The Castaways: Liar, Liar (1965)
The Animals: We Gotta Get out of This Place (1965)

With its inspired combination of falsetto and Farfisa, The Castaways’ Liar, Liar is one of the great American garage band hits of its era. It also has a zingy guitar lick and one of the best screams in 1960s rock’n’roll.

I first came across the track on the Nuggets compilation that Lenny Kaye assembled in 1972 and since then it has also appeared on a number of soundtracks, including Animal House, Good Morning, Vietnam and the hugely over-rated Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Before all that, Liar, Liar was performed live (well, supposedly live) on It’s a Bikini World, where The Castaways play it for the audition of a potential new go-go dancer for nightclub owner Daddy’s club The Dungeon, Daddy being played by Sid Haig, who later appeared in both Foxy Brown and Jackie Brown, both of which I covered last week.

Did she get the job? You bet she did!

It's a Bikini World

It’s a Bikini World belongs in the category of the beach party movie – or beachploitation or surfploitation if you prefer. This kind of film is generally far too frothy and wholesome for my tastes with all that sunshine and all those Dennis Wilson lookalikes with six packs and tanned Californian girls with gleaming smiles.

All these decades later, it’s odd to think of young people excitedly queuing up to see It’s Bikini World, Beach Ball (Haig was in that one too), Beach Blanket Bingo or Surf Party. Then again the same could be said in 2018 for Ant-Man and The Wasp and all the other blockbuster garbage currently clogging up the country’s multiplexes.

Here beach queen Deborah Walley stars along with Tommy Kirk and Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett of Monster Mash fame. Tommy Kirk’s opinion of the film? Well, he admitted to Filmfax magazine: ‘It was one of the worst pieces of shit that I’ve ever been in my life.’

Yes, it’s about as much fun as a wet Thursday in Thurso but director Stephanie Rothman, a protege of Roger Corman, does at least inject a little feminism into its bad battle of the sexes sitcom plot with a female lead character who is far from the passive norm of the beach movie.

Clearly though the main reason for watching It’s a Bikini World is for the music. In addition to The Castaways, girl group The Toys perform Attack!, a minor hit in the States, while The Animals, play We Gotta Get Out of This Place with Eric Burdon looking like getting out of this place was exactly what he wanted to do while lip-synching to the track at the Dungeon. I use the term lip-synching loosely.

Although shot in 1965, It’s a Bikini World wasn’t released until 1967, by which time biker and hippie flicks had began to supersede all the lightweight beach related bunkum. Suddenly young people with long hair in denim and leather took centre-stage and, unlike the ‘clean teens’ they liked to smoke, drink and have sex, as well as tuning in, turning on and dropping out. Characters that wanted to be free. Free to do what they wanted to do. Who wanted to get loaded and have a good time.

Oh, I feel a review of The Wild Angels coming on sometime soon.

For the It’s a Bikini World trailer, click here.