The Boatniks Reviews
About a decade ago, Mystery Science Theater 3000 did an episode featuring this movie, and it remains the only Disney film that was made fun of during the series' run. Unoriginal characters surround a plot that could have been written by a 7-year-old.
To offer contrast, in the same year, Fox released Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which was a loosely strung together group of stories surrounding a small town music group, following success at a homecoming dance, and rich in surreal social commentary, going on to achieve cult status. What's more, Dolls was shot for one million dollars, and the Boatniks probably cost more, and did worse.
Other films released from this year include MASH, Love Story, Patton, The Aristocats (another Disney movie that has had little staying power), Tora!Tora!Tora!, Catch 22, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Schwarzenegger's infamous Hercules in New York, the Out of Towners, the Owl and the Pussycat, Two Mules for Sister Sara, and Woodstock.
The Boatniks is irrelevant, lacks charm, sophistication, or humor apart from poorly staged slapstick, and remains a mark of shame for Disney.
It's almost as if the Disney execs sat down, and decided that instead of going for something hard and substantial, like many of the other struggling studios opted for, they would go so soft and light that they barely had a movie.
If you spend any money in getting this film, you'll probably only want it for study as an example of how corporations can screw up a movie, or what not to do in comedy.
You could do better watching any of the films listed above, even if many of them have nothing to do with the events and societal changes of the time.
If you have to watch it, do so with a child, so that at least someone may watch the film without feeling disgusted, possibly even enjoying it.. though not likely.
In `72, this film was re-released as a double feature with the, much disliked for its racial overtones, Song of the South; Disney probably should have quit while they were ahead.