I can see why this fourth (fifth if you count the Pajama Party spinoff) is considered the best of the series, though I still tip my hat to the original Beach Party.
The cartoon energy is off the charts here, and the side characters easily the best since Beach Party. (I especially loved Paul Lynde as the scheming record agent.) There’s also a bunch of skydiving, not to mention the goddamned mermaid romance subplot, which is played with a straight face as the most serious thread here.
You also have an old Buster Keaton chasing around his curvy assistant for no obvious reason, noted character actor Timothy Carey playing a murderous pool shark villain, a wacky chase scene, and delirious subversions of film continuity straight out of Looney Tunes. Silly fun in almost every frame.
I was smiling the whole time, and less annoyed than ever that the nearly-hundred-minute runtime wasn’t shaved by a half hour or so.
Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.