Back to the Beach

(Lyndall Hobbs, USA, 1987)


Back to the Future (1984), Back to the Beach, Return to Oz (1985), A Return to Salem’s Lot (1987), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991) … Sigmund Freud himself would surely have been impressed with the massive compulsion to return which gripped popular culture from the mid ’80s.

We are no longer asked to revisit the good old days (since these may never have existed), only good old movie genres like (as here) the beach party cycle of the ’60s.

Such desperate, demented nostalgia is so transparently ersatz that the prevailing tone of this film is one of blank, idiot-grin cynicism.

So, besides the endless, brittle jokes at the expense of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, the film throws in modern, hip, teen movie clichés, and a very curious song-and-dance from the great Pee-wee Herman.

© Adrian Martin January 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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