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Copyright 2000 Strand Releasing and New Oz Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 12 July 2002

The Characters:  

  • Chicklet - Red of hair, spunky in nature, and possibly a neurotic serial killer when she has her "episodes." Meet the heroine.
  • Berdine - Chicklet's best friend and probably a closet lesbian. No, definitely a closet lesbian.
  • Starcat - Surfer dude who is earning a degree in psychiatry.
  • Kanaka - The coolest surfer to ever mispronounce "Japan." His bachelor pad is a thing of legend.
  • Bettina - Just as we always suspected, b-movie actresses are undersexed, yet sensitive and intelligent.
  • Mrs. Forrest - Chicklet's mom. Her character is June Cleaver crossed with a slut. This is hardly progressive, but accurate. Then again, we never did see that side of June (darn 50's television); the liberal application of slattern might not be required.
  • Captain Stark - Tough police officer and not afraid to use her gun. The problem is, she is really a he.
  • Lars - Swedish exchange student who is staying with the Forrests. He tends to say things that come out the wrong way.
  • Yo Yo, Provoloney, Marvel Ann, Rhonda, and Junior - It is a 60's beach party movie. What did you expect, names like Gretchen and Ebert?

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Before I start describing the movie we need to make sure you understand the character of Chicklet. Her real name is Florence, but nicknames given by casual associates are far superior to whatever foul moniker your parents dreamed up. So be it. To get back on track, Chicklet appears to be based on Gidget (watching the first "Gidget" movie will help one appreciate this film). The thing is, Sandra Dee's beach kitten seems like a sage when compared to the silly naiveté of Chicklet. Add to this the fact that Chicklet must surely subsist on a diet of pure caffeine. It means lots of words with "tious" tacked on the end and plenty of bouncing up and down. Chicklet also exhibits at least two alternate personalities. People with weak hearts should avoid hanging around with Florence.

Teenagers naturally get sex on the brain, but Eros seems to have passed Florence and Berdine by. While all the other girls are at the drive-in to make out with boys, the two friends are actually watching the movie. Berdine's total adulation for the main character on screen, a b-movie actress named Bettina Barns, is obvious. The trouble starts when Florence goes to get some snacks and changes personalities. Her transformation into Ann Bowman (more on Ann shortly) frightens the concession stand attendant. It also means that the true whereabouts of Chicklet's personality are MIA when a woman is murdered. Berdine is unlucky enough to find the body.

Marvel Ann, Berdine, and Florence visit the beach the following day. Supposedly the trio is on a man hunt, but Berdine is only interested in preventing sunburn and Florence develops a desire to learn surfboarding. The assembled kings of the beach, led by Starcat, are more than happy to cluster around Marvel Ann. Teaching Florence to ride the wild wave though, that is unthinkable. They tell the bubbly redhead to make like a jellyfish and scram.

The heroine is unfazed by the rude dismissal. She visits "The Great Kanaka" (hereafter "Kanaka," because that could get annoying) in his beach shack and begs to become a surfer gal. He laughs at first, until Ann Bowman surfaces. When in Ann Bowman mode, Florence is a raving, domineering whore. Refusing her anything is dangerous and besides, Kanaka likes playing the submissive. He engineers Chicklet's entry into the group and hopes that Ann's personality will resurface, real soon.

The surfers are, other than Chicklet, all guys. Some of them are rather pale for people who spend hours in the sun, but that is unimportant. What is important is their various uncommon traits. Psoriasis covers most of Junior's body, T.J. has a single nut, regular bowel movements elude Provoloney, and Yo Yo and Provoloney are both attempting to wrestle with their mutual desire for the other. My reason to tell you all of this makes sense later. Just enjoy the "surfing" scenes for now.

A luau is planned to honor King Neptune, but the great thing is the surfers freely exchanging the word "orgy" for "luau" at times. A dark cloud is cast over the preparations when Junior is found dismembered. The group undergoes an informal interrogation by Stark, resulting in little more than discovering Kanaka and the hard-bitten police officer were once lovers. Thank goodness that Bettina soon surfaces. The b-movie queen is hiding out in an old beach house until the studio agrees to stop exploiting her. Berdine is in heaven.

