Catalina Caper (1966)

Genres - Musical, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Beach Film  |   Release Date - Dec 1, 1967 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - G
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Review by Bruce Eder

Catalina Caper would probably not even merit a formal "review," but for the fact that it was given the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 treatment in the time before the latter series moved from Comedy Central to the Sci-Fi Channel (where they had to limit their subjects to science fiction films). Indeed, this movie probably received more exposure from those cablecasts than it ever had before in its whole history. Directed by Lee Sholem, a low-budget, action film specialist (known in the business as Roll 'Em Sholem), this mix of crime caper and beach movie doesn't have much subtlety or art to recommend it, just lots of pretty girls and ocean scenery, and those musical numbers by Little Richard, the Cascades, and future Rocky songwriter Carol Connors. The actors include Tommy Kirk, Peter Duryea, Peter Mamakos, and Del Moore, the latter doing a delightfully ridiculous Jack Benny-style performance. Catalina Caper was distributed at one point to drive-ins and neighborhood theaters on the bottom of a double-bill with the Elvis Presley/Nancy Sinatra vehicle Speedway, which wasn't exactly a classic in either of their outputs either.