‘There’s something blood curdling for everyone!’
The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini is the seventh (and last) of the American International Pictures (AIP) beach party films and was released in 1966.
The entire film takes place in and around a haunted house with no beach in sight, with the teenage gang instead cavorting in and around it and the adjacent swimming pool.
Besides the usual bikini-clad cast, random singing, silly plot line, musical guests, and ridiculous chases and fight scenes, the continuity linking this to the other beach films is the Rat Pack motorcycle gang led by Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck), as well as the appearance of previous beach party alumni Tommy Kirk, Deborah Walley, Bobbi Shaw, Jesse White, Aron Kincaid, Susan Hart (the ghost) and guest stars Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone.
Pop singer Nancy Sinatra, who was on the rise at the time just before the film was released, has a supporting role and performs one song written for the film; and the Bobby Fuller Four (famous for ‘I Fought the Law’) appear as themselves and sing two songs.
The ghost of recently dead Mr. Hiram Stokley (Boris Karloff) finds that he has twenty-four hours to perform one good deed to get into Heaven. He enlists the help of his long dead girlfriend, Cecily, to stop his lawyer, Reginald Ripper (Basil Rathbone), and a henchman from claiming the estate for themselves.
The real heirs, Chuck, Lili, Hiram’s cousin Myrtle, and her son bring their beach party friends to the mansion for a pool party while Reginald Ripper also employs his daughter Sinistra, and J. Sinister Hulk’s slow-witted associates Chicken Feather and Yolanda to help them terrorize the teens, while dopey biker Eric Von Zipper and his Malibu Rat Pack bikers also get involved in pursuing Yolanda for a share of the Stokley estate.
” …a silly but harmless and enjoyable little relic from the more innocent part of the 1960s for in just a few short months, AIP would release a more graphic and violent account of the changing culture, The Wild Angels.” DVD Drive-In
“With no central focus, the film stumbles between one character and the next. It even throws in an escaped gorilla towards the end. It also features an ugly monster suit from The Eye Creatures. The ghost’s bikini is in fact invisible, but makes everything under it invisible as well. Many other pretty gals do prance around in colorful bikinis, however…” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
“Sadly Boris isn’t given much to do and is kept on the same crumbling crypt set throughout the whole movie. Rathbone looks thoroughly embarrassed and barely escapes with his dignity intact. […] as dumb and corny as most of this is, the climax is lively, the final joke is actually kinda clever…” The Video Vacuum
” …kinda funny in a stupid live action “Scooby-Doo” kind of way. I imagine that 99.99% of the population would dislike this movie, but for whatever reason I thought it to be so dumb it’s was funny. That said, still don’t risk watching it on your own. Bring a friend.” Happyotter
The gorilla costume was recycled from Konga (1961).
Some of the above images are courtesy of BasilRathbone.net
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