“Well sheriff it’s not the claw print of any fish in this area.”
A bunch of surfers and bikini girls are frolicking on the beach. Bunny is frolicking more than most and wanders away from the rest. She comes upon a cave and peeks in. She is suddenly attacked by a horrible sea monster and killed. Sheriff Michaels (Read Morgan) takes a moulage of claw prints found in the sand to Dr. Otto Lindsay (Jon Hall). Dr. Lindsay is an expert in Oceanography. He believes that the cast is a print from a genetically mutated carnivorous South American ‘Fantigua Fish”.
Otto’s son Richard (Arnold Lessing) has decided that life is short so he wants to give up science and test tubes in favor of surfing. Sounds like a plan. Richard lives with his father and his step-mother, Otto’s trophy wife, Vicky ( Sue Casey).
Vicky keeps hitting on Richard which makes him disgusted with her. Vicky is bored with her life and is stepping out on Otto. Also living with the Lindsay’s is Mark (Walker Edmiston). Mark is a sculptor and walks with a limp, the result of a car accident caused by Richard.
While all this drama is going on at the Lindsay household the monster is slaughtering beach bunnies and surfer dudes.
“The Monster and the Beach Girls” was released in 1965 and was directed by Jon Hall. According to experts, if you can’t get a role in a movie, make your own. Apparently this is what Jon Hall did. He also stars in the movie. The theme song, “Dance Baby Dance,” was written by Frank Sinatra, Jr. and Joan Janis. According to the trailer for the film, the dancing girls seen in the movie are "The Watusi Dancing Girls" from Hollywood's Whisky a Go Go club on Sunset Boulevard.
The surfing footage was shot by Dale Davis. He was a well known photographer of surfing film. I’ve heard complaints about the surfing footage as just padding to the movie. Maybe, but I didn’t think it was all that much footage. What exactly was it going to take away from the movie anyway?
The movie is stupid, but harmless. Actually it’s really lame. There is a lion puppet that one of the “teenagers” has that actually has a credit in the movie. “Kingsley the Lion” plays himself. The acting bad to awful. The monster is dopy. Some kind of giant pointy head, bug eyed bad imitation of the creature from the black lagoon with fangs of some kind. The dialogue is funny, but not on purpose funny. Even with nothing going for it, I was generally OK with it. I expected a cheesy 60’s beach film with rock and roll music and gyrating teenagers and that’s what I got. There was also a twist at the end that everybody saw coming. And I only groaned a couple of times.
If you like low budget dopy teenage beach monster movies, this is an excellent example.