An A student in the classroom…and a Double D on the beach.
I should have known the jig was up when I popped the disc into my player. They used a different actress for the front cover art. Nothing worse than false expectations. But I really should have known the jig was up when Lloyd Kaufman's wildly incoherent introduction started. It's so funny and clever that there's no way the film could top it. Sadly, I was right.
Eve's Beach Fantasy is a bad film. Bad films can be a lot of fun, from the Ed Wood canon to the work of Al Adamson (Dracula vs. Frankenstein, which coincidentally is on DVD from Troma). Unfortunately, Eve's Beach Fantasy doesn't even work on that level. It's just smarmy T&A sleaze. The only other films I can remember that have an obsession with female breasts are Russ Meyer productions, but at least Meyer remembers to add sly humor, good (of its type) performances, excellent production techniques, and a good script. Eve's Beach Fantasy contains none of these ingredients.
Those hoping for an erotic thrill can just turn back right now. The film is one big tease, despite the frequent nudity. The film's "plot" deals with a young woman named (what else?) Eve who is housesitting for her uncle. She fantasizes about losing it (if you have to ask what, turn back now before it is too late) and has a series of sexual fantasies. There are distractions for Eve, such as a photographer who whispers sweet nothings about her non-existent beauty and her old-fart of a father.
The actors all give stiff, awkward performances, as if they're not comfortable with the film's basic premise. How is the star, April Adams? She…well…she has a great rack! Her performance? Well…my mother always taught me that if I can't say something nice, not to say anything at all. With all due respect to my mother, this is not one of those circumstances. It's a hollow and non-dimensional performance. She pretty much lets her breasts do the acting while she stands there making facial gyrations. As Pamela Anderson has proved so far, big breasts are no substitute for acting talent.
The film's writer, co-producer and director is Henri Lumiere, unfamiliar to me. A quick visit to the Internet Movie Database will reveal that this is his only credit. It's easy to see why. He has no sense of pacing. His direction of actors is abysmal. His continuity errors would make Ed Wood groan. (The biggest howler is when Eve's bra magically reappears in medium and long shots despite her lover having removed it seconds earlier.) His idea of good screenwriting is to establish a long shot, have his characters recite dialogue a first grader would find childish, and then close in on sexual acts. He proceeds to beat this concept to death for all of its 100 minutes.
Troma gives us a full frame transfer, despite letterboxing the opening and closing credits. Eve's Beach Fantasy was composed for 1.85:1 and should have been presented as such. The transfer is rather mediocre. There is grain present in all dark scenes. Light scenes have a haze that looks as if the lens was smeared with low-grade petroleum jelly before shooting.
The lone extras are theatrical trailers for this and other Troma films. Kaufman puts in a plug for his book, "All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned from The Toxic Avenger," one of the most entertaining and informative books I have ever read. Buy his book and tune into Cinemax after midnight instead. It's more filling at half the price.
Henri Lumiere is ordered to go back to film school since it is obvious he needs to learn the craft. Troma is not guilty of enthusiastically backing product like this, but is sentenced to probation for thinking this is good cinema worthy of a (at some outlets) $29.99 price tag.
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