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  Sizzle Beach, U.S.A. Kevin Can Wait
Year: 1981
Director: Richard Brander
Stars: Terry Congie, Lesley Brander, Roselyn Royce, Robert Acey, Kevin Costner, Larry Degraw, James Pascucci, Justin Michael Scott, Peter Risch, Lulu Nicholson, Ronald Kiepke, Joe Marmo, Victoria Taft, Sylvia Wright, Blaine Nicholson
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Trash, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dit McCoy (Lesley Brander) and her best pal Cheryl Reilly (Roselyn Royce) are travelling across California to Malibu where her cousin has a house that she has inherited, all the better to start their careers; she wants to be a singer, while her friend wants to work as a physical education tutor. While they are in a diner, they become aware of someone shouting in the ladies' restroom and realise that what happened to them to make them miss their bus has befallen somebody else: the handle has broken off the door, trapping them inside. They go to her rescue and meet Janice Johnston (Terry Congie), then immediately strike up a friendship, as Janice can drive them to where they want to go...

Oh, and Janice wants to be an actress, which judging by this none of the cast had achieved at the point Sizzle Beach, U.S.A. was filmed. Or rather, Malibu Hot Summer was filmed, as after it was picked up by Troma it was rereleased with new name and an advertising campaign emphasising an actor who was not a star when this was made, thus giving them the excuse to list him as a "Guest Star" in the opening credits. Kevin Costner was that man, a long way off from headlining his own blockbusters, but generating interest in what would have justly been forgotten ever since, as this was painfully undistinguished other than the fact Costner made his acting debut in a cheapo T&A vehicle.

We all have to start somewhere, and some of us never get anywhere, so at least Kev was able to put this behind him and move onwards and upwards to a very successful nineteen-eighties and nineties. The rest of the cast were not so fortunate, but you could observe they were able to tell their grandchildren they appeared in a movie with Mr Costner, even if it was not one of the famous ones. Actually, considering almost everyone took their clothes off to some extent, perhaps it was not a good idea to tell the grandkids about that time and thus spare some blushes around the table at family get-togethers, for this was essentially softcore drama with comedic scenes with an ulterior motive for its production.

That would appear to be to get some exceptionally dreary music out into the world in the hope that someone would hear it and think, say, that's not half bad, where can I purchase the soundtrack album and/or find out about the artists involved? It's highly probable nobody ever said that ever about this, with the songs either mournful melodies sung by a bloke struggling a little to hit the right notes, or a woman doing a Joan Baez impersonation, which by 1981 was not going to cut it in the popular entertainment field unless you actually were Joan Baez and some old hippies were feeling nostalgic. The reason for this out of date material was that the film had not been shot in 1981 when it was finally released, but was a seventies effort that had languished on the shelf, some said for as long as seven years.

Those sums may not add up when you saw the telltale sign of a portrait of President Jimmy Carter on the desk of a school principal in one scene, which would indicate a later date of manufacture, sometime between 1976 and 1980, unless the scene in question was created later than the rest of it, but that seemed unlikely. All of this detective work was a lot more interesting than the plot, which detailed the lives of three occasionally nude young women as they concentrated on their careers and tried to juggle that with romance, and Costner entered the picture as a young horse ranch owner who gets up close and personal with Dit. Or was it Janice? The two brunettes looked distractingly alike, which prompted some confusion in who was playing whom, if indeed you gave two hoots once you had reached the halfway mark and noted this really wasn't getting any better. The jokes fell flat, the nudity was unattractively filmed and featured a lot of implants, and one of the songs rhymed "answer" with "cancer". Golden age of cinema, there.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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