Let’s take a trip to the beach in this swingin’ 60s teenage romp!
Starring Tommy Kirk, Deborah Walley, Nancy Sinatra, with classic horror stars Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff, The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini raises a few questions. First, I wonder what Karloff and Rathbone’s asking prices were. Second, are we going to see the titular ghost’s tits? Finally, how bad is this movie gonna suck balls?
I mean, is the invisible bikini like… Is it a ghost too? Did the girl die and then, in an unrelated accident, the bikini died too? So the bikini is also a ghost? Or… or maybe, just maybe, the bikini is made out of a fabric that is invisible too? Maybe the girl died, like by being murdered by a real bad guy? And he chopped her up and only kept the bikini top and bottom bits so it’s not so much that the bikini itself is invisible, but that the ghost doesn’t have those bits because the crazy guy kept those bits of her body? I mean, if you go cuckoo bananas and chop up a girl, those would be the parts you’d keep right? Like, the best parts?
But, really, what is this movie about? According to IMDb – “A corpse has 24 hours to mastermind a good deed without leaving his crypt, to go ‘up there’ and have his youth restored.”
Oh no… I saw the word “his” twice in that synopsis. It’s not a guy who is wearing an invisible bikini is it? I was really looking forward to this being a girl wearing the invisible bikini. *Sigh* Well, let’s get this thing started…
So the cast is presented in a scary smoke-filled opening credits. I can tell you right off the bat, I’m already suspicious of the validity of any movie who has to say someone is a Special Guest Star. That’s usually reserved for TV movies. People making a motion fucking picture don’t get cast to be a “special guest star” of a movie. As special as Basil Rathbone is, he’s not the only special guest star. THE FUCKING LADY PLAYING THE GHOST IS TOO. You know, the title character? I don’t like where this is headed.
Anyway, the ghost comes in and wakes Boris Karloff from his coffin. He is told that he has to do one good deed in the next 24 hours. If he does, he gets to be with our sexy ghost girl. Now, Boris Karloff is a real old guy. Like real old. If he gets the good deed, he can be young again and spend eternity boning this sexy ghost. The entire point of this opening scene is to just spew exposition as if this is a Disney movie for kids made on the cheap. Oh and also gross us out that this hot chick is hitting on crusty, old Boris Karloff.
We’re introduced to his heirs and we find out Basil Rathbone is his crooked lawyer who will be reading his will. The Ghost and Boris look in on Rathbone and his sidekick plan to mess with his heirs and steal the inheritance. Boris decides his good deed will be to help the young people and stop the crooked lawyer. The Ghost heads off to help. She appears on the chandelier in her famed “invisible bikini” which, sadly, just looks through her fun bits as if there is nothing there. The rest of her is some sort of precursor to the Star Wars force ghost thing.
One of the heirs tries to communicate with Boris, and Basil’s buddy starts messing with the heirs to try to get them to run off. You see, this is one of those super ridiculous situations only seen in the 60s, like in episodes of The Monkees and such, where if they are not present at the reading of the will, they get nothing. So the lawyer hopes to scare off everyone. Anyway, the lady who is trying to communicate with Boris during a seance has a nephew and a bunch of beach bum fuck nugget friends who show up to throw a party. One of which is Nancy Sinatra who sings a song and undulates her sexy ass midriff.
So now, there’s a bunch of extra people around. And they are kinda interesting. There’s Nancy Sinatra who is looking pretty swell. An entire band to play music. Bunch of people in bathing suits dancing around and stuff. However, we’re kinda stuck with Tommy Kirk and his boyish, yet incredibly dumb looking, face. At least Deborah Walley isn’t bad, but these are our heroes. A dummy and a redheaded girl who is kinda too dumb to realize she is being charmed by Tommy Kirk. Kirk and Walley strike up a deal to, no matter what, stay around to get their inheritance. I bet they decide to fall in love by the end of all this business.
So like this is something like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, characters start to get shotgunned at us one after another. We’re introduced to a stereotypical Indian guy with a feather and all and his dopey hillbilly blonde who are carting around a gorilla. We also meet a biker gang who likes to go around and bust up billboards (Jesus, the 60s were pretty boring if motorcycle gangs pass the time driving through billboards). Anyway, our introduction to them and the madcap hilarity of them all crashing into a pond goes on for too long.
I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not that we’re taken back to Kirk and Walley who are looking around the big scary looking mansion. They talk about their business endeavor to stay in the house no matter what and flirt about how they won’t have this kind of “business” relationship with anyone else. She leaves the room to go change, which I gotta say, I can certainly feel for Tommy Kirk because every time I wanna talk about getting down to business with a girl, she leaves the room all uncomfortable too.
But enough of that shit, let’s go back to the party by the pool!
