Awhile back Olive Films issued a pair of the 1960's A.I.P. "beach movies" on blu-ray. In what we hope will be an on-going release schedule, but for some reason Olive has released the 2nd and 5th films in the series first (that is if you count 1964's PAJAMA PARTY - which I do) with 1964's MUSCLE BEACH PARTY and 1965's BEACH BLANKET BINGO being the initial releases (which could be looked at as a Don Rickles double feature).
I've always considered MUSCLE BEACH PARTY one of the weaker entries in the series. It's still a lot of fun, but the absence of Harvey Lembeck as Count Von Zipper is felt and expect for Don Rickles (in his first of three appearances in the series- see also below) the supporting cast comedy -wise is a bit weak, as even the usually maniacal Buddy Hackett is subdued. It does however have the presence of Bond girl extraordinaire Luciana Paluzzi (THUNDERBALL & THE GREEN SLIME) and features a great musical score with appearances by Dick Dale and Stevie Wonder, along with musical contributions from Gary Usher, Roger Christian & Brian Wilson. A pre- MISSION IMPOSSIBLE Peter Lupus appears as one of the body builders under his "Rock Stevens" name that he used in the Italian sword & sandal movies he was appearing in at the same time. Both BINGO & MUSCLE also feature vocal performances from the 5'4" singing dynamo "Dr. Pepper Girl" Donna Loren.
All the above screen captures are from the Olive blu-rays
Although with obviously not a lot of time and money being spent on cleanup, both films look fine with strong colors and nice punchy audio (I remember when I was excited about pan & scanned laser discs of these). Hopefully the rest will follow from Olive along with other A.I.P. goodies. Also recently released was THE WILD ANGELS (Nancy Sinatra as a biker babe !) and PSYCH-OUT (Jack Nicholson as a pony tailed leader of rock group). Cool Stuff !!