Surf II: The End of the Trilogy (1984) — Surfers vs zombie nerd

“Surfing built this town. It damn near built this country.”

Justin’s rating: A boogie board of a film

Justin’s review: Probably the first thing that you need to know about Surf II is that there is no Surf I. Rather, this is a bizarre parody that splices together the beach surfer movies of the ’60s with horror and scifi B-movie tropes. Writer-director Randall Badat set expectations for this movie when he later said, “We set out to make the most brain-dead movie of all time. In that regard, I believe we succeeded.”

So, no, we’re not in for an intellectual exercise here. It’s dumb jokes, juvenile jokes, truly random nudity, and puns so deeply bad that your dad is is still deciding whether or not to incorporate them into his repertoire.

A surfer community finds itself bummed out when some deaths on the beach shut down the fun. Turns out that this is the work of evil nerd Menlo (Eddie Deezen, who had a career of such characters), who was victim of a cruel prank a while back and is looking to get revenge on everyone. His method, as you might expect, is to spike Buzzz soda with a special formula that turns consumers into obedient zombies (which look more like makeup-slathered punk rockers than your living dead variety). He’s got a couple of henchmen to help with this task — as well as his airy yet alluring girlfriend Sparkle.

As the town falls prey to the zombie takeover, only teen surfers Chuck (Eric Stoltz!) and Bob (Jeffrey Rogers) are left to rally and thwart Menlo’s plans. Not since Point Break has the fate of the world rested so squarely on the shoulders of brain-dead lunks who’d rather be breaking waves than hearts.

Throughout all of this nail-biting tension is a soundtrack that’s so full of surf rock and new wave hits that I suspect that the filmmakers spent 70% of this film’s budget on the music rights alone. There’s everything here from Beach Boys to Oingo Boingo to Talk Talk to Wall of Voodoo. It’s a shame that the official soundtrack was never released, because this is a best-of list that covers two disparate decades.

Listen, you know me — I never turn down stupid comedies. And if you like to drink silliness from the fire hose, Surf II has you covered. If the choice in any particular scene comes down to actual plot or character development and making a stupid joke, it’s joke every single time. Sometimes it’s amusing, sure, but often times it’s so idiotic that I don’t even think 10-year-old me would have found it funny.

Occasional moments of crudity aside, Surf II exudes this good-natured charm that makes it hard to hate it. It didn’t really get much notice back in the ’80s but has gained some love in the decades since (especially following its release by Vinegar Syndrome). Maybe it’s the perfect movie for you to adopt and cherish?

Didja notice?

  • Don’t fall down during a marching band performance
  • The easiest way to get through a fence is to ask your friend to bite through the fence
  • All of the juvenile band names
  • “Chief Boyardee”
  • “Inspector Underwear”
  • OK that’s enough shots of slow-mo showering girl
  • “Her name is… SPARKLE!”
  • You can actually drive arcade games across the room
  • The split screen breakfast
  • Could have done without all of the naked man butts
  • “Excuse me, are you available for dating?”
  • 10 pounds of glue is enough to help you stay on your surfboard — and drown
  • That poor beach shack
  • The machine to keep Sparkle beautiful
  • Well, those frogs got ate
  • “HEY DADDY-O!”
  • Zombies like to drink acid and motor oil
  • Chainsawing through a car
  • “That’s too bad, I love spaghetti-Os.”
  • Could’ve done without the gross-out eating contest
  • The zombie dissection
  • I swear this science teacher looks like Stephen King

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