger, the golden haired treasure Allison, a heartily proportioned airheaded princess and daughter of the real-estate tycoon mayor of Galveston. When she turns up again in a Betty Boop swimsuit to ooze all over Andy he begins wooing her with seductive whispers of attending the exotic Galveston Community College, then turns up the heat with a demo of his cool rattling and buzzing computer setup - each clunky geometric single-button component lovingly encased in thick cream colored safety plastic - which he and his dad built. Whirring to life when Andy inputs his and Allison’s birthdates, the machines astrology program chugs out two surprise predictions: he will soon throw an awesome beach party, at which Allison will fall in love with him.

Taking the smoking machine at its green pixilated word, Andy and Dennis decide to program the life they desire and input hot chick and keg party plans into the computer. No sooner have they slapped eachother on the back than the computer delivers a beach full of jiggling white people ready to arhythmically embarrass themselves and sing along with local fringe-vest ugly-dude glam band The Panthers, whose frighteningly asexual members churn out songs about beach parties while mugging for the camera.

Although they do have the ulterior motive of saving the pristine beach which they do so enjoy sprinkling with empty beer cups, Andy and Dennis are really fighting an uphill battle against more than just the mayors real-estate scheme and a few invasive lifeguard stands. Their task is nothing less than to make the life of line-dancing computer-surf-nerd Texans in a town full of boneheaded drunk retards seem desirable.

The filmmakers task is no less monumental. Finding themselves in possession of a big sack of nonsense, they engage in a shoddy effort to force it out into a presentable mold. Dubbing obviously unmatched dialogue over the actor’s lines and cramming disembodied banal banter into the uncomfortably long and quiet expanses of Computer Beach Party’s simpleminded and painfully dated coarseness, they more or less manage as well as our two hometown heroes to make meathead nerds into plausible characters. Admittedly, I found myself somehow, slightly covetous of Andy & Dennis’ simple happy life. Ignorance is bliss, or so I’ve heard.

Compare the title design on the cover of Computer Beach Party with the title design of Bachelor Party. Misguided inspiration?

1 comment:

Lorenzo said...

I like this film, the time or Tom Hanks came to make me laugh. And Unforgettable Monique Gabrielle.