by Anthony King
The Beach Girls is a movie that doesn't hide what it is. Essentially a riff on an Animal House sequel, the movie opens with a Beach Boys ripoff song by the band Arsenal and copious shots of beachgoers doing beach things. The very first thing we see is a woman riding horseback across the sand in a bikini. You ask, “Anthony, is this bouncing woman shot in slo-mo?” Dear reader, of course the bouncing woman is shot in slo-mo. And friend, not once, not twice, but thrice do we witness a woman's bikini top being snatched by a dog throughout the movie's 91-minute runtime.
Not necessarily a jiggle picture but not straying too far, The Beach Girls is about college students Sarah and her two friends Ducky and Ginger who are privileged to stay at Sarah's uncle's oceanside villa for the summer at the aptly named Paradise Beach. Naturally, the uncle has a name like Carl Purdue. As you can imagine, Sarah's two coed friends are horny little vixens who have a thirst for alcohol and and appetite for meat. “Is that a salami in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?” asks Ducky. “It's a salami,” replies a random delivery boy. Sarah, trying to be the responsible niece, attempts to dissuade her flatmates from orgiastic fun. “Oh Sarah. We're not gonna have an orgy. Just a party.” But alas. Every day is spent bronzing their bodies on the sand as the Pacific waves crash mere feet away. Every night is spent filling their temporary abode up with strangers of all colors and sexes. And each morning Ducky and Ginger awake in a tangle of bodies, names and underwear totally lost in the firmament of the previous night.
While Ducky, Ginger and the flotsam populous of Paradise Beach are succeeding in their summer plans of catching every venereal disease discovered by 1982, nebbish Sarah is failing miserably at her plans of a having a quiet, relaxing summer. Plans take a turn, though, when she meets a handsome young man who tries to pull her out of her comfort zone. “You're programming yourself just like a computer... Follow your impulses once in a while. Be human.” Believe it or not Patrick Duncan, who went on to write Mr. Holland's Opus and Courage Under Fire, didn't win an Oscar for The Beach Girls, which happened to be his first script. The romance between Sarah and her new beau, who serenades her with folksy guitar, by the way, blossoms and we're treated to an incredibly embarrassing scene of the two of them riding three wheelers across the beach.