The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini was the final AIP Beach Party movie and wouldn’t you know it, it features none other than Boris Karloff! The producers couldn’t afford Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello so they got Tommy Kirk and Deborah Walley instead. They also couldn’t afford to film on the beach either, but there is a brief pool party. I know what you’re thinking: No Frankie, no Annette, and no beach… so how the heck is this a damn Beach Party movie? Your guess is as good as mine. But hey, did I mention Boris Karloff is in it?
Boris plays a recently deceased corpse who has to do a good deed in 24 hours in order to get into heaven. Since his million dollar fortune is in the process of being swindled by a greedy lawyer (Basil Rathbone), Boris decides to help the rightful heirs get the money. Boris enlists the aid of his old flame; a ghost (Susan Hart, wife of producer James H. Nicholson) who goes around in her invisible bikini influencing things.
Yep it’s another one of those stupid Fake Haunted House Deals Where People Dress Up as Monsters to Scare Away Relatives Entitled to a Million Dollar Will movies, complete with a gorilla on the loose and a “Chamber of Horrors” wax museum. The imbecilic screenplay is filled with a barrage of lame sight gags and depressingly stupid jokes that weren’t even funny back in the 60’s. The titular “Invisible Bikini” is a gyp and a half too because you never see the chick’s titties underneath. It’s more like one of those camouflagey “invisible” deals.
I’ve never seen any of the Beach Party movies before and this one didn’t necessarily make me wanna rush out and see any of the others. Since I’m a huge Karloff fan, it was my solemn duty to sit through it. Sadly Boris isn’t given much to do and is kept on the same crumbling crypt set throughout the whole movie. Rathbone looks thoroughly embarrassed and barely escapes with his dignity intact. Despite being the “star”, Tommy Kirk is hardly even in the movie and quickly gets lost in the shuffle. Nancy Sinatra also shows up looking all kinds of hot and sings one forgettable song. The sexiest chick in the bunch however had to be Quinn O’Hara, the gal who played Rathbones’s voluptuous nearsighted daughter. She also sings a tune but I wasn’t listening; I was too busy ogling her goodies.
The best part of the movie for me was seeing AIP’s old monster suits, sets, and props being recycled. The gorilla named Monstro is the same gorilla suit from the cult classic Konga and the monster costume from Attack of the Eye Creatures also makes a cameo. And you know, as dumb and corny as most of this is, the climax is lively, the final joke is actually kinda clever, and there is at least ONE funny line of dialogue: “I can think of three reasons why they like her… 38, 24, 36!”