Quirky, funny, even…subversive!
There’s not a whole lot going on in the surf world today, but I’ve gotta do my daily deal, so I’m just gonna toss a lay-up and write about surf movies. But I’m not going to go on about Point Break or North Shore or Zalman King’s tour de force, In God’s Hands. Those have been covered, we’ve all seen them, and they have their redeeming features.
Instead, here’s some other stuff.
Back to the Beach
This movie does it right, in the same way North Shore did. It’s utterly ridiculous, fun to watch, and doesn’t attempt to moralize. And so does a pretty good job of actually capturing the essence of surfing. Plus, it features some of the best surf CGI ever employed in film making, a kick-ass musical number, and Lori Loughlin, who was an amazing piece of ass back in the eighties.
So much effort goes into making a movie, it always blows my mind when the result is a nonsensical abortion. But this movie has Harland Williams, whom I think is hilarious, and features my favorite trope of all time, when the ugly nerd girl turns out to be hot and also the best surfer in the world. Plus, for some reason, she dresses like a geisha the entire movie, which really works for the secret weeaboo living inside me.
The Perfect Wave
Starring Scott Eastwood, The Perfect Wave is another film that tries to shoehorn Jesus into surfing. It’s based on the “true” story of Ian McCormack, some dude who claims to have seen god after being stung by a jellyfish, then spun that experience into a successful career swindling trusting morons.
Another surf film featuring Clint Eastwood’s less talented son, Dawn Patrol is a tale of racism and rape and revenge and guilt and terrible acting and even worse writing. It’s one redeeming feature is a lack of phony baloney Christian posturing.
A pretty damn funny movie, Jack Black’s performance is especially hilarious. But instead of going into that, I’d like to talk about how this movie made for my brief brush with Hollywood.
One day, while I was in college, I heard that they were holding an open casting call a few blocks away from where I lived. They wanted surfer types, I am one of those, and I really didn’t have anything more important to do.
So I got drunk, very drunk, and showed up to toss my hat in the ring.
Being in a room full of wannabe actors trying to look like surfers is pretty funny. Un-ironic aloha shirts, strappy sandals, and those terrible trunks with a mesh liner filled the room. We were all handed lines and set to waiting in a weird little office in Marina Del Rey.
I’d brought a couple tall boys with me so I whiled away the time trying to suck them down before they got warm and fucking with the guys around me who were trying to “learn their lines.” Serious stuff for them, make or break dream time. Not so much for me.
My audition approach consisted of drunkenly screaming my lines at the casting lady, making fun of the actor nerds in the other room, then vomiting in a trash can on my way out of the building. Some straight Daniel Day-Lewis type method actor shit. Always in character. Always!
A few weeks later I actually got a call back. They asked for my agent’s fax number, I gave them the one at the Italian restaurant where I was employed as an especially surly waiter and I was on my way to stardom!
But it wasn’t to be.
Apparently, smoking a huge joint in your car, strolling in red-eyed and reeking of weed, then spending twenty minutes making fun of the script, isn’t the best way to land an acting gig. Who knew?