Saturday, October 13, 2007

WELCOME TO THE GRINDHOUSE DOUBLE FEATURE: THE BEACH GIRLS / COACH

Hitting shelves right around now are two good-natured vintage teen comedy romps from Crown International that probably should have been packaged as one of BCI’s "Starlight Drive-In" double bills. Instead, they’ve been released as WELCOME TO THE GRINDHOUSE DOUBLE FEATURE: THE BEACH GIRLS/COACH (1982/1978). Oh well, regardless of the format, they’re still worth checking out.

1982’s THE BEACH GIRLS is a charmingly lowbrow time killer packed with bare-breasted young beauties, cheap jokes, and consequence-free sexual hijinks. The plot, such as it is, revolves around three sexy young college students spending the Summer at a Southern California beach house belonging to one of the girls’ uncle. They immediately begin partying, and the remainder of the flick is pretty much non-stop sex and drug (marijuna) humor. Yet, THE BEACH GIRLS has a pleasant innocence about it, and is an enjoyable relic of a time when movies were often just about escapist fun.

The second feature on the disc, 1978‘s COACH, stars Cathy Lee Crosby as a former Olympic running champion who lands a job as the coach of a boy’s high school basketball team. Over the flick’s 91 minutes, she overcomes the sexist prejudices of the school board and her team, begins an affair with one of the teenaged players (Michael Biehn, THE TERMINATOR), and leads her charges to victory in the state championship. Utterly predictable but unpretentious, COACH is undemanding entertainment from a simpler era.

Both movies are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and look great, considering their age. COACH looks a little soft, but it may have been shot that way. Sound appears to be simple stereo. On COACH, the dialogue is frequently muffled or echo-y, which suggests that it was recorded on-set and not cleaned up. It’s always understandable, though.

BCI’s disc allows you to watch the movies individually, or as a "Grindhouse Experience" double feature. This includes trailers for other Crown International comedies, including THE VAN, JOCKS, MALIBU BEACH and MY TUTOR.

Fun flix. Cheap DVD. You could do worse.

BUY: Welcome to the Grindhouse: The Beach Girls/Coach