Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pajama Party (1964)

Starring Tommy Kirk, Annette Funicello, Elsa Lanchester, Harvey Lembeck, Jesse White
Directed by Don Weis
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

The Martians send an advance scout to prepare the way for their invasion of the Earth, and among a crowd of partying teenagers, he finds a pretty girl he falls for.

Somewhat akin to the way The Horror Of Party Beach mixed horror with the teen musical, this film does the same with science fiction, with the sci-fi content actually being somewhat less preposterous than the other wacky shenanigans going on in the film.  These include a motorcycle gang going after a volleyball squad for making footprints on their beach, and a con man trying to raid the fortune in his neighbor's house, relying on an Indian chief and a gorgeous Swedish blonde to find out where it is.  This was the status quo for most of the teen musicals of this era, particularly the beach movies starring Funicello and Frankie Avalon during this period.  None of the songs stayed with me long after the movie ended, but the youthful exuberance on display was entertaining.  There is one bit of casting that left a sour taste in my mouth, the use of the great silent comedian Buster Keaton, who is saddled with the stereotyped character of the Indian chief, an insult to Native Americans and a waste of his great talent.  What a shame.

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