review for Surf 2 on AllMovie

Surf 2 (1984)
by Donald Guarisco review

This oddball teen comedy attempts to mix Airplane!-styled satire of 1960's beach comedy, 1970's horror film cliches and 1980's teen-comedy hijinks into a single package. The end product can't exactly be called a success but is deranged enough to be memorable. Writer/director Randall Badat's tale is too overloaded with characters and ideas and too short on craftsmanship to pull off its ambitious aims but it is never dull. A few gags shine through the gross-out hijinks (the best is a memorable bit where two families have the same conversation in stereo in the same duplex) and the whole shebang is prodded along by a non-stop soundtrack of vintage pop hits by groups like Split Enz, the Stray Cats and the Beach Boys. However, the key attribute of Surf 2 is its cast. The young leads are surprisingly skilled for such a low budget venture: Eddie Deezen supplies plenty of amusing Jerry Lewis-styled wackiness as Menlo, lesser-known b-movie starlet Linda Kerridge deftly underplays her unwitting femme fatale role with some sly wit and lead surfer Eric Stoltz shows off the charm he would soon realize in bigger-budgeted fare. Also, b-movie fanatics will have a field day with the supporting cast, which is crammed to bursting with such unusual but welcome choices as Cleavon Little, Ruth Buzzi and Lyle Waggoner. To sum up, Surf 2's unbalanced mix of amateurishness and gonzo humor will confound most viewers but fans of b-movie weirdness will find more than enough memorable moments to keep themselves entertained.