Director – Randall M. Badat
Starring – Eddie Deezen (A Polish Vampire in Burbank, Zapped!), Eric Stoltz (Pulp Fiction, The Butterfly Effect), and Jeffrey Rogers (Friday the 13th Part III, The Karate Kid Part II)
Release Date – 1983
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4/5
I grew up on television shows from the 90s and whatever I could find at the local video store but I was very much obsessed with 80s movies. When I was in middle school I found myself very much a horror fan but I found myself watching anything from the 80s. I had romance, comedies, action flicks, and so on. It if was made in the 80s I was going to watch it.
I loved the comedies that came out of the 80s that was modeled after John Landis’ National Lampoon’s Animal House. This 1978 classis inspired a plethora of comedies in the years that followed like King Frat in 79 and Porky’s in 1981. Recently, Vinegar Syndrome announced the release of the 1983 surfer comedy Surf II. I had never heard of this one before but when I was some familiar names I knew I needed it.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows two high school surfers who are entering an upcoming surfing competition but the private beach they normally visit is closed after a surfing accident. To make matters worse, some of the other students at school are turning into mindless zombies that will eat anything. They suspect it’s because of a new soda called Buzz Cola that was created by an evil nerd who was once bullied by the surfers. **Spoiler Alert**
I heard a lot about this one once Vin Syn announced it’s release but I was not ready for this outlandishly 80s wild ride that was before me. I had a lot of fun with it but I can easily see why this one isn’t talked about more.
The acting in this one is very fun and the characters are all enjoyable. The cast is really dedicated to their roles and do a fantastic job at bringing to life what feels like live-action versions of cartoon characters. They are all well written and great to watch on screen. With that being said, the film is a little too full. There is so many great characters to watch with such a huge cast that you often get caught up in the moment and lose track of the story.
The story for this one is more insane than the characters. We get mad science experiments, teenage zombies, surfers, nudity, Eddie Deezen, and oddball humor. The film is meant to be a parody of the surfer films of the 50s and 60s but finds itself fitting into the beach comedies of the mid-80s like Private Resort and Hardbodies. It actually works as one of these films with the parody aspect getting lost among the chaos. The humor finds it’s mark for the most part but some of the gags did leave me stumped. I’m sure they were pop culture jabs at the time. The downside to this bat shit crazy story is that it was just one film. There was no Surf which is a bit disappointing. I would love to have more of this zany story.
Finally, the film isn’t a bloody one but that doesn’t stop it from being gooey. We get some practical gags and some gooey mess but that is the extent of this one. The focus is on the characters which is not a bad thing in this situation. Overall, Surf II is an outrageous comedy that will leave most cult fans in stitches. The humor isn’t for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This release from Vin Syn is a must have especially if you haven’t seen the film before. It was a lot of fun.
Region Free 2-disc Blu-ray Set
Newly scanned & restored in 2k from multiple 35mm archival prints
Includes the original director’s cut as well as the theatrical re-edit
“The Stupidest Movie Ever Made: Drinking the Drink of Surf II” – an extended making-of documentary featuring interviews with: Randall Badat (director), George Braunstein (producer), Scott Easton (assistant director), Peter Bernstein (composer), Carin Berger (costume designer) Fern Champion (casting director), along with actors Eddie Deezen, Peter Isacksen, Linda Kerridge, and Joshua Cadman.
Commentary track with director Randall Badat (director’s cut)
Commentary track with director Randall Badat (theatrical cut)
Commentary track with actor Eddie Deezen (director’s cut)
Commentary track with film historians Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly (theatrical cut)
Behind-the-scenes still gallery
Original sizzle reel video
Booklet featuring writings by Mike McPadden and Zack Carlson
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles