Are Bikini Films Serious Fun or Seriously Stereotypical? You Decide.

Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on Tumblr

HowtostuffwildbikiniImage via lewiswaynegallery

In the ’65 camp classic How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, a bevy of beach beauties cavort across the sand and periodically break out into song and dance. Like other sun-soaked cinematic romps of that time, OG teen heart-throb and Beach Party all-star Frankie Avalon makes an appearance. He plays a somewhat paranoid loverboy in the naval reserves whose own shore-leave antics have him second-guessing his steady girlfriend’s commitment. To make sure she remains faithful while he’s away, he hires a witch doctor to conjure a hot babe in a wild bikini in order to distract the only hunk of a man who could possibly charm away his GF.

Aside from silly song lyrics like “Take a girl who’s ugly as can be/any girl will do as long as she’s 36-22-36/that’s how you stuff a wild bikini,” the film is a light-hearted rom-com meant to delight. Still, it’s fair to ask whether How to Stuff a Wild Bikini and others like it at the time perpetuated double standards for women, or were just hopping on the latest 2-piece trend.

Just in case you thought this was a one-off,  Take the far-out film Dr. Goldfoot and His Bikini Machine.  I know, I know. The name alone is reason enough to dismiss any serious considerations, but let’s take a look at a simple breakdown of the plot:

vp Image via imgur

Vincent Price plays mad scientist Dr. Goldfoot, who manufactures an army of bikini-clad femme-bots to seduce wealthy men for his personal gain. The doctor routinely trains the women through various techniques (mild brainwashing, for instance), and equips them with booby traps like high-voltage lipstick so they can fend off the competition.

Despite the image-driven double entendres and exploitative premise, the film presents a hearty dose of slapstick comedy and foolishness that makes the whole thing more amusing than annoying. But I can admit I felt an odd tinge of sympathy for Alpha-Bot Diane when she was tortured at the hands of Dr.Goldfoot for going rogue. I guess some robots just can’t stick to the program.

+ While these are just a couple of Beach Party-era flicks that chronicled our culture’s fascination with bikini fever, we want to know what you think: Are these films all in good fun, or are they sending a more serious message? Take the poll!

About Amy K.

Born in the basement of the Alamo, Amy is a native Texan who enjoys a good book, a loud song, and the presence of fuzzy creatures. When she's not writing, you can find her sifting through stacks of vinyl, or combing racks of vintage wares.

,

One Response to Are Bikini Films Serious Fun or Seriously Stereotypical? You Decide.

  1. Brooke 06/13/2014 at 7:58 am #

    Sure these movies are stereotypical and sexist, but I can’t help but love them anyway! Something about the goofy antics in ’60s teen beach rom-coms like “Beach Party” or “Gidget” is so irresistibly fun. And, despite the overt sexualization of the girls, the kids still seem like innocents just having a good time surfing and navigating the ins-and-outs of teen romance.

Leave a Reply