The rise of Surf Music in the early 60s, coupled with the general surfing craze that was sweeping the USA, inevitably began to spawn movies, with Beach Party (1963) starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello doing particularly well.
Four more films followed in quick succession, utilising the same stars, crew and concept: Muscle Beach Party (1964), Bikini Beach (1964), Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965).
William Asher, the director of American International’s first three beach movies, was once asked about the company’s shift from gang-wars to beach bashes and said: “our audiences welcome clean sex. They are bored with juvenile delinquency.”
The chicks all looked like centrefolds from Nugget or Escapade and the guys all straight out of the Hardy Boys. And of course, no one smoked, drank or touched each other (except when playing volleyball).