The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini
Samuel Z. Arkoff, James H. Nicholson for AIP
directed by Don Weis
starring Tommy Kirk, Deborah Walley, Aron Kincaid, Patsy Kelly, Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Susan Hart, Quinn O'Hara, Jesse White, Harvey Lembeck, Nancy Sinatra, Claudia Martin, Francis X.Bushman, Benny Rubin, Bobbie Shaw Chance, Piccola Pupa, Luree Holmes, Ed Garner, Frank Alesia, Mary Hughes, Salli Sachse, Patti Chandler, Sue Hamilton, Alberta Nelson, Andy Romano, Myrna Ross, Jerry Brutsche, Bob Harvey, John Macchia, Allen Fife, the Bobby Fuller Four, and as a gorilla: George Barrows
story by Louis M. Heyward, screenplaqy by Louis M.Heyward, Elwood Ullman, music by Les Baxter, songs by Guy Hemric, Jerry Styner, special effects by Roger George
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A dead man (Boris Karloff) will be allowed to go to heaven and bew
reunited with his lovely, sexy wife (Susan Hart) only if he commits one
good deed. The deceased decides to attend the reading of his own will to
do so, since his crooked lawyer (Basil Rathbone) seems to be more than
likely to cheat the actual heirs - wholesome couple Chuck (Tommy Kirk) and
Lili (Deborah Walley), and loveable eccentric Myrtle (Patsy Kelly) - out
of what's rightfully theirs, by killing them should need arise. There is
one hitch in the dead man's plans, he won't be allowed to leave his crypt
to do his good deed, so he sends his wife to act on his behalf - as the
titular ghost in the invisible bikini (and yes, the bikini really is
invisible, as is, unfortunately, her body underneath).
I might want to
mention here that the reading of the will takes place at a spooky mansion
... but somehow, a gang of beachboys and beachgirls arrive on the place to
party nonstop, so is Erich von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and his moronic
biker gang, and a gorilla George Barrows, who all create confusion. the
lawyers short-sighted daughter (Quinn O'Hara) tries to kill one of the
beachboys, Bobby (Aron Kincaid) in multiple ways, while Bobby's girlfriend
(Nancy Sinatra) tries to win him back, and then there are the lawyer's
helpers (Jesse White, Benny Rubin) dresing up as monsters. But after a
tour through the bad man's dungeon of horrors (basically an advanced wax
museum), all the baddies get their just desserts and everything ends
Now I have no idea who came up with the fabulous idea
to blend the old dark house and the beach party genre, but
somehow the two genres seem to contradict each other almost by definition.
Now this could have still resulted in a highly original and inventive film
... unfortunately, nobody involved with Ghost in the Invisible Bikini
cared to make one, instead this film is just a collection of tired jokes
carried by a collection of awfully disjointed subplots (there isn't even a
stringent main plot here it seems), in which not only horror icons Boris
Karloff and Basil Rathbone seem to be awfully out of place.
Now I freely
admit I've never been the biggest fan of beachparty flicks, but this one's
even worse than most.
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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