Saturday, November 12, 2011

CATALINA CAPER - Various Artists - "Wild Adventure & International Intrigue" (1967)

I searched and searched for a copy of "Catalina Caper," for a couple of years after reading that it had a cracking soundtrack! It's kind of like an extension of the beach blanket bongo scene as quasi-thriller, and I'm not sure what's older, the story or the kids, but I am sure they had a great time on the island over the course of a weekend with Director Lee "Rollem" Sholem at the helm!

You know, it's like this, "Okay, somebody start a bonfire, now everybody start dancing, Roll camera! Yeah!! That's a take!! Smoke 'em if you got 'em! Next!!"

Tommy Kirk has two roles, one as himself and the other as the girl he falls in love with! Tommy Kirk is in the the deepest part of the 'Dungeon Hall Of Fame' and never fails to deliver an all-star performance no matter what film he's in! Actually the girl is Ulla Strömstedt, the multi-lingual Swedish beauty probably best known for her role as Ulla Norstrand on the "Flipper" TV series! I can't find out what happened, but for some reason Ulla died in 1986 at the age of 46!

Wheeeee! Guys just want to have fun, and they haven't even started drinking yet!!

It was just a Superbowl introduction to the one, the only, Little Richard!! It takes an hour or so to get to the island, so when everybody's not puking, they're dancing!

Totally Mesmerized!

What don't you know about Little Richard, the "Architect of Rock and Roll? He was one of THE key figures in the transition from Rhythm & Blues to Rock n' Roll, and he'll be 79 in a couple of weeks on Dec 5th! Here he belts out the classic "Scuba Party" written by himself and Jerry Long. Jerry wrote most of the music in this film and his only other big credit was the surfin' snowball, "Wild, Wild Winter!"

A large portion of Catalina Island still looks the same today, some 45 years later!

This crew is a bunch of cheapskate swindlers! Del Moore as Arthur Duval, Sue Casey as Anne Duval, and in the middle, Jim Begg as the stooge Larry!! Del Moore was a mainstay on 1960's TV on everything from "Batman" to "Wagon Train," Jim Begg was "Fatso" in "Village Of The Giants," and if you're old enough, and Sue Casey looks familiar, it's probably not from her 83 film and TV credits, but more likely from her 200 appearances in commercials for everything from Chrysler to Kelloggs!

These are the bad guys!

The Cinematography was done by none other than Mr. Ted V.(Astro-Zombies)Mikels!

It's like dance fever! Dance with your best girlfriend or your best pal, but just keep moving!

This motley crew was called The Cascades, and had a smash hit that was released in 1962 that was all over the radio for weeks, titled "Rhythm Of The Rain," but it wasn't until 1963 that it reached #3 on the charts! Here they perform "There's A New World."

Carol Connors is the only woman to have ever written or co-written a major hot rod song! It's a fact! The song I'm talkin' about is "Hey Little Cobra" recorded by The Rip Cords in 1964, and she also co-wrote the Rocky theme, "Gonna Fly Now!" An amazing woman, Carol is still cooking today, and in this scene was performing "Book Of Love," a song she co-wrote with Roger Christian, the writer of the all time classic "Dead Man's Curve!"

It was an itchy witchy teeny weenie black and fuzzy bikini that she wore for the first time today!

The guys are all hypnotized by the ravishing charms of Ulla Strömstedt! "After you been eating steak for a long time, beans, beans, taste fine!" - Shel Silverstein

And after all that madcap partying, the beach is nothing more than one big crash pad!

This was a pretty cool, but random 15 second shot in the middle of all the other musical madness!

I went to Catalina Island last year, and this area and that building look exactly the same today!

Somewhere in there, there was a story about a theft of a scroll, and the clumsy insurance investigator Fingers O'Toole played by Robert Donner, but it's all secondary to that fact that this was just one big music video! Robert Donner had a very successful career in some interesting roles like the morgue attendent in "Agent For H.A.R.M." or Ebenezer Twitchell in "The Spirit Is Willing!"

There's basically only one other California Island with any film history, and that is Alcatraz, but they never had any beach parties there that anybody lived to talk about!


Prof. Grewbeard said...

THAT was an amazing post! you made it look great, and i know better!...

oh hey guys, new blog-

it'll be a blog with all styles of "musick"...

Eegah!! said...

With you in charge, I have no doubt it will be an amazing Place!

Greg Goodsell said...

I don't understand why this still remains a Holy Grail for countless collectors, as Mystery science Theater 3000 had broadcast it several times since then! The only catch was you had to sit in with the 'Bots in order to see it.

Lacey said...

Of course if you are interested in this little film, you can easily get the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" version. Mildly edited to fit the program, you can still get the idea that this was a fun film to make and to watch. Lyle Wagner is also in it as the "muscles" for the bad guy.

Will said...

Is there anyway to get a copy of the score. I, for some reason, find it kind of fun and original. Would love to listen to it on my iPod.

I especially love the small sequence when the Catalina ferry comes into port.

I also love some of the horns (or I assume they are horns) because they have a quality I haven't heard before or since. It just 'feels' aquatic.

Thanks. Great website!

Thomas Korn said...


there might be a way to extract the score from the original (un MST'd) version.. which does exist on Volume 1. The bonus disk contains the original Version of the film. There are programs (and a few processes) that can successfully extrract a score. (I've done it before with Time Bandits)

Anonymous said...

The Cascades released "Rhythm of the Rain" (the actual title) in November of 1962. And I find your articles very entertaining.

Eegah!! said...

You know what Buzz, you're so right, and I know it so well cause it's not like I didn't live through it. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote the title of the song was "Listen To The Falling Rain!" I must have been high when I wrote that, and you're also right, it was released in 1962, but it didn't chart until 1963! Thanx for reading! I briefly looked at your site, if I ever find some time, I'd like to check it out in depth!

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