A couple's winter vacation to the beach soon turns into a nightmare as a biker gang that happens to be staying on the same beach decide to meet their new neighbors.
Films dealing with a gang of thugs terrorizing a person or a group of people in an isolated location are pretty much a dime a dozen. There are some gems to be found but there are a lot of duds floating around out there, more so than the gems. "The Lonely Violent Beach" is a title that I came across by accident, but couldn't find much out about it so I had no idea if I was going to be getting a dud or a gem.
The story is about a young yuppie couple heading to their beach house for the weekend during the winter, rather going to the ski slopes with their friends. Of course the wife is a young and beautiful woman, and a small biker gang consisting of 4 people, watch her running topless on the beach one day and pay the couple a visit. Naturally the gang beats up the husband and has their way with the wife. After this though the movie changes things up a bit by abandoning the usual revenge theme and turns into a character-drama-love mesh. As the leader of the gang falls in love with the wife and she in-turn falls in love with him.
Now I'll give Ernesto Gastaldi credit, especially since I've enjoyed some of the other movies he has written, for not going for pure exploitation and changing things up a bit. The problem that I have though is that the changes aren't for the better and the movie ends up becoming a terrible drama. First of all; the wife character, Jane, is such a complete bitch from the start of the movie you actually can get to the point of you wanting her to get raped in hopes to maybe make her stop being such a bitch for 5 minutes at least. Then her husband is a complete wimp and spends most of the movie whining and cowering. So much so that you'll root for the biker gang to slap him around some more. Then you have the biker gang themselves who are far from intimidating, then look and act so foo-foo that you'd almost expect them to go for the husband rather than the wife.
I don't have a problem with a movie going against the norm and changing things up, like this movie wanting to be a character study rather than a complete sleaze or trash fest. The problem is that all of the characters in "The Lonely Violent Beach" are completely obnoxious, unrelateable, and quite frankly never fit the persona that they should. I mean when your one and only female character is annoying to the point that you actually wish for something bad to happen to her, that's not really a good thing. Since this is a character film, that's all there is to make this movie work, but it doesn't. Instead it just falls flat on its face because of how terrible the characters are written and handled. Then to have the characters flip flop like they do: the husband is a pussy but now he's willing to shoot a gang member but then goes back to being a puss. The wife loves the gang leader and hates her husband but then leaves with her husband, etc. etc.
Having unlikeable characters from the start is bad but then to have inconsistency, it becomes too much. I can see what Gastaldi was trying to do and to comment on about social status, love, platonic love, using money to fill the void for what you desire, settling on being content, yadda, yadda, yadda. But "The Lonely Violent Beach" ends up being one of those movies that you appreciate more for what they were trying to do rather than the final result, especially when the final result is nothing but a complete mess.