September 9, 2006

DVD Review: Beach Balls

Coming straight from the Roger Corman collection comes this former staple of late night cinema. It is not a good movie, by any stretch. It isn't even a movie I can recommend, as it is a pretty poor example of an 80's teen sex flick. It lacks pretty much anything that could be considered titillating, and it isn't all that funny either. To its credit, it does try to be more than a cheesy B-flick, but the talent involved doesn't have the skill to raise to any respectable level.

The story revolves around Charlie Harrison, a beach bum with aspirations of rock stardom and a hopeless crush on a beach bunny named Wendy. His hopes and dreams are held in check by a religious nut mother, and the fact that he is on probation for drunk driving in a stolen vehicle. Now what kind of teen flick would this be if it let those things get in its way?

So, Charlie sets out to meet the girl of his dreams and come up with some way of raising the money to get himself a guitar. The first part is easily handled by Charlie's goofy pal, Scully, the latter has to be put on hold. Now, the dream girl has ideas of her own, to get close to Keith, the singer for a local cheese metal band called Severed Heads in a Bag. There are a few concert sequences included, which subject us to some of the worst hair metal has to offer, and helps to pad out the generous runtime of approximately 80 minutes.

Now, the plot gets underway when, in a perfect example of good parenting, Charlie's parents take off for New York, leaving the probate and his goody-goody sister on their own. At first, Charlie attempts to avoid temptation, but soon gets the great idea of having a Severed Heads concert at his home, in hopes of getting Wendy on his side.

As the plot careens towards its predetermined climax, there really isn't all that much to hold your attention. Nudity is confined to a very brief clip early on, and there is no lewd humor. Nothing that you would expect from a movie that is advertised as "The movie your parents don't want you to see," much less with the title Beach Balls and the cover it has. It is rather misleading in that regard, so when the end does come, it is something of a mercy killing.

Now, for as dull and unfunny as it is, it was slightly interesting to see how there was an attempt at a story with characters amidst a sea of sand. If put in the hands of a creative team with some ability, this could have transcended its B status and pulled out a sleeper. Oh well.

Audio/Video. Poor on both accounts. First off, it is presented in open matte full frame format, which does not preserve the original aspect ratio. Second it looks barely better than a VHS copy, with washed out colors and evidence of dirt. The audio is a flat transfer in Dolby Digital 2.0. Nothing to write home about.

Extras. Nothing. The disk does not even have chapter stops, put the disk in and off the movie goes. Once the movie ends, you get a static menu with one option, "Play Movie."

Bottomline. Not fun, not funny, nothing. This is a movie that exists for no reason other than to populate late night cable with another bad movie. Skip this and move on to some of the winners in Corman's collection.

Not Recommended.
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