Sunday, May 8, 2011
Beach Blanket Bingo: "That's the name of the...that's the name of the...that's the name of the game!"
The fourth installment in AIP's Beach Party series remains the best remembered for several reasons. It featured early performances by blonde actresses Linda Evans and Marta Kristen, both of whom would find fame on television (Evans in The Big Valley and later Dynasty; Kristen in Lost in Space as Judy Robinson, the older daughter). It marked the first teaming of director William Asher and comedian Paul Lynde. That same year, Asher produced the TV series Bewitched for then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery and soon cast Lynde in his most famous role as Uncle Arthur, the mischievous warlock. Beach Blanket Bingo also marked the beginning of the end for sand-and-surf teen movies. Frankie Avalon made only a cameo in the follow-up How to Stuff a Wild Bikini. Neither Annette nor Frankie stayed around for The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, the dismal final entry in the Beach Party series.