Written by / 11/29/2017 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

SURFING THE EIGHTIES CAMP CULT SANCTITY OF 'NORTH SHORE'

Splash of total 1980's splashy font for NORTH SHORE
At the time of its release, the Randall Kleiser produced NORTH SHORE seemed like a glossy, colorful, vapid surf movie made for mainstream viewers, apologetically reveling in the sport's beautiful aesthetic and specific locale whilst being scoffed at by genuine surfers...

Which is basically the opposite of a beloved classic such BIG WEDNESDAY and THE ENDLESS SUMMER, and perhaps that's the case even now and yet, despite the addictive camp, NORTH SHORE has enough interesting characters to bring life and charisma into the simplistic story, all through the eyes of... of all things... an Arizona Surfer, played by TEEN WOLF third banana Matt Adler as Rick, who won a whopping $500 at a wave-machine surf competition.

Matt Adler progresses through the boards in North Shore YEAR: 1987
Saying bye to his single mother (Cristina Rains in a pointless cameo), he catches a plane to the 50th State and, being taxied along the scoffing-at-tourists "mean streets," he winds up hanging with an eclectic group of characters — and one bonafide "character" stands out in CHILDREN OF THE CORN actor John Philbin as film-stealing Turtle...

When not on the waves he's got a lonely job in a shack outside his boss's beach pad, sanding Chandler Boards: Chandler played by TRAPPER JOHN M.D. and LOGAN'S RUN veteran Gregory Harrison in one of his few non-television roles... He's a skinny version of BIG WEDNESDAY philosophical guru Bear, both with a serious beard in common, while Turtle's a more down-to-earth version of the iconic "Waxer"...

Nia Peeples provides love & interest
Chandler takes to Rick like Obi Wan and Luke after Turtle brings Rick first into the Hawaiian surfer nightlife followed by morning's inevitable waves, eventually being shunned to the background while the young aspiring surfer and older legend bond: their main project has Rick, an art student, trying to give Chandler's so-called "dated" logo a new modern look...

The corniest scenes have Chandler teaching Rick the waves from the inside — scuba diving throughout coral and, soon enough, this Stateside wave-machine "barney" winds up in a climactic competition against Laird Hamilton who, with extremely limited acting skills, plays the conceited villain, and two more friendly but goading blond bubbly airhead Aussie surfers had met Rick before Turtle, and one of the coolest attributes are the eclectic characters as this is, for better or worse, a character-driven flick with plenty 1980's ingredients... And let's not forget the love story...

Laird Hamilton bites on Chandler's board
Enter local lovely dream girl Native Hawaiian lass Nia Peeples as Kiani. What's even more of a reach than an Arizona surf-wave rider learning how to become practically a champion surfer in Hawaii is how quickly our initially picked-on, somewhat good-looking underdog lands this immense beauty: From James Dean in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE to Ralph Macchio in THE KARATE KID, it's tough to feel for a guy who lands a girl ten times cuter than any on the island. One of the side stories involves Rick going up against her racist-against-whites family, who aren't kind to the "howlies" except her uncle, played by real life surf champ - the Jimi Hendrix of professional surfers from the 1960's — Gerry Lopez.

"No one listens to Turtle" NORTH SCORE: ***1/2
For a campy cult flick that, like most, gained a creeper/sleeper popularity on video, NORTH SHORE provides limitless entertainment — ranging from local bullies to the anticipated competition like in any ROCKY style venture. The only downtime occurs when the pigeon-speaking, ever-quotable Turtle practically and sadly vanishes for a little while...

In a nutshell, NORTH SHORE (produced by GREASE director Randall Kleiser and directed by WAVE WARRIORS director William Phelps) doesn't seem to mind how corny and campy it is or would become. The 80's was the last decade where movies, from the good, bad and downright hideous, really went for it. After which a perpetual self-aware sarcasm cast a shield around every motion picture and television show.
Rick's failed rudimentary attempt was what Chandler described as "An MTV Nightmare"
To quote the guy from Star Wars, "Almost There," but no cigar... "Keep trying, young Jedi..."
"That's it!" The new logo, which pales to the original sparse and cool one that Rick called "Too Sixties"
In real life, drunk as hell, yours truly took over former KROQ Dj's barroom showcase for new bands, and he left
You do plan to have surfing pictures for a surf movie review
The greatest character in NORTH SHORE, John Philbin as Turtle, tells the AZ "Barney" to keep his hands off
A shot of Rick and Chandler checking the waves in Brokeback Island... 
A year after his cult-making role in NORTH SHORE John Philpin as Matt uncredited in the 1988 James Woods flick THE BOOST
JP learned how to surf after SHORE and then played one in THE BOOST John Philbin James Woods John Philbin The Boost
The sketch that gave Chandler the idea to hire Rick to redo his board logo
The original Chandler board logo that was replaced badly
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