Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Let Me Traumatize You With Bob Denver's Mouth

TCM showed 1964's For Those Who Think Young today as part of a festival of teen-surf movies from the '60s. This was United Artists' entry in the genre, though while it has somewhat better production values than the Beach Party movies, it's a lot less fun, and somehow wastes what is, on paper, a pretty good cast; among the people in it are Pamela Tiffin, Ellen Burstyn, Paul Lynde, Bob Denver, and Tina Louise (the latter two both a year away from being stranded on that island together), but in this movie they have so little to do that you long for Frankie Avalon. Most of the material goes to "comedian" Woody Woodbury, while Paul Lynde mostly seems to be Woodbury's stooge -- not the best disposition of resources.

The most memorable part of the movie is the most horrifying; when I saw this on TV over a decade ago, I was completely disgusted and creeped out by this scene. For reasons I have never been able to figure out, Bob Denver is buried in the sand so that only his upside-down mouth is visible, and his disembodied, bearded mouth and painted chin proceed to lead a musical number.



Again, it makes you kind of appreciate the Beach Party franchise, where the numbers were silly, but at least they were fun rather than gross.

By the way, the musical director and composer for this movie was Jerry Fielding. Which means that Straw Dogs is not the most disturbing movie he scored.

12 comments:

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

I watched this film this morning while completing the icemaker project ("Naughty but ice") and made it a point to clock when the first Pepsi reference comes in, what with the title and all. (It's about 12 minutes, when Tiffin orders one in that sleazy bar where Tina Louise "strips.")

I wasn't as grossed out as you were by Denver's gaping maw but in defense of this non-Beach Party flick the songs are much better than the average AIP romp. Oh, and Frankie Avalon is nowhere to be found.

Griff said...

I recall an interview with AIP's Sam Arkoff (in KINGS OF THE B'S) in which he hilariously derided this picture as having been made by people "who didn't understand the fundamentals" of the genre.

According to Arkoff, "One company made one and called it FOR THOSE WHO THINK YOUNG -- the old Pepsi-Cola slogan. That is the most ridiculous, hidebound, stupid concept I can think of. To put a middle-aged slogan on a youth picture. What kid would go see a picture called FOR THOSE WHO THINK YOUNG?"

policomic said...

Who knew Gilligan could rap? Or that he did so under the ahead-of-its-time moniker, "Ho Daddy"?

Todd Mason said...

I remember that sequence from seeing the film sometime in the earliest '70s...on review, it does have a certain TRIUMPH OF THE WILL as well as desperately straining quality.

Anonymous said...

Woody Woodbury was the sorry human who followed Johnny Carson hosting "Who Do You Trust?" when Carson left for his 29 year run with the Tonight Show in 1962. This film attempted to parlay Woodbury's one blip on the entertainment radar into his being some major comedic persona. Woodbury may still be with us. We don't know for sure because he lacks a proper Abe Vigoda deathwatch website.

Anonymous said...

Both Ellen Burstyn and Tina Louise appeared together the same year as this movie in an excellent "Kraft Suspense Theatre" entitled "The Deep End." Clu Gulager, Aldo Ray and Whit Bissell were in it, and it was based on a John D. MacDonald novel. Unlike this movie, Burstyn and Louise actually had meaty parts--Burstyn played twins, Louise played a psychopathic secretary.

Earl Pomerantz said...

Thanks for reading my blog. I try to remember things as they were, but you know memory. It always wants the rememberer to look good to themselves and others, so there's so nasty selectivity going on.

Now that I know where your blog is, I'll check it out. Other people's work help me know if I'm on the right track.

Good luck and Happy New Year.

Cappy said...

Gilligan!

Anonymous said...

Filming the mouth upside down while speaking and singing was used by Paul Winchell a lot on his show, although I'm sure he pinched it from somebody else.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

Now I'm going to cry.

Anonymous said...

Two words - vagina dentata

Jenny Lerew said...

Oh, God!

You're one of the tiny handful of writers on media out there who make me laugh out loud--frequently. Thanks.