Surf II: End of the Trilogy (that's the joke, and maybe the best one)
August 18, 2017 10:35 PM   Subscribe

Long ago in "The Good Old Days", surfers ruled. It was bitchin'! That was before the threat of chemical pollution, nuclear waste and the horror of Buzzz Cola....
And so opens Surf II (YT, trailer): The Nerds Strike Back (via), a 1980s teen gross-out surf parody with added nudity*, stocked with some notable actors, and a soundtrack suitable for a surf film from 1984. Currently placed somewhere between one of the worst movies ever (next to another 1980s "sex comedy," Lunch Wagon [nsfw trailer]) and on the other extreme, just as funny as Naked Gun [trailer]. The film is considered an acquired taste, but if it might be your taste, you can watch it on YouTube (disregard the title, there is no second part).

On its face, it sounds like a winning idea: ur-geek Eddie Deezen was bullied in high school by the surfers, so he seeks his revenge through science. Then there's the conflicts between the surfers and the "new wave punks," surfers against teachers, and surfers against their parents.

Throw in exclusive Oingo Boingo music with other surf tunes from the Beach Boys and The Ventures , plus more new wave from Thomas Dolby, Talk Talk and Split Enz, and add some toxic soda that turns people into garbage-eating zombies (of a sort), and you've got a hit!

* Except it was written over a long weekend, under the influence of heavy painkillers, initially filmed in 29 days, and thenseveral shots depicting nudity were later inserted into the film by the executive producers after they decided they wanted an "R" rating. Initially titled Surf II: The End of the Trilogy, but later promotions re-titled the film Surf II: The Nerds Strike Back, following the success of Revenge of the Nerds (trailer). Those additions and re-brandings didn't do much to sell the final film, and it was critically panned (Leonard Maltin wrote Deezen's always good for a few laughs, but the film's best joke is its title: there never was a Surf I -- Google books preview), then generally sank into obscurity.

The movie was released on VHS, but has since spread via the internet. Today, some find redemption for the film, in part due to nostalgia for goofy films of the 1980s. And for what it's worth, Eddie Deezen had a lot of fun in the film, the only time he was the villain and it was a rare major role for him.

25 years after it was first released, Alamo Drafthouse supported Lars and Zack presents Cinemapocalypse: West Coast Tour, which showed Surf II and opened with this introduction from Zach, and was followed by some Q & A (Q & A part 2, and part 3).
posted by filthy light thief (15 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Dammit YouTube... This video is not available.
posted by Snowflake at 11:21 PM on August 18, 2017

Hrm, sorry! I didn't expect a VHS-copied film from 1984 to get geo-blocked.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:31 PM on August 18, 2017

I'm not sure the words "winning idea" and "Eddie Deezen" are ever supposed to be that close together.
posted by ckape at 12:19 AM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

>I'm not sure the words "winning idea" and "Eddie Deezen" are ever supposed to be that close together.

I get it. When you think of him, you kind of feel you are stuck on that ferris wheel with him. But I've enjoyed his guest blogging spots over on Neatorama.

Imdb tells me this came out in January 1984, so I'm guessing it was shot sometime in 1983. And there's an Oingo Boingo song from then I haven't heard?

I have no doubt I've seen Surf II. My family was friends with a family that ran a video store, so I've seen so many films from the 80s. I remember coming out of the theater after Revenge of the Nerds with my two older brothers, with the tape on our plastic glasses and realizing nerds meant us.

Anyhow, thanks for the great fpp!
posted by Catblack at 6:30 AM on August 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Dammit YouTube... This video is not available.

Weird, it works in Korea.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:46 AM on August 19, 2017

Remember back when the VCR was new, and you'd go down to the video rental place and look at the empty boxes standing on the shelves, searching for something unfamiliar but also good? Once, in the mid-80s that was us, and 'Surfin' II' seemed like it might possibly be one of those overlooked gems. This was a little before the phrase straight-to-video entered the public vocabulary, but this picture is the definitive example, the worst piece-of-shit I've ever endured. A few memorable scenes, but it left a bad taste in my mouth for weeks afterwards. One of those screenings where you wait for the good part that never comes. Don't waste your time.
posted by Rash at 9:09 AM on August 19, 2017

I must admit, I'm in the "don't waste your time" camp, but finding a number of ardent fans online, and given some of the weird details in and around the film, I was finally compelled to make this post. You could skip the film and go to the Q and A for fun details.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2017

I noticed recently "Surf Nazis Must Die", a trashy-in-a-jokey-way '80s movie was on youtube. I was going to share it with my Facebook friends, joking that "I thought the future would be Idiocracy, but it's Surf Nazis Must Die", but... the way it sets up the retired old black woman with chainsaw going after surf Nazis involves said surf Nazis killing her son first, and it seemed... too much like reality.

Who knew the true law of history is that what starts out as farce ends up as tragedy?
posted by Schmucko at 10:17 AM on August 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think they used the same "New Wave Surf Punks" in Back to the Beach.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:37 PM on August 19, 2017

"Surf Nazis Must Die", a trashy-in-a-jokey-way '80s movie...
Troma was better at thinking up provocative titles than they were at actually making movies.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 3:03 PM on August 19, 2017

My Beach - video by the Surf Punks, from the early 1980s. Don't understand your comment, WhiteSkull - I see nothing about them in either "Surf II" or Back to the Beach.
posted by Rash at 3:14 PM on August 19, 2017

Eddie Deezen has his own website where he has a link to purchase Surf II. It's mostly some really hard core Beatles trivia. When he played the Beatlemaniac bellhop in I Wanna Hold Your Hand, it sounds like he may have been playing himself.
posted by jonp72 at 4:33 PM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Wasn't he a villian in Laserblast?
posted by BeeDo at 4:42 PM on August 19, 2017

Oh wait- of course Eric Stoltz is in this.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:38 PM on August 19, 2017

Well, he was an antagonist in Laserblast. The real villain of Laserblast was behind the camera.
posted by ckape at 10:52 PM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

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