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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Psycho Beach Party [Blu-ray]


(Robert Lee King, 2000)




Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: New Oz Productions

Blu-ray: Strand Releasing



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:36:01.797 

Disc Size: 24,575,747,341 bytes

Feature Size: 23,542,704,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.54 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 18th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 4198 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4198 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB



English (SDH), none



• Commentary Track by director Robert Lee King and actor Charles Busch
Music Video by Los Straightjackets (3:36)
Other Strand Trailers





Description: Robert Lee King directs this wacky, campy fusion of teenaged surfer flicks and slasher sagas. Impossibly perky Florence (Lauren Ambrose) doesn't quite fit in at her thoroughly square high school in her seaside Southern California town -- that is, until she happens upon a band of ultra-hip surfer dudes. Renaming herself "Chicklet," she tries her gosh-darnedest to be the sole girl riding the waves with the group led by suave Kanaka (Thomas Gibson). While adopting her surfer alter ego, Florence soon discovers that other less pleasant personalities emerge when confronted with the sight of polka dots. One called Anne Bowman is a tough, "experienced" older lady, while the other, Tylene, is a stereotypical sassy black woman. Blacking out whenever these other personalities take over, Florence becomes increasingly worried that she is responsible for a series of grizzly murders. Of course, she is far from the only suspicious character in her oceanside community -- there's B-movie star Bettina Barnes (Kimberly Davies), Swedish exchange student Lars (Matt Keeslar), and Florence's own unnervingly-perfect mom (Beth Broderick). This film was adapted from a popular off-Broadway play written by Charles Busch.



The Film:

PSYCHO BEACH PARTY is a wickedly fun satire of Hollywood movie genres. Chicklet (Lauren Ambrose - CAN'T HARDLY WAIT, HBO's SIX FEET UNDER), a wannabe surf-girl with a split personality, becomes the primary suspect after a string of humorously gruesome murders terrifies the teen set. When the clues take her to the beach, the fun and suspense begin.

At the beach, Chicklet crosses paths with burnt-out surf guru Kanaka (Thomas Gibson, CRIMINAL MINDS, DHARMA & GREG), dreamy surfboy Starcat (Nicholas Brendon, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), and stylish homicide detective Monica Stark (Charles Busch, DIE MOMMIE DIE!). PSYCHO BEACH PARTY also stars Amy Adams (AMERICAN HUSTLE, BIG EYES), Matt Keeslar (SCREAM 3), Beth Broderick (SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH), Kimberly Davies (THE NEXT BEST THING) and Kathleen Robertson (BEVERLY HILLS, 90210).

Excerpt from Amazon located HERE




Like wow, daddio: This comic send-up of surf and slasher movies is a real solid sender. Using Gidget movies as its comic template, Psycho Beach Party camps up the details with knowing abandon. Set largely on a Malibu beach in 1962, Psycho Beach Party throws together a wannabe surfer girl named Chicklet (Ambrose); the B-actress star of such movies as The Pizza Waitress With Three Heads (Robertson); a bunch of California surfer dudes, including a renegade psychology student (Brendon) and beach-bum legend named Kanaka (Gibson, of Dharma & Greg); and assorted other friends, parents, law-enforcement officials, and a Swedish foreign student (Keeslar). The film is an adaptation of Charles Busch's popular 1987 Off Broadway show.

Excerpt from The Austin Chronicle located HERE


Image:    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.


Strand give us an impressive 1080P transfer of the fun-homage focused Psycho Beach Party. Colors are extremely bright with rich pastels supporting the film's strong art direction. The film had some decent production values and the HD visuals are exported looking authentic and impressive in-motion. It is transferred in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio with a high-level of contrast. I presume this, flawless, appearance is a strong replication of how the film was viewed theatrically. It looked great on my system.





















Audio & Music:

The audio is as good as the video a powerful DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a whopping 4198 kbps. There are effects that separate but the film's music - Ben Vaughn score and Los Straitjackets' Tailspin and Tempest sound exceptionally strong and crisp. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.





Strand include the same, fun, audio commentary track by director Robert Lee King and actor Charles Busch as found on their 2005 DVD, as well as the Los Straightjackets Music Video plus some other Strand Trailers.



Bottom line: I was perfectly in the mood for this - light, funny, 'Beach Party' spoof. It really hit the spot and you can recognize many future TV performers sprinkled throughout. Quite the hoot. The Strand Blu-ray offers an impressive a/v presentation and we give a strong recommendation. Great film choice as the start of a Double Feature film night!

Gary Tooze

July 29th, 2015




About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze






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