So, Myrtle, the lady trying to do the seance, goes outside to talk to her nephew, Bobby. After some classic quirky quips between Rathbone and Myrtle about young people and their dancing, Rathbone introduces his daughter, Sinistra, who happens to be a drop dead gorgeous woman. She tries to give Bobby a drink that will basically kill him. I don’t know if she knows this is what she is doing because there are some jokes about her wearing her glasses and not being able to see well without them and fuck I don’t know. She sang a song and was hot. That’s what I know.
So the blonde, the Indian, and the gorilla arrive at the mansion to do some shit. The biker gang follows and it turns out the leader is in love with the blonde. Now, the Ghost in her invisible bikini pops up here and there and mugs to the camera for a while, and it’s now becoming clear that she’s an afterthought to this movie. The title of the movie is a character who is a goddamn afterthought.
Oh and if you thought for a second there wouldn’t be a guy in a gorilla costume in this movie – there is.
A room of girls in skimpy bikinis sit around while Nancy Sinatra gets a makeover to look hot enough for Bobby so he’s not all bonered out for Sinistra… Wait. Nancy Sinatra is not hot enough for a guy? That’s the least of this movie’s problems, but it’s goddamn ridiculous. So a girl sings to her about standing up for what she thinks is right and so on. This movie is full of songs, but they are only like a minute long. Still, this scene is kind of like what happens in dreams of mine…
Between Deborah Walley, Nancy Sinatra, and Quinn O’Hara (who plays Sinistra), this movie is dripping in bikinis, cleavage, midriffs, and redheads. The more they cut to these scenes of the party at the poolside, and whenever Sinistra slips through a scene, the more I realize I kinda love this movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fucking dumb as all get out, but holy hell there are some real sexy scenery around these parts. The music is rather catchy too.
Oh no… I like this movie. I really like this movie. It’s foolish and full of gobbledygook, but dammit, I like this movie. Still, I hate that this movie is nothing more than a Tommy Kirk/Nancy Sinatra/Other people vehicle because this movie is called The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, and said ghost doesn’t do a great deal. She is certainly NOT really making things go the way it was planned by Boris to really help the “good guys” beat Rathbone.
Anyway, Myrtle, Tommy Kirk, and Deborah Walley find out that they are to share the fortune with Rathbone equally. They are told Karloff has amassed one million dollars, but the money is hidden somewhere in the house. Uh oh… This is one of those treasure hunt movies. It really is like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The bikers find out the plan about Rathbone’s cronies stealing the million bucks and decide they are going to do it themselves. Everyone turns in for the night to start fresh to find the treasure in the morning.
Now, with the thunder and lightning happening outside, and wind blowing and howling and such, we begin the phase of the movie we all knew was going to happen. The house is full of trap doors and hidden compartments and one person in a scene of multiple characters see something that they can’t explain to the other without sounding loony and so on. You know these types of movies. Hollywood made the crap out of them from about the mid 40s all the way up to the 70s. My big question is where the hell is the Ghost? Isn’t she supposed to stop all this?
But hey, guess what? The gorilla has gotten loose! We have a gorilla running about with all this funny business now! It wouldn’t be a kooky comedy flick if we didn’t!
So in the midst of all the people dressed up as monsters chasing the others in the house around, the gorilla, arguably, an actual monster, is now in the house and causing real trouble. And like any classic beauty and beast, the gorilla, named Monstro, scoops up Deborah Walley and makes off with her. He takes her into the dreaded Chamber of Horrors that Boris Karloff, naturally, has in his mansion. The biker gang also chiseled their way into this room too. So the Ghost does pop up here and suggests some bad ideas for the biker leader to fight the gorilla.
All the bad guys also end up in the chamber, and soon Deborah Walley is tied to a log heading toward a buzzsaw. It’s up to Tommy Kirk and his buddy Bobby to save her. They barely get to her in time and fight the bad guys with Boris Karloff looking on like a weirdo voyeur and giving commentary. There’s a whole thing where Tommy Kirk will stop the buzzsaw, but then Basil Rathbone will go back and turn it back on and whoever gets a momentary upper hand turns it on or off. It’s kinda tiresome and this sequence is about 45 minutes long. However, it’s the combination of Sinistra’s poor eyesight and the Ghost giving suggestions to people that ultimately finds the treasure and everyone gets some loot and finally stop Basil Rathbone by the Ghost plugging the blunderbuss gun he’s holding everyone up with and killing him. They fucking kill the bad guy! The final joke is on the Ghost as Boris is turned young again, but like a little kid young. Everyone dances and the Bobby Fuller Four sing us into the credits.
I really kinda hate that I liked this movie. It is tiresome and it’s dumb. Like real dumb. But I guess I’ve seen worse? I guess you can classify this as a bit of a guilty pleasure. It’s not something I can recommend to anyone… ever. But if I happen to see it on TV, I’ll probably watch it like the dope I am. It has a charm even if none of it makes a bit of sense.
Then again, there are few movies I do on this blog that make any kind of sense whatsoever. So I guess that makes this par for the course.