Surf II — Not your typical surf/beach movie!!! From 1984 or any year…It’s the American Way and don’t forget your cola!
What is not supposed to be a lesson in how not to make a movie resulted in one the most sought after cult films.
Nothing like starting off a surfing article with some wave rippin tunes… so take it away boys…
The movie that gives insanity a bad name.
…the end of the trilogy! (There never was a 1 or a 3)
Catch a wave for the riotous surf-spoof that will wipe you out!
Dynamite surfing! Driving music! Hilarious fun! ***See trivia below
Twice as funny!
Is this end for Menlo the crazed nerd turned Mad Scientist or will he succeed in creating not only havoc but a few zombies along the way at the big surf competition? Will he completely wipe out high school life as we know it now? Will Big Head live to eat another day? If your as curious as I am tand you can see only one film this year then you’ve got to see this years only(in facy of any year) beach/surf/zombie film- SURF II! …Oh and this film is not in 3D!!!
The crew of Surf II set out to make the most stupidest film ever, since they didn’t have the budget they needed to create what was supposed to be a tribute to all those fun loving beach and surf films from the late ‘50s/’60s that we all “ grew up” with.
Yo Frankie and Annette! Where are you and the gang. I guess taking a break from school and celebrating the days of summer- catching the waves daily and lighting the bonfires nightly. All cozied up with a girl or guy. Long sweaters, breezy nights, late nite football on the beach. No Point Break here but if you wanted a great double feature. Night at the Drive-In then you have it.
What you do get is very young Eric Stoltz. Pre- The Mask/Anaconda. Eric is one of our would be heroes who heopefully takes a break from catching those cool waves to solve the mystery of BUZZ Cola. He is helped by Australian actress Linda Kerridge as Sparkle the “new” girl in town. Kerridge played a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like in the very spooky, reknowned cult classic Fade to Black(1980). Kerridge’s character may or may not be working for our devious, conniving villian- the dreaded-most nortorius. Dare I say his name-Menlo Schwartzer(May the Schwartz be with you?).
Eddie Deezen(Grease, 1941, Laserblast, Zapped & TV’s Punky Brewster-84 season)* see more below-playing a nerd villain/mad scientist Menlo Schwartzer. And he is awesome!!! Dedicated to ridding the world of the “cool” surfer dudes who made his life miserable in High School. And operating from what else, an underwater laboratory. Thanks to his undenileable dedication he has created a “Jolt” Cola-how bout no!?. But actually something even more devious than that mega shot of caffeine(although it may have had the same effect given it stayed on the market longer-who knows?). No almost an uncola. We’er talkin BUZZ Cola.
So addictive and worse yet having a devestating effect on the would be consumers. Mostly those “obnoxious” high school/college bound surfing “bullies”. Once they have consumed enough of this stuff they’re basically dead walkers-zombies eating license plates, drinking oil etc. I have to say the refreshing part is they don’t go around biting people and having them turn. But they do bite sometimes. In fact in one scene at the profs house good ol’ Dr Beaker played in perfection by Issac Jackson(CPO Sharkey TV series & Eat My Dust) they end doing an autopsy on one of these “dead” surfers and we are treated to black ooze and all kinds of unconventional-digested body fuel including a whole fish — remind you anything? Say Jaws when Brody and Hooper are conducting their night time excursion to check the captured Tiger shark.
Surff II -
Trivia break-Combining classic Surf with New Wave and Punk
The soundtrack for this was amazing. It featured classic surf tunes from the Beach Boys mixed with current bands and some of the greats including Dick Dale and the Deltones, Slpit Endz, Thomas Dolby, The Untouchables and the Ventures. 20 songs to the count. *The complete list is on Wikipedia
Danny Elfman of Oingo Boingo with the song Hold Me Back
A deal with Capitol Records fell throughbased on poor recpetion by critics and boxoffice. However I think personally they should have gone thru with it. The film itself prospers from the songs and music score. Raising it above whatever the bad press was to be. Plus there have been several films over many years of cinema history that were only so so but had a killer soundtrack.. Look at Xanadu with ELO and Olivia Newton John-a box-office bomb almost but the album was huge and thet title track is still played today. ElO with All Over The World is a requested song at concerts back in the day. And this is just one example.
