The above quote is The Centerfold Girls poster tagline, but I think I must have missed the "loving" part, because all of the nudie-cuties in this flick seem fit only for the flick the killer's straight razor. Which, for horror.com's purposes, is just fine by me.
The Centerfold Girls is a bona find grindhouse slasher released in the sleazy 70s in second-run movie theaters and drive-ins. It then disappeared only to resurface in the 80s on VHS tape, only to fade away into rarity once again. Thanks to Dark Sky, champions of the obscure horror film and video nasty, The Centerfold Girls is now available on DVD — restored, and complete with a brand new retrospective featurette and TV spots, stills and audio from a radio commercial.
Granted, the movie has some serious pacing issues and is pretty slapdashedly done when it comes to little things like continuity, but overall it's a prime example of 70s exploitation horror: there's more breasts, butts and blood than you shake a stick at. The fashions are funkadelic and the dialogue is so arch the script must have been written at a McDonald's.
And it's fairly clever in its, er, execution. Starring a creepy, reedy and oddly-dressed Andrew Prine as the helpful, God-fearing stalker of "bad girls" (stewardesses, nurses, and students who've posed in the nude), the movie's novel approach is that it is sort of a trilogy of terror. It's always the same memento-stealing murderer, but there are three distinct, unrelated stories which follow each hapless vixen to her turn at staring death in the bespectacled eye. While the acting is mighty shaky (expected — even desired — in this genre), Prine is a standout as the cold, calculating Clement Dunne.
The first tale is a story within-a-story, taking a cue, perhaps, from The Last House on the Left (which preceded Centerfold by two years). As Dunne observes his selected target, nurse-turned-model Jackie (Jaime Lyn Bauer) is raped terrorized by a trio of sadistic disenfranchised hippies in a remote, woodsy cabin. After they are done with her they split, and he moves in for the coup de grace.
Once Jackie is done away with, Dunne returns to his favorite gentlemen's mag and circles the face of the next girl on his hit list (technically, they aren't centerfolds — these young ladies simply have the misfortune of all being in the same spank rag). With her, he gets a bonus, as she's on a (you guessed it) remote island with a bunch of other nude models. It's a buffet of boobies, and Dunne goes back for seconds and thirds. Which brings us to the third and final story, where he hunts vivacious Vera (Tiffany Bowling), a flight attendant who might have said "coffee, tea, or me" to her in-flight passengers, but makes Dunne quite another offer.
As I mentioned, the special features include new interviews with producer Arthur Marks and actors Andrew Prine, Francine York and Jennifer Ashley. It's really quite fascinating to get their perspectives on this dirty little gem, some 35 years later!
= = =