Years ago, the actress' beach house was the location of a grisly murder. As if in celebration of that previous massacre, T.J. is stabbed to death. The killer's method of operation is now apparent: people with deformities are being targeted (the first victim had a harelip). The revelation made pleased me for a reason: no way is that bitch Rhonda surviving. The mysterious slasher was kind enough to make my wish come true. Understand, Rhonda was a wheelchair-bound girl who had a habit of making spiteful remarks to everyone she met. I think seeing her decapitated was a happy moment on par with the unpleasant wheelchair guy getting devoured in "Son of Blob."

During the movie it becomes apparent that Chicklet and Starcat are falling for each other. She starts trying to learn ways to better get his attention, while he steadily grows more disenchanted with Marvel Ann. Finally, Chicklet asks the boy to walk her through a make-out session. The lesson proceeds just fine until Starcat starts describing some of the more intimate highlights in sordid detail. Chicklet freaks out and runs away. I'm certain Gidget would have reacted the same way, if she did not lapse into a catatonic trance on the spot.

Odd thought, but could having sex with a girl suffering from multiple personalities be considered a menage-a-trois? Not that it matters; Chicklet has yet another personality: a checkout girl named "Tylene." She don't take no lip from nobody.

The luau finally arrives and Chicklet is chosen as the virgin sacrifice. Unfortunately, the ceremony causes another episode and Ann Bowman returns. She acts very unvirgin-like. Starcat hypnotizes the spunkalicious babe, thereby learning the origin of her neurosis (it is sufficiently strange). Stark arrests Mrs. Forrest as the murderer, but the cross-dressing police captain has the wrong person. Chicklet is all alone, with only her other personalities to defend her, when the killer strikes again. Too bad that she didn't have Bruce Lee in there; that would have been of some use.

"Psycho Beach Party" is plain insane (ugh, I'm rhyming, blame Kanaka) and a lot of fun to watch. The ending switches up a few times on you, even resembling "The Wizard of Oz" at one point. No, strike that. Make it "Return to Oz." The final ending gotcha so screws with the plot that I am reminded of "Tempests," one of my favorite episodes of Showtime's "The Outer Limits."

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Ice cream sandwiches were made for erotic flirtation.
  • Urine stains are best scrubbed out in the kitchen sink.
  • Surfing is an amazingly complicated activity.
  • Being constipated is bad for your sense of balance.
  • Being born with only one testicle can be fatal.
  • Thirty is old. (Deana Carter has been trying to tell us this for a while.)
  • Masochists should keep a large supply of Bactine on hand.
  • Having a stab wound, inflicted by a large kitchen knife, in your shoulder is no obstacle to climbing a ladder.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - Now, that is romance!
  • 22 mins - Special effects rarely stoop to this level. I love it.
  • 33 mins - Berdine is going to emit a high-pitched scream when she notices...there she goes.
  • 37 mins - Does that really do anything? Besides amuse us guys.
  • 40 mins - At least Mrs. Forrest has good taste in music.
  • 48 mins - Very, very disturbing scene.
  • 63 mins - Just lost my train of thought. Damn.
  • 72 mins - Joey is sooooo screwed.
  • 84 mins - Gratuitous use of the word "credenza."
  • 90 mins - Isn't there paperwork to fill out? Somebody was shot!

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note psychobeach1.wav Yo Yo: "You're not even a chick. You're a chicklet."
Chicklet: "Ha, ha, ha."
Provoloney: "Yeah, that should be your new name. Don't you dig it?"
Kanaka: "It'll pass, the name's got class."
Provoloney: "I hereby dub you 'Chicklet.'"
Chicklet: "I'll buy it. I'll buy it. I'll be 'Chicklet.'"
Green Music Note psychobeach2.wav Chicklet (as Ann Bowman): "Ann Bowman invented luaus! Ann Bowman invented orgies! Ann Bowman invented revenge."
Green Music Note psychobeach3.wav Bettina: "I'm afraid I can't answer that."
Chicklet: "Are you incognito?"
Bettina: "No, I'm German/Irish."
Green Music Note psychobeach4.wav Larry: "You can't possibly imagine what it's like to grow up in a house of freaks. My mother was blind, my father was deaf, and my sisters were midgets!"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clippsychobeach1.mpg - 2.7m
No beach movie would be complete without a dance fight scene. And here it is.

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