Some films are made to tackle important issues, or protest a political agenda, while others celebrate a particularly important date in history or the life of someone who truly made a difference. And then there are films like The Centerfold Girls, which exist for no other reason than to show scene after scene of jiggling breasts. Can you guess which movies I prefer? If you picked the smut, give yourself a cookie.
The Centerfold Girls is a fairly ambitious little slasher/thriller, focusing on religious nutjob, Clement Dunne (Andrew Prine), and his obsession with a group of nude models. The film is actually three stories in one, with Dunne's pursuit of each victim serving as something of a secondary plot.
In the first sequence, Dunne stalks Mrs. March, Jackie (Jaime Lyn Bauer) as she heads out into the mountains to interview for a nursing gig. Along the way, Jackie meets up with a young girl who hitches a ride with her to the next town, but soon finds herself falling prey to twisted hippies, a sex-crazed motel manager (Aldo Ray), and, ultimately, Dunne, himself.
Charly (Jennifer Ashly), Mrs. May, is Dunne's next target, but, just as he tracks her down, she takes off on a weekend photo shoot on a private island estate, with fellow models, Sandi and Glory, the bitchy boss (Francine York), and a slimy talent agent (Ray Danton). Dunne steals a boat and follows them over, but not before we get some spicy bedroom drama and high fashion intrigue!
Dunne's final victim (or is she?) is the super hot Vera (Tiffany Bolling), a stewardess/centerfold who's just back in town and trying to mend an on-the-rocks relationship. Dunne mistakenly kills one of Vera's friends (hey, they're both blonde. What are you gonna do?), and Vera decides to hide out in a motel a few towns over until the police can catch the killer. Sadly, Vera entrusts her secret to the most gullible girl on the planet, and she, in turn, tells Dunne, who, of course, follows Vera to her hideout to make sure he gets it right this time.
The Centerfold Girls is sexy, silly, and sly piece of '70's softcore sleaze. The always engaging Prine carries the film on his narrow shoulders, imbuing Dunne with a sort of vulnerable likeability despite the fact that he's...you know...a razor-wielding psychopath. There's a really strong European vibe, here, too; and I don't mean that just because of the gratuitous amounts of female nudity (and I mean gratuitous. The opening credits are essentially words flashed over a pair of large breasts). The Centerfold Girls just oozes the sort of hilariously misogynistic tone that is such a hallmark of the similarly themed Euro-sleaze flicks from that era, and should no doubt play well to fans of that particular genre. Ultimately, the film is just one nude scene after another, stitched together by a series of flimsily scripted vignettes. Still, it's just a blast to watch, and the "anthology" concept is pretty goshdarned original.
Dark Sky Films continues to impress with yet another cultish classic rescued from the depths of obscurity. The Centerfold Girls is presented in its original 1.66:1 theatrical ratio, with a fairly solid print that's marred by the occasional artifact, scratches, and dirt. Extras include a nifty little featurette called "Making the Cut", which features interviews with Prine, Francine York, and Jennifer Ashly, as well as trailers, radio spots, and television spots.