Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I had written earlier that one of the reasons that I almost ejected the movie ‘National Lampoon Presents: Bag Boy’ was because the National Lampoon brand has become to movie watchers what Deep Woods Off is to mosquitoes. One needn’t necessarily be Clarence Darrow to prove this point with gems like ‘Pucked’ or ‘Van Wilder 2’ or ‘Dorm Daze 2’ to support this claim, but despite my reticence I surprisingly found ‘Bag Boy’ reasonably entertaining. Though my faith in the National Lampoon brand is far from restored, I didn’t enter watching ‘National Lampoon Presents: The Beach Party on the Threshold of Hell’ as I usually would which is like a child entering his parents bedroom to get a sound ass whipping. National Lampoon has done run the ol’ Okey-Doke on me once again as ‘Beach Party’ has severely whipped my ass, again causing me to seriously question whether or not National Lampoon actually watches the movies they tack their name on.

So I’m going to try to cook down exactly what this movie was about, more so for my own benefit than for yours, and it doesn’t help much that I watched the movie like three weeks ago and am just now getting around to writing something about it. You know I actually could just avoid scribbling some indecipherable nonsense about this movie, but then that would’ve meant that I watched the flick for no other reason than my own entertainment value, and since that clearly didn’t happen I’m forced to sit here and stare at a Wordpad blank page, since my free trial of Microsoft Office has expired, and try to remember what the hell I saw. Damn.

It’s like far into the future and the world is pretty much over as nukes or whatever have basically destroyed everything. With the air finally clear for the few survivors to emerge from their bunkers, we meet Tex Kennedy played by Kevin Wheatley, who also wrote and co-directed this film. Through narration and an impressive set of motion graphics we are informed that Tex is indeed along the bloodline of the Massachusetts

Kennedy’s and we are also informed of his mission. This mission, with his two body guard robots Yul (Chandler Parker) and Quincy (Paul Whitty) by his side and also Sue the Cannibal (Jamie Bullock) who’s being dragged along in a cage, is to find Benjamin Remmington (Bill English) who Tex is convinced is the Messiah destined to put the planet earth on the right track.

This journey across the ravaged United States is fraught with peril however as there are factions out there who wish to stop Tex and his crew from completing their mission. Chief among these villains are Benjamin’s cousin Vincent (Lea Coco) who feels he should be the leader of the new world, and also a group of immortal beach partiers led by one Yorick (Alex Reznik), who I believe might be Satan or someone along those lines who also would like to see Tex and them fall on their ass. There’s hell of a lot of other stuff going on that’s not going to be mentioned here but there’s always trouble when the fate of the free world comes down to a fist fight with an android.

You know what, after recalling what I saw way back when with ‘The Beach Party on the Threshold of Hell’ I remember now that I didn’t hate it nearly as much as I thought I did. However I’m far too lazy to go back and rewrite what I have written so far and that’s just how it going to have to be. Now don’t get me wrong here because for the like the first hour of this movie I was hating on it fairly hard because it wasn’t making any gatdamn sense to me as there were all these characters floating in and out of this picture with me not actually giving a damn about nary a single one of them. However I admired the effort and skill that when into creating the style and look of the film, although the editing style was hyper frenetic, which I mostly found nauseating, and of course there is the disturbing issue (at least to me) that apparently no Black people survived the nuclear holocaust, but we’re not going to go there. Oops, I think I just went there.

Oddly enough though as I sat in a dazed stupor wishing this movie would hurry up and end, as it crept closer to its conclusion ‘Beach Party’ started to make a little bit more sense, all these characters that were darting in and out of the picture that I didn’t give damn about eventually settled into one general spot though I still didn’t give a damn about most of them, other than the robot and the cannibal, and what had begun as some kind of film school experiment on how to look stylish and cool actually settled down and began to look like a regular movie, replete with one of the best independent film fight scenes I’ve ever seen. Getting to this point, however, took waaaaay too long.

I don’t know if I’d actually recommend ‘The Beach Party on the Threshold of Hell’ since I was sincerely and truly hating every minute of it throughout much of its running time, but it is scads better than say ‘Pucked’ or ‘Van Wilder 2’. I recognize that’s like saying that Chlamydia is better than Gonorrhea, but that’s best I can give you right now.

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