STOMP! SHOUT! SCREAM! Image

Take a big slice of beach movies, a generous helping of nature-revenge films, and put a pinch of King Kong iconography into a blender, and what do you get? An amusing amalgamation that writer-director Jay Wade Edwards calls “Stomp! Shout! Scream!.” The premise: Garage rock band The Violas (Claire Bronson, Mary Kraft, and Cynthia Evans) are headed to a gig in Florida when their car breaks down, forcing them to detour in Merriville Island at the same time that a hurricane has relocated an Everglades creature up the Georgian coast.

Sheriff Brag (Bill Szymanski) assigns seasoned Deputy Tillis (Adrian Roberts) and cheerful Deputy Bob (Christopher Hines) to investigate a dead body and two disappearances in connection with this animal. Tillis employs the expertise of his former son-in-law John Patterson (Jonathan Michael Green), a biologist, who identifies the beast as a skunk-ape: the Everglades version of Big Foot.

For seventy-six minutes, the Merriville Island law enforcement agents search for the skunk-ape, and The Violas wait for their car to be fixed so they can head to the Sunshine State. The nature-revenge element—including a debate on whether to capture or to kill the beast—and the beach movie/garage band storyline do not compete with each other. Instead, they collaborate, allowing the B-movie quality to add to rather than detract from the film’s overall tone. The absurdity of a lonesome lament about syphilis in conjunction with a skunk-ape that is smelled before it is seen emanates amusingly from the earnest, slightly goofy cast members.

Under the cinematographic eye of Evan Lieberman, “Stomp! Shout! Scream!” carries a contemporary look that contrasts well with the unquestionably 1950s cars, clothes, and lingo. Nobody has a cellular phone (the walkie-talkie is the size of a shoe, though); there are no computers; but in a couple of the scenes, beach-goers and concert-goers dance in a very straight-out-of-an-Old-Navy-commercial manner. The visual design and the narrative of the film accumulate into a sweet can of camp, making “Stomp! Shout! Scream!” a ridiculously delightful cinematic experience.

And then there’s the music. One mustn’t forget the music, courtesy of Catfight, The Woggles, The Evidents, The Vendettas, The Penetrators, and more. When the ending credits roll, you will feel such a strong urge to stand up, shift your weight from hip to hip, and chant “stomp,” “shout,” and “scream” to the intermittent clapping of your own hands.

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