Bikini Summer (1991)

Own it!

review by Scott Hamilton and Chris Holland
See also:

Getting In

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Tammy and the T-Rex


Bikini Summer

Lava Lamp

Our rating: one LAVA® motion lamp.

Bikini Summer
Yes, we're stone cold bastards.
In search of new and exciting genres of movies to review, we picked up Bikini Summer, the first in the Bikini Summer series. Heedless of the very real danger that we might see naked women, we pushed forward.

That these movies (including flicks like the Bikini Car Wash Company series, Bikini Squad and Bikini Hotel) are called Bikini films is kind of a joke, because the only real reason they exist is to show women not wearing bikinis, or anything else for that matter. The only instances in which these are actually movies about women in bikinis are when they are shown on late night television. In these cases all the nudity is cut out, or all the nudity is obscured by what appear to be small but powerful cloud systems moving in front of the camera.

Bikini Summer declares its intentions during the opening montage, which includes many, many shots of women's bare breasts. That probably sounds like a brilliant move to certain segment of the people reading this review, but there's a hidden downside. Once we've seen the boobies, why should we keep watching? Sure, there's the promise of boobies to come, but now we expect them to entertain us until the boobies show up. If they had just played their cards a little closer to their chests (heh), they could have kept us in suspense, waiting for boobies.

When this guy is a movie's main character,
you know you're in trouble.
The plot is just a collection of stuff that the screenwriters half remember from the few film school classes they didn't sleep through. There's Chet (David Millbern), the goofy guy whose life revolves around sex and money. To acquire the former he pretends to be a fashion photographer looking for models on the beach, and to acquire the latter he organizes the film's climactic bikini contest. Renee (Kelli Konop) is a dowdy friend of Chet's who designs swimwear, and is looking for her big break. Jazz (Shelley Michelle, who was the naked Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman) fronts a band that is also looking for a big break. Finally, there's Cheryl (Melinda Armstrong), who is looking for love. Some of you will like Cheryl, not because her character is particularly interesting, but because she provides the film's full frontal nudity.

There are also many supporting characters, like the two nerds who sit on the beach and discuss their pick-up techniques: "When a chick wants you she isn't going to come up and sit on your face!" And then there's the environmental nerd. On one hand, he's so annoying we kept hoping someone would strangle him with the discarded plastic rings from a six-pack. On the other hand, he does provide one of the film's only funny moments.

This looks like a Charlie's Angels wrap party.
Bikini Babe 1: That's the third environmentalist we've seen this week!

Bikini Babe 2: Yeah, but he's the only one we haven't slept with.

Director Robert Veze (rhymes with "sleaze") and his writing partner Nick Stone were obviously students of classic Greek tragedy. How else to explain the classic form of the film's plot? Chet, the trickster figure, taunts and prods the other characters into realizing their dreams. The beer-drinking Mad Dog provides oracular advice to each person as they need it, and Cheryl reminds us of the beauty of classical Greek sculpture when she tosses off her clothes at every opportunity. The throngs of bikini-clad, surgery-enhanced women provide us with our chorus. Still skeptical? Witness the film's deus ex machina ending, and the classic last lines (borrowed from Lysistrata, we think):

"You got yer ecology, you got yer bikinis, and you got all the beer you want on Big Earl Connors."

Bravo! Author!

Deus ex limousine.
Review date: 07/29/1999

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 * Incidentally, we're supposed to believe that these two young ladies are marine biologists, or some such. We're pretty sure that real scientists wouldn't deliver their polysyllabic speeches about wildlife conservation quite so woodenly. Go back!