How to Stuff a Wild Bikini [1965]

Genre: Comedy, Musical
"It ain't nothin' without the stuffin'!" That's what all the groovy beach partyers say when a phantom bikini appears out of nowhere, and suddenly fills out its two-piece form with the voluptuous body of Cassandra (Beverly Adams), who soon has all the beach-hunks drooling. Along comes Madison Avenue adman "Peachy" Keane (Mickey Rooney) to recruit Cassandra for his "Girl Next Door" ad campaign, while his assistant Ricky (Dwayne Hickman) gets all googly-eyed for Dee Dee (Annette Funicello), who's not as easy as the other sand 'n' surf chickie-babies. And where's Frankie (Avalon)? He's on a tropical island with the navy reserve, sampling the comely native fauna and bribing the local medicine man Bwana (played by... Buster Keaton?!) with generous doses of alcoholic "torpedo juice" in return for a failsafe love potion. Oh, and did we mention the cross-country cycle race that will determine who's the fairest young couple in the land? The sixth installment of the seemingly endless Beach Party series, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is a minor step up from Gilligan's Island, but you've got to love a movie that includes a mischievous pelican, an appearance by the Kingsmen (of "Louie Louie" fame), and a half-dozen forgettable pop songs that virtually define the beach-party genre. Comedy purists may lament the downward spiral of Buster Keaton's career, but he's just having good, dumb fun like everyone else, and geographic distance doesn't stop Frankie and Annette from crooning a split-screen duet. And dig those clay-animated opening credits by Gumby creator Art Clokey! Let's face it, these movies are perfect time capsules of juvenile entertainment, and if you can't enjoy them in all their cheesy glory, you're nothin' but a square! --Jeff Shannon

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