(Now this is right on the money for the soundtrack- however it was never released-too bad I would have loved to have this on vinyl). maybe we will see this come to fruition in the near future. For now the only place to hear all these in one place is the film itself.
Promo and Newspaper ads-
Anyone the Revenge of the Nerds film series released the same year?
Surf II was originally supposed to be filmed and released in 3D. In one of the Variety MIFED editions this one above and the 3D were being promoted prior to and after the princible photography was completed. There is also a full 27 x 40 version of this and it is gorgeous with a yellow background and again showcasing Linda Kerridge(see below)
Characters or character actors/actresses. to watch out for.Take your pick. Surf II has some very wel known and loved actors that fit both. One of my all time favorites-Ruth Buzzi(SCI-FI/Horror film The Being from Kino Lorber recently released on Bluray) from Laugh In (1968–73). She has created some genius performences from the lady in the ever indeestructible hair net. Here she plays one of the parents of our heroes. How about an early appearance from B-Movie Queen-Brinke Stevens.
Lyle Waggoner( Wonder Woman ’70s TV series & The Craol Burnett Show), here he plays Chief Boyardie(not Chef) acccompanied by his trusty side kick, Ron Palillo(Welcome Back Kotter) as Inspector Underwear, Terry Kiser(Bernie from Weekend at Bernies) and special guest Cleavon Little(Blazing Saddles) as the mayor.
Directed by Randall Badat and by score by Peter Bernstein with costumes by designer Carin Berger.
Bluray from Vinegar Syndrome-
Recently released on Bluray in a remastered in 2K from original 35mm print elements. It has been rescued by Vinagra Syndrome and released in Bluray for the very first time with both the Theatrical version and the Directors cut. Audio commentaries galore with Eddie Deezen, Director Badat, Fillm historians Zack Carlson and Brian Connolly. A documentary on the making of. Reversivle slip cover art and a booklet featuring writings by Zacl Carlson and Mike McPhadden. The audio and the film is poppin. As always these “guys” are top notch quality in all their releases. This is a limited Edition to 6000 units.
So call this a guilty pleasure or a lost treasure you be the judge. Either way I gaurantee you have never seen anything like Surf II. I highly recommend the film and the Bluray release from Vinegar Syndrome. (see link below)
I can of no other way than to end with a song , and no otrher band then Split Endz with Six Monthas in a Leaky Boat…I hope that never really happens so happy sailing or surfing…
The lost alternate release poster -
EDDIE DEEZEN-The guy you know you don’t you know. You know?
Eddie has been for a better part of 3 decades(since the late ’70s) appearing before both the big and small screen. He has graced us with his voice even at times when we could not see him phyiscally both via animation and video games. Eddie is an amazing talent and super nice on or off the camera. And can be seen at many of the pop culture events and cons though the years even presently( although given the pandemic less recently). He would be my go to “guy” when it comes to being guaranteed a spot on charcter performance. He has lifted many a film or a scene that otherwise would have been unmemroable. So I say thanks you Eddie for making so many films and Television shows so much fun.
Selected body of work:
I Wanna Hold Your Hand(1978)-Richard”Ringo” Klaus
Spyhard as a guard
Eddie is totally exhausted after a one on one with a murphy bed…will he or won’t he?
The Fall Guy, Magnum PI, The Facts of Life
Kim Possible- voce of Ned(recurring)
Darkwing Duck- voice of Mouth
Dexter’s Laboratory- voice of Mandark(recurring)-Dexter’s ulitmate nemesis
What’s New, Scooby Doo as Gibby Norton(recurring)
Life With Louie- Melvin(recurring)
In 90’s the voice of Pop for Rice Krispies commercials and in The Polar Express as the nerdy Know It All
Cartoon Network Racing as Mandark
Vinegar Syndrome- and while your visiting check other great titles including The Beastmaster in 4K, starring Marc Singer, Alien From LA(Kathy Ireland), Hell Comes to Frogtown(featuring effects by Steve Wang & starring Roddy “Rowdy” Piper)…