Beach Blanket Bingo How could I resist watching a film starring everybody’s favorite Hollywood Square, Mr. Paul Lynde? Anything starring the homosexual, nasal-voiced, Ohio-born star of Charlotte’s Web has to be good. I mean, the man even had his own TV show at one point in which he attempted to play a heterosexual lawyer. Talk about acting! I’ve always been obsessed with watching cheesy Hollywood musicals, and adding in feeble attempts at comedy mixed with characters named “Bullets” (Mr. Lynde), “Big Drop,” “Sugar Cane,” and “Butch” only made this title even more attractive to me. And of course, the movie is filled with overly-groomed actors playing stereotypically dumb bimbos, and stereotypically conniving businessmen. Bingo trips over itself with some minor technical issues, though. Apparently, the lip synch coach was out of town for this one, or maybe modern post-production didn’t exist then. Either way, I was not for a second fooled into believing that these lovely actors were actually singing for the camera. Going that “extra mile” that teeny-bopper movies rarely go, Bingo treads new ground and does something that I have seen in no other films. It makes use of slapstick comedy sound effects even when no actual comedy is taking place! I could only hope to be so creative. The film even includes a good-natured rib at Mr. Lynde’s home state, brought on by none other than Mr. Lynde himself. His character, while watching the teenagers dance, asks his friend, “Have you ever done anything like that?” The truly witty response? “Once, back in Ohio. When I got caught in a swarm of bees.” Oh, how I laughed. Not. In the end, though, the entertainment value of this film far exceeded the 20 minutes of my time I actually spent watching it. And the rest of the excruciating 1 hour, 38 minute runtime I spent on more productive things, such as writing this review.

“Beach Blanket Bingo” (William Asher)