This is that clip from Blake Edwards‘ Experiment in Terror that I mentioned a few months ago, one that includes shots of a group of teenagers hanging out at a community pool. I saw this 1962 film for the first time in decades about a year ago, and when the poolside scene began I said to myself, “Something’s different about the kids apart from the haircuts and dialogue, but I don’t know what.”
And then it hit me. They’re all thin and in great shape. They look like they actually work out and watch their diets. Put any 2010 geek-body guy (Devin Faraci or Drew McWeeny, say) into a time machine and plop them into this scene and these 1962 kids would cock their heads to one side and wonder what kind of life forms have visited their world.
Hollywood tends to cast attractive stand-outs over run-of-the-mills so it can be assumed this aesthetic prevailed in casting Experiment in Terror extras, but the bodies in this scene are much leaner than anything you’ll see at Jones Beach or Ocean Park Beach in Santa Monica today. Fast-food bodies are completely the norm now — just ask the director of Food Inc., Robert Kenner. Fitness-wise the kids of 2010 don’t hold a candle to the class of ’62.