Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 5:52 am | Overcast 64º

 
 
 
 

Paul Mann: Take a Beach Break for National Lampoon’s ‘Endless Bummer’

Fans of the Ventura surf scene will find an authentic portrayal of a golden era

Shortly after the Vans Warped tour wound up an entire day of music mayhem at the Ventura Seaside Fairgrounds last week, the party moved uptown to the Majestic Ventura Theater.

As one of the longest days of the year faded slowly to night, a long line formed for the premiere of National Lampoon’s new film, Endless Bummer. The feature, written by Kevin Lyman and John Drury, is based on their real-life adventures as surfers growing up in Ventura, circa 1984.

The fitting and appreciative crowd, consisted of invited cast and filmmakers, VIPS, media and a slew of Ventura locals who received free tickets, just by word of mouth. Film stars, surfers, punk music fans, and quite a few of Ventura’s homeless, mingled in the exciting atmosphere of the theater. Before the film’s premiere, Lee Ving and his legendary band Fear, played an ear-piercing and raucous set of Old School punk music. Hard-core fans moshed and slam danced in the front pit, while others continued consuming mass amounts of beer and alcohol. Fear was responsible for part of the film’s soundtrack and Ving even has a cameo roll in the feature.

After the concert, everyone settled on the floor of the cavernous theater, and the film began with a dynamic soundtrack and was greeted with huge applause. Each identifiable scene filmed locally, illicited another great cheer from the audience. While it is a good bet that nobody will be nominated for an Oscar from the film, it is, nevertheless, a compelling little period piece. Anyone even remotely familiar with the Ventura surf scene, especially in the 1980s, will want to see the film to reminisce and to look for familiar landmarks.

Endless Bummer, despite being a release from the scandalous vaults of the irreverent National Lampoon stable, is a surprisingly timid film. Containing almost no violence (one or two short fist fights) or sex (some gratuitous naked breasts from a single bikini girl), it is almost a family feature. The simple story tracks a group of Ventura kids, just out of high school, in pursuit of a stolen surfboard, and searching for the meaning of life along the way.

After the show, bands that had worked on the soundtrack played in local clubs up and down Main Street. I caught the Dollyrots playing a short, explosive set at the Good Bar about midnight. It was more than 12 hours since they had graced the stage at the Warped Tour, and the party went on into the early morning hours.

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributor.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >