The Centerfold Girls

Discussion in 'Slashers' started by Cujo108, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Cujo108

    Cujo108 Guest

    Andrew Prine is Clement Dunne, a fanatic out to "help" the women who posed for some magazine's annual skin calendar. The problem? His brand of help involves stalking and slit throats. Sporting a skinny build, glasses, a bland suit and hideous shoes that don't match the rest of his attire, Dunne doesn't fit the look of your typical psychopath. However, what he lacks as far as physical menace goes, he more than makes up for in dogged determination.

    The Centerfold Girls is the very definition of a grindhouse film. It is a gritty, mean-spirited romp with a bleak world view and a narrow plot. Most of the men in the film are rapists, sleazeballs or exploiters. Then there is Dunne himself, who seems to flip-flop in his motivation. One minute he is wanting to "help" his victims, and the next he is telling them how they have to be punished for the smut they implant in the minds of those who view their calendar. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the film is the way in which it is structured. We follow Dunne as he hunts down three girls in particular, one segment of the film for each girl. Reminiscent of an anthology, but with the same basic storyline and key character throughout. Only the victims and settings change.

    The first act deals with Ms. March and her 24 hours of hell. She leaves her hospital job in L.A. to go see a doctor in a small town for a job interview. On the way there, she picks up a hippie girl who lies her way into getting a ride. Eventually, the former centerfold has to deal with the hippie's raucous friends, a rapist motel owner and naturally, the ever watchful Clement Dunne. This is without doubt the sleaziest of the film's three segments. The girl is toyed with and nearly raped twice, and it only gets worse from there. Aldo Ray plays the motel owner who has a thing for her, but only if she doesn't make things too easy for him.

    The second story has Dunne stalking the young Ms. May. She and a few other models are going to an island photo shoot. Dunne follows them and gets to delve out more help than he originally bargained for. This is the weakest part of the film. It follows a typical slasher film structure, but the characters are uninteresting and some of the action is choppy. There are also some really poorly done day-for-night shots. Despite the flaws, it is enjoyable... just underwhelming compared to the opening and close of the picture.

    The third and final segment finds Dunne gunning for Vera (the lovely Tiffany Bolling). When she's out one night, a blonde friend uses her bathroom only to fall victim to Dunne in a case of mistaken identity. Vera takes the hint and decides to get out of town. Unfortunately for her, the friend she asks to house-sit is a total moron who gives Dunne the info he needs to track her down. This is the best act of the film, thanks in large part to the strong screen presence of Bolling. I like her quite a bit, and she makes for a worthy adversary to the persistant Dunne. We also get a bit of interaction between the two sans telephone before the attempted murder, something that doesn't happens with the other victims. The final showdown in a patch of leafless trees makes for a strong close to the proceedings.

    I have to say, as far as exploitation cinema goes, they don't come much better than this. If it were better known, it would likely be a classic of the genre. I have the Media VHS, and the print really compliments the mood of the picture. For exploitation/grindhouse fans, it gets my highest recommendation.
     
  2. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I think this will hit DVD this year through Dark Sky.
     
  3. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I checked,it streets from Dark Sky on April 28th,remastered from the original negative.Sounds like it has some nice cast interviews too.Retails for $14.98.
     
  4. Vance Vandy

    Vance Vandy Member

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    Another top notch post! Bought the DVD blind after reading this and was very happy with the purchase in spite of it being a tad slower than I reckoned it would be. Three for three, Cujo108. Thanks!
     
  5. FilmFiend

    FilmFiend New Member

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    The Centerfold Girls was always a big favorite of mine. :rolleyes:
     
  6. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for bumping this. I'll be picking this up soon.
     
  7. CrazyFatEthel

    CrazyFatEthel New Member

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    Any reviews on this DVD?
     
  8. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    Always liked Andrew Prine,he was also good in GRIZZLY.
     
  9. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    Watched this today on blind buy and thought it was great. The first act was the best IMO but still a Lot of sleazy fun to be had throughout this one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  10. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    I've had this sitting around for a while, because I will buy anything Dark Sky releases, but never got around to it because it looked just a little too sleazy for my tastes.

    Finally watched it tonight and loved it! An exploitation anthology. First and third stories were the best, but it's all good fun. The "thank you Jackie" chanting was really creeping me out. Great little gem of a film, I should have just trusted Dark Sky's taste and watched it sooner.
     
  11. Body Boy

    Body Boy Well-Known Member

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    "Oooo, Thank you Jackie, Thank you Jackie, Thank you Jackie..."

    That quote became one of my most personally used after I watched this a few months ago. I can't really use it in daily conversations, so when I wake up or am showering it pops into my head like a mantra, and I repeat it. My poor roommate probably thinks I've converted to a new religion, if she hears it.
     
  12. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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  13. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    I watched it last night, and I wasn't totally engaged. The structure doesn't quite work for me. After the first segment ends (in which the actress playing Ms. March turns in a strong performance), the three-segment structure becomes transparent, which deflates the suspense more than a little. For a movie about a serial killer, the characterisation of Clement Dunne is also rather shallow - Andrew Prine isn't given much to do except say "you've dirtied the minds of others". If we are going the route of the exploitive sicko study, Maniac, Don't Go in the House, Deranged, and Nightmare have more shock value and take the audience deeper under the skin of their bad guys. As for Andrew Prine, with his likable mug, playing the bad guy, I had more fun with him in Barn of the Naked Dead. :)

    There are some nice touches, such as the killer telling a potential victim "I hope they bury you in yellow," after giving her two dozen yellow roses. The film's pessimistic view of men also amused me. Of the eight or so major male characters we meet, four are rapists, one is a sleazeball, two are well-meaning but stupid, and the last is a serial killer. Ouch! :D
     
  14. satans-sadists

    satans-sadists Ghost

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    Cover art for the double feature:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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