Pajama Party

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Gogo (Tommy Kirk) is an alien teenager who has been sent from Mars with a mission, he is to make sure everything is in place for a Martian invasion of this planet. He arrives and the first person he meets is Aunt Wendy (Elsa Lanchester), a woman who runs a clothing shops which provides the coolest threads for the younger scene. He also meets Lunk, her nephew who has more interested in volleyball than in his girlfriend, Connie (Annette Funicello). Connie longs for some romance of course, but Lunk is too busy worrying about his spike shot to think about that. Connie and Gogo seem to hit it off well and soon enough, Connie has fallen head over heels for the lovable alien. But all is not well, as some local toughs are making plans to take Aunt Wendy’s cash and some motorcycle riding hoods want to rumble with the beach kids. Will all this and Gogo’s invasion be quelled in time, or will the big pajama party have to be postponed?

It seems like Annette Funicello never left the beaches during her career, but as this film proves, sometimes she did though the results were often the same. The kids might be off the beaches for a while, but the same fun and excitement is present as always. If you like the beach movies like Bikini Beach and such, then I think you’ll like this film also. But if you don’t care for those type of films, then I doubt you’ll find much here to like either. I like most of the beach movies and as such, I like this film to a certain degree, though not as much as the beach adventures. This one doesn’t abandon the beaches by any means, but the focus is so much on the sandy shores here. This is pretty corny stuff that demands a certain taste, so if you’re not into kinda cheesy humor and such, this one won’t be on your list of discs to pick up. Also, genre regular Frankie Avalon isn’t used here like he should be, as Tommy Kirk takes his place by Annette’s side. If you like the beach movies from this era, then Pajama Party would make a perfect choice if you need a rental or want to add to your own collection.

This film was directed by Don Weis, who has done extensive work in both television and film in the span of his career. This type of film doesn’t allow for much creative use of the camera, but Weis manages to give the film an effective visual style. The movie looks much like the other genre pictures, but Weis also includes some unique elements, in order to give the film some personality. The usual suspects of this genre, bright colors, simple frame shots, and steady camera movement all appear here and work to perfection. If you want to see more of Weis’ movies I recommend The Ghost In The Invisible Bikini, Remains To Be Seen, Ride The High Iron, and The Affairs Of Dobie Gillis. The lead in this film are played by Annette Funicello (Beach Party, Back To The Beach) and Tommy Kirk (Old Yeller, Son Of Flubber), who both give typical beach movie performances. In other words, they do fine for this material, but it still isn’t that good in the end. The rest of the cast includes Dorothy Lamour (On Our Merry Way, Road To Morocco), Buster Keaton (The Spook Speaks, How To Stuff A Wild Bikini), Candy Johnson (Behind The Green Door), Elsa Lanchester (Terror In The Wax Museum), and Harvey Lembeck (Stalag 17, Fireball 500).

Video: How does it look?

Pajama Party is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame version also included on the disc’s flip side. This is a very nice overall transfer, with no serious problems to report and that’s impressive for a movie of this age. The colors bounce off the screen at times, with vivid hues and rich textures, but no bleeds or smears surface in the least. Also in fine, working order are the flesh tones, which look natural and warm at all times. Aside from a couple small problems, the contrast is also smooth as silk and the instances of poor contrast are minor and brief. This disc utilizes a very clean source print and I found minimal compression errors present.

Audio: How does it sound?

The original mono track is used, though at times it seems more like a stereo track. The music sounds very good and active in this mix, which surprised me to be honest. I expected a rather flat, dull experience, but this track has some nice punch to it in the end. The music is the main focus of this film in terms of audio, so I am glad it shines in this area. The offbeat, but humorous sound effects also come through in fine form and also show some nice range. I don’t think this is one to demonstrate your system with, but it sounds terrific. The dialogue isn’t lost in all this though, vocals are clean and free from even minor distortion. This disc also includes English captions and subtitles in French & Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.

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