Friday , April 12 2024
The moral of the story: life‘s a bitch, and then you die.

DVD Review: The Centerfold Girls

It really sucks to be a centerfold girl. At least, that’s what I gather the message of this film is. Perhaps films (plural) would be more appropriate—since The Centerfold Girls is made up of three vignettes wherein several beautiful models from Bachelor magazine are stalked and murdered by wandering psychopath Clement Dunne (brilliantly played by Andrew Prine).

But, unfortunately for the ill-fated titular playmates, being stalked and slashed will not prove to be the worst part of their day. First, they must make new friends. Everyday, average people like co-workers, sailors, and hippies. Then, they will be humiliated and raped (whether it be spiritually or physically) by these new acquaintances, who turn out to be not so friendly after all. Their entire delicate worlds shall be destroyed. Sanity will be pushed to the very edge of the breaking point. And then, just when they think the nightmare is over and that they just might be able to put the horrific events of the last 24 hours behind them, Clement Dunne shows up and kills them. That’s The Centerfold Girls in a nutshell.

Andrew Prine is always a joy to behold. As murderous stalker Clement Dunne, he’s right on the money (although his best performance by far has to be Simon, King Of The Witches). That said, he was the only interesting thing about The Centerfold Girls for me, with the exception of the gratuitous nudity, mind you. Fans of Ray Danton and Aldo Ray may want to seek this one out, although neither actor provides a formidable factor to the movie’s equation (because there really isn’t any). On the other hand, anyone who’s ever drooled over Jennifer Ashley, Jamie Lyn Bauer, Francine York, or Tiffany Bolling will definitely want this in their collection as they all show some skin at point or another.

The Centerfold Girls is another sleazy '70s sexploitation flick to make its long overdue debut on DVD from Dark Sky Films. The movie is presented in a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation and has been transferred and restored from the original 16mm negatives. The image is rather grainy at times and the colors look a bit washed out here and there, but there’s nothing to really bitch and moan about. Oddly enough, the original credits are nowhere to be seen. Instead, the opening and closing titles have been recreated with modern video equipment. The English mono stereo accompanying the film comes through fine and dandy (with a few pops and hisses every now and then), and the DVD comes with English subtitles should you really need to know what the ladies are saying when their clothes are on.

Special features for The Centerfold Girls start out with a mini-documentary entitled “Making The Cut: A Look Back On The Centerfold Girls” (14:56), featuring interviews with actors Prine, Ashley, and York as well as co-writer/producer Arthur Marks. Additional bonus materials consist of several music cues from the film’s repetitively annoying soundtrack; two trailers (red band and green band); and a couple of radio and TV spots (yes, they used to advertise movies on the radio, kiddies).

There really is no “plot” to speak of here—just women being humiliated and murdered. Nor is there really a point to the whole movie—other than to exploit two of cinema’s finest sellers: sex and violence. In other words, this is the ideal pick for a fan of low-budget '70s slasher flicks. Enjoy.

About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the alter-ego of a feller who loves an eclectic variety of classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) film and television. He currently lives in Northern California with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.

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