Surf II: The End of the Trilogy (1984) International Film Marketing/Comedy RT: 82 minutes Rated R (language, gross humor, comic violence, nudity, sexual content, drugs) Director: Randall M. Badat Screenplay: Randall M. Badat Music: Peter Bernstein Cinematography: Alex Phillips Jr. Release date: January 1984 (US) Starring: Eddie Deezen, Linda Kerridge, Eric Stoltz, Jeffrey Rogers, Peter Isacksen, Joshua Cadman, Tom Villard, Corinne Bohrer, Lucinda Dooling, Cleavon Little, Lyle Waggoner, Ron Palillo, Morgan Paull, Ruth Buzzi, Biff Manard, Brandis Kemp, Terry Kiser, Carol Wayne, Fred Asparagus, Jim Greenleaf, Ralph Seymour, Joy Michael, Britt Helfer. Box Office: N/A
Poor Eddie Deezen! I’ve always considered him one of the greatest untapped resources in Hollywood. Ordinarily relegated to small parts, he typically plays nerdy characters like Eugene in the Grease movies (1978 and 1982). His other credits include 1941, Midnight Madness, War Games, The Whoopee Boys and The Polar Express. He’s a very funny actor and could easily carry a movie on his own shoulders. Why he wasn’t cast in Revenge of the Nerds is beyond me. I can only chalk it up to misfortune that his only starring role is in the abysmal 1984 teen sex comedy Surf II: The End of the Trilogy. He plays Menlo Schwartzer, a teenage mad scientist bent on revenge against all the surfers of the world. Or at least the ones in his California beach town. The premise of Surf II isn’t that bad; it’s actually reasonably clever. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie SUCKS! According to Wikipedia, this movie has developed something of a cult following. I just don’t see it. Simply put, Surf II isn’t funny. It’s supposed to be a spoof, but of what? It seems like writer/director Badat takes aim at many targets and misses every one. The obvious target would be sequels as implied by the movie’s title which is the best joke in the whole dismal affair (there is NO Surf I). That’s the ONLY reference to sequels in the entire 82 minutes, so Badat really dropped the ball on that one.
The targets in Surf IIare beach party movies, horny teenager comedies and cheesy sci-fi/horror flicks. It should have been a winner, but it’s a total wipeout from the word go.
Menlo has it out for surfers because of a cruel practical joke gone awry. His revenge? It’s a good one, I’ll give him that. Deep in his secret underwater laboratory, he has created a highly addictive chemical agent that turns its drinkers into mutant zombie surfer punks. With the help of a couple of local businessmen, he passes it off as a soft drink called Buzzz Cola. His ultimate goal is to create an army of mindless zombie slaves who will do his bidding. The “heroes” of Surf II are Chuck (Stoltz, The Wild Life) and Bob (Rogers, Friday the 13th Part 3), two none-too-bright surfer dudes who don’t buy into the whole Buzzz Cola craze. They think it tastes horrible, much to the dismay of their fathers (the aforementioned businessmen). They slowly begin to realize that something is amiss after their friends start to transform into zombie punks with gross dietary habits (garbage, motor oil, live frogs). The local police, led by (ha, ha!) Chief Boyardie (Waggoner, The Carol Burnett Show), try to close down the local beach after a few surfers go missing. This couldn’t happen at a worse time seeing that the big surfing contest is just around the corner. It’s up to Chuck and Bob to put a stop to Menlo’s nefarious plans or else watch their world go down the proverbial crapper if he succeeds. Menlo has plenty of tricks up his sleeve, like sending his sexy partner-in-crime Sparkle (Kerridge, Fade to Black) to distract the horny heroes. Believe me when I tell you that this description is far better than the actual movie.
It’s not often that a movie (ANY movie) makes me as sick to my stomach as Surf II. I don’t mind gross humor (I still laugh at Dumb and Dumber), but Surf II really pushes the limits. It’s not uncommon for a filmmaker (ANY filmmaker) to mistake revolting for funny like Badat does here. Take the scene where one of the heroes’ friends, a guy called Johnny Big Head (Cadman, The Sure Things), has a garbage-eating contest with one of the zombie creatures. Not long after that, a fat guy (Greenleaf, Joysticks) consumes a sandwich after a seagull relieves himself on it. Excuse me while I grab a barf bag. I NEVER want to see these scenes again ….. EVER! What’s really disheartening about Surf II is that is has the kind of supporting cast that I love to see in a movie. It includes Cleavon Little (Blazing Saddles) as the high school principal, Corinne Bohrer (Joysticks) as Chuck’s girlfriend, Ruth Buzzi (Laugh-In) as Chuck’s mother, Tom Villard (One Crazy Summer) as one of the afflicted surfers, Terry Kiser (Weekend at Bernie’s) as his father and Ron Palillo (Welcome Back Kotter) as Inspector Underwear (a local cop). The mere presence of Arnold Horshack should have made Surf II one of the coolest unknown movies to come out of the 80s, but it’s not. I really wanted to like this, but I didn’t. Deezen does the best he can with the material; the movie’s failure is NOT his fault at all. It’s simply a bad movie. As I recall, it didn’t receive much of a theatrical release (it never opened in Philadelphia). I caught it on HBO one night in April ’85 and fell asleep about midway through. It doesn’t say much when a 17-year-old boy falls asleep on an R-rated teen sex comedy like this. Surf II makes both Porky’s sequels look Shakespearean by comparison. It’s the cinematic equivalent of water pollution.