The beauty of one’s discovering previously not even fathomed cinema and its gems brings a great urge to go and sample stuff one normally doesn’t. You know, instead of gorging on modern blockbusters filled with current megastars and CGI effects, suddenly one is getting familiar with directors, actors and movies of era long gone.
I’ve learned about Al Adamson and his movies from reading various exploitation movie reference books and was really curious – are those movies really that bad? Although I understand the point of the exploitation cinema – to make a buck and to hell with anything else. For a while I do have some of his movies on DVD, but going through one grey-market dealer’s list I’ve discovered Adamson’s less known movie, a teen sexploitation comedy Sunset Cove from 1978.
The movie, for some time considered lost, was released – according to IMDB – on VHS in Finland and I believe it’s from this the print is available on Amazon Prime (not counting grey market dealers). So, although not particularly interested in teen sex comedy, I’ve chosen this one as the movie I’d lost my Al Adamson virginity to. And I just realized how wrong it sounds. But whatever.
So, it’s a teen sex comedy. I remember seeing a few of these back in the days (about 25 years ago) in the age of bootlegged VHS tapes and video players coming to our country en masse after 1989, so yeah, I am not capable of comparing it to others, but I guess the plot is similar to genre movies from the same time. Just imagine one episode of Beverly Hills 90210 about how über-motivated Brandon, Dylan and the rest would try to save Peach Pit from being demolished (a theoretical scenario, I don’t know if something like that has happened in BH90210), add some T&A and some funny lines… and change quite a few things. Maybe more than a few. Then you have Sunset Cove.
The story is about the bunch of teenagers (although in my opinion they all loook well over 21), more specifically, two rival groups, getting together and trying to save their favourite beach from being developed into the condominiums. And that’s basically the whole plot, fighting against the mayor and the developer, with the parts filled with making love softcore way, mainly in the vans, a party, some music and final court case, where we can enjoy a cameo of aged John Carradine as well. But for the unknowns, actors there are quite solid and it proves you don’t have to have the stars to make a likeable movie (now “likeable” might be debatable here).
I have to say from the user reviews I’d expected worse, much worse. For although parts of the movie were dragging a little, it was quite well paced, some pranks were funny, most girls pretty (not to mention one can’t complain about the T&A factor here). It’s a nice sexploitation movie those enjoying exploitation genre will definitely appreciate – and for such a rare movie the quality was still watchable. So, yeah, I’ve survived my first encounter with gool ole’ Al.