“Who do you have to fuck to get a hot dog in this dump?” If you’ve ever used that classic query as an ice breaker at a summer soiree (and who among us hasn’t?), you have the great, great, great Charles Busch to thank. One of the American theater’s most esteemed male actresses (and as fans of Oz will attest, he’s also brilliant out of drag), Busch is responsible for a number of the wittiest stage romps of the last quarter century such as Die, Mommy, Die! and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, in which he lampoons beloved B-movie conventions to side-splitting comical effect.
Among his best-known triumphs is his 1987 play Psycho Beach Party, a double entendre-loaded send-up of popular seaside-set teen comedies of the 1960s seasoned with a dash of the deliriously overwrought melodramas from the same era (think Gidget Goes Psychotic, the show’s original title). The uproarious 2000 film version provided an early showcase for rising talents such as Lauren Ambrose and Amy Adams and cast Busch in a juicy role as hardboiled chief of police, Capt. Monica Start (imagine Susan Hayward wandering off the set of Valley of the Dolls and onto a sandy Malibu shore for a sense of his commitment).
Fifteen years after it initially thrilled audiences in the mood for something different, PBP has been remastered and will debut on Blu-ray August 18 with an audio commentary by Busch and director Robert Lee King. If you’re in L.A. you can see it on the big screen again midnight August 8 at The Cinefamily. If you’re in the Big Apple, you can see it with the lady in question herself, when Busch presents the comedy at the Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas screening on August 13.
Take a peek at some of the mayhem in the trailer below.