HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI pretty much lays something—not exactly cards—on the table with that breast-taking title; then, following a neat credits sequence, barrels downhill from there. Frankie Avalon makes a token appearance: he was demoted after asking for a raise, and so he could waste time making the execrable Sergeant Deadhead. Dwayne Hickman steps in, putting Annette Funicello’s ‘Dee Dee’ into yet another kind of huff. The strained foolishness (the NY Times reviewer calling it “the answer to a moron’s prayer”) was blitz-shot in 15 days for $150,000, part of which went William Asher and Leo Townsend for the mind-bending task of writing it. Asher directed, his last run on the beach.
Returning regulars include Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, Jody McCrea and Bobbi Shaw. Buster Keaton, not abused enough in Beach Blanket Bingo, comes back, and gets even worse material here. Other grownups on hand are Mickey Rooney (desperate for money, he took the gig for five grand without telling his agent, who quit), and Brian Donlevy (his once solid career now firmly descended into junk). Others on hand, mostly to display their bods, include Irene Tsu (always a seductive fave), Beverly Adams and Michele Carey. The Kingsmen are part of the musical element, which boasts (foists) 11 numbers into the void. “After The Party” is pleasant enough.
Showing up unbilled at the finish is Elizabeth Montgomery, director Asher’s wife. And you thought she was married to ‘Darrin’….
The cool animated title sequence in Claymation was done by Gumby creator Art Clokey, with a jazzy instrumental from composer Les Baxter, who scored all the flicks in the series. Almost everything else is painfully unfunny. Running 90 minutes, it came in #84 for ’65, a gross of $2,700,000 outperforming the preceding Beach Blanket Bingo (maybe the ‘Stuff’ accounted for an extra 100 grand?), while poor relative Ski Party floundered another 38 places down the slope.