Having a Ski Party
Climate change is rearing its head in NYC this week since it is almost mid-October and having hot humid days forcing me to turn on the air conditioning all week. The strange hot weather made me want to have a Ski Party (1965) personified by the “Lots, Lots More” song performed by Frankie Avalon. For me, this is the best musical number in the movie and perhaps the entire Beach Party series as the bathing suit clad college boys and girls are shimmying away poolside in the open cold air with snow-covered mountains in the background.
The first scene features beach party regulars Salli Sachse and Patti Chandler leading the girls to fight to regain the boys’ attention away from Swedish blonde bombshell Nita (Bobbi Shaw). The song begins with Frankie flanked by beach party regular Luree Holmes (daughter of AIP studio head James Nicholson) and Salli Sachse. As he gets up and moves to the side of the pool, two dudes (one being big time surfer and another beach party regular Mickey Dora) hop up. Frankie makes his way over to Patti Chandler and Playboy Playmate Jo Collins as their dancing partners blonde hunk Aron Kincaid and another dive into the pool. Frankie then dances his way over to AIP beach party movie first timer Mikki Jamison (though she had a rival beach movie Beach Ball already under her belt) and then his leading lady Deborah Walley.
The song ends with hunky but not to bright beach boys Steven Rogers (another AIP first timer) and beach party regular Mike Nader trying to score with Bobbi Shaw’s winsome Nita. Also in the movie are Dwayne Hickman, Yvonne Craig, Robert Q. Lewis, Mary Hughes, Christopher Riordan, with musical numbers by James Brown and the Flames, Leslie Gore, and The Hondells.
Being able to sneak in a pool scene with bikini-clad cuties and shirtless surfer boys in the middle of snow covered Sun Valley was genius and just what the teenage audience wanted. “Lots Lots More” would just have been a catchy song warbled by Frankie Avalon with twistin’ beach babes dancing beside him if it were not for Rafkin’s unusual camera angles capturing the curvy features of Walley, Chandler, Jamison, and Collins in particular and sometimes of just their torsos. HE also positioned the camera on a low angle looking up at the gals a few times, making them look almost Amazonian-like. This style would be used even more ingeniously by Russ Meyer when shooting his wildcats in the following year’s Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Read more about the making of Ski Party from Aron Kincaid in my book Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies: The First Wave, 1959-1969.
Bobbi Shaw, Christopher Riordan, and Steven Rogers talk Ski Party in Talking Sixties Drive-In Movies.
Luree Holmes talks Ski Party in Drive-in Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties.
Salli Sachse talks Ski Party in Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Hollywood.