1. Spring Breakers
Every year, college kids break free from the grind to spend a week cutting up in the Florida sun. Dozens of films have been made about the annual partying pilgrimage. Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco, is the latest and one of the weirdest; the film depicts a vacation that adds a side of armed robbery to the season’s usual keg stands and wet t-shirt contests.
A “Making Of” featurette has been released for the much talked-about film. Be warned: have your headphones on if you are watching it at work. The language gets a little salty here and there.
2. Spring Break (1983)
You don’t watch spring break movies because you are looking for great cinema. Spring break movies are, essentially, a delivery vehicle for catchy music, scantily-clad women and drunken hijinks. Spring Break delivers all of the above in epic amounts. A pair of college nerds manages to grab the last hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale during spring break. They agree to share the room with a couple of cool jocks who agree to help their shy new friends navigate the beach’s wild party scene.
3. Shag (1989)
Okay, the events in this film go down over the summer, not spring break, but, it otherwise fits in the spring break movie mold. Set in 1963, Shag captures the last wild weekend a quartet of friends has together before one of them gets married. Phoebe Cates, Annabeth Gish, Bridget Fonda and Page Hannah star as the four friends escaping for a weekend of dancing, sexual escapades, and even a bit of reflection on what they want from their lives.
4. Piranha 3D (2010)
Arizona spring breakers head to an inland lake to escape the desert heat. But, they soon discover that an underground earthquake has allowed a school of prehistoric piranha to enter the water. Jerry O’Connell mugs it up as a Joe Francis-style videographer, and Christopher Lloyd appears as an addle-minded scientist. Scores of bikini-clad beauties have plenty of time to bounce around before the beastly fish start the monster-movie phase of the flick.
5. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965)
In the last beach party movie to feature Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, he’s deployed in the navy and worried about her faithfulness back on the California beaches. To make sure that no guys tempt her, he has an island witch doctor send a sea witch, Cassandra, to attract the attention of a handsome ad executive. But, the plan backfires when everyone on the beach falls under Cassandra’s spell.
The soundtrack is filled with plenty of dance numbers and swinging beach music songs like The Kingsmen’s Give Her Lovin’. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is innocent fare compared to later beach movies, but engagingly trippy and fun.
6. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)
Y Tu Mama Tambien is a rare find: a spring break movie that is a legitimately good movie. Best friends head out on a road trip together and soon manage to pick up an older woman on the promise that they will take her to a perfect secluded beach they know about. There’s one catch: the beach doesn’t exist.
There are plenty of laughs, and a good deal of introspection as the trio embarks on their road trip through Mexico. There’s plenty of sex and nudity, as well, for those looking for entertainment that’s a bit more on the carnal side.
7. Spring Break Shark Attack (2005)
If you go in with suitably low expectations, you’ll find this made for TV movie delivers everything a bikini and monster movie should. Spring breakers hungry for a party head to the Florida beaches. But, when they arrive, they learn that they aren’t the only party monsters in town. A ravenous school of tiger sharks is there, as well, and they’ve developed a taste for human flesh.
8. The Endless Summer (1966)
What if you could make your spring break last all year long? Two surfers discover that they can circumnavigate the globe for less money than a direct ticket from LA to New Zealand would cost. This 1966 documentary takes viewers along with them as they travel from the beaches of Southern California, to New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii, all in search of the perfect waves all year long. A perfect surf rock soundtrack by The Sandals lends just the right laidback tone.
9. Shark Night 3D (2011)
Have you ever noticed how many spring break movies seem to involve shark attacks? You should be safe if you head to an inland lake for your waterside fun instead, right?
Guess again. A group of college students heads to an island beach house in the middle of a lake to enjoy spring break. There’s just one problem: the freshwater lake is inexplicably infested with a variety of hungry sharks. When their boat is destroyed, they need to find a way off the island without becoming prey to the freshwater hunters.
10. The Sure Thing (1985)
Even though it technically occurs over a winter break, the film was inspired by the screenwriter’s spring break. Gibson, played by an impossibly young John Cusack, is not having any luck with the ladies at college. He even manages to alienate the cute and brainy Allison by pretending to need English tutoring and trying to seduce her instead. Gibson’s friend asks him to come to sunny California for break, where he can set Gib up with “sure thing” Nicolette Sheridan. The Sure Thing combines the 80s teen sex romp with the sensibility of Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night for a smart and fun romantic comedy classic.
11. From Justin To Kelly (2003)
We could not end our spring break movie list without the ultimate in movie cheese. This movie is AMAZING. Amazingly bad…..but nonetheless amazing.