Pajama Party (1964)

Fifty-six years ago today, the film Pajama Party premiered. You have to see this movie.

Title: Pajama Party
Directed by: Don Weis
Produced by: Samuel Z. Arkoff, James H. Nicholson
Written by: Louis M. Heyward
Starring: Tommy Kirk, Annette Funicello, Elsa Lanchester, Jody McCrea, Harvey Lembeck, Buster Keaton, Jesse White
Music by: Score: Les Baxter Songs: Jerry Styner, Guy Hemric
Cinematography: Floyd Crosby
Edited by: Eve Newman
Distributed by: American International Pictures
Release date: November 11, 1964
Running time: 82 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $200,000

A teen-aged intelligence officer from the planet Mars named Go-Go (Tommy Kirk) is ordered to Earth to prepare the way for a Martian invasion. Right from the start, he encounters problems. The power-pack he wears on his back malfunctions and he is suspended several feet above ground. However, he is saved by the first Earthling he meets, Aunt Wendy (Elsa Lanchester), an eccentric widow with problems of her own. Her shady neighbor, J. Sinister Hulk (Jesse White) — alongside Chief Rotten Eagle (Buster Keaton) and his Swedish sex-bomb partner Helga (Bobbi Shaw) — concocts a scheme to separate Aunt Wendy from her million-dollar inheritance.

A subplot involves a motorcycle gang led by Eric von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck), a leather-jacketed, middle-aged delinquent with an irrational hatred for buxom beach-babes and their surfer-dude boyfriends. One such character, Connie (Annette Funicello), has a crush on a volleyball nut named Big Lunk (Jody McCrea). Inexplicably, he responds with disinterest. So Connie transmits a few subtle signals toward Go-Go, and he gets the message. But later, when she discovers Go-Go is a hostile Martian scout, she pouts and calls the whole thing off.

In the meantime, Go-Go teleports a squad of Martians from the Red Planet, but he is emotionally depressed by the absence of Connie. At a climactic pajama party, he thus turns informer and helps save Earth from being overrun. He is re-united with Connie, and the world is made safe.

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