• Centerfold Girls (Dark Sky Films) DVD Review

    Released by: Dark Sky Films
    Released on: April 28th, 2009.
    Director: Arthur Marks, Bob Peete
    Cast: Andrew Prine, Tiffany Bolling, Aldo Ray, Ray Danton, Francine York, Jennifer Ashley, Jaime Lyn Bauer
    Year: 1975
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    Centerfold Girls – Movie Review:

    Essentially a serial killer film told in three parts, The Centerfold Girls begins by introducing us to an awkward man clad in a black suit named Clement Dunne (Andrew Prine) as he removes the corpse of a naked young woman from the back of his car and buries her underneath the sands of a California beach. It isn’t long before we realize that Clements disturbed puritanical thinking has led to him having a pretty serious grudge against women who show their bodies. We realize this as we see him leaf through a men’s magazine where we notice he’s scribbled down names and addresses of the models that have posed inside.

    One of the models, Jackie (Jaime Lyn Bauer), heads to a remote town to stay at a relative’s place while waiting for a job interview for a nursing position. She’s accosted by a gang of dangerous hippies after she offers one a ride, who take advantage of her good nature, trash the house, and try to rape her! She finds some help from a local hotel owner named Ed Walker (Aldo Ray) and his wife, but once Ed gets some time alone with Jackie, he puts the moves on her too, all completely unaware that Clement is staying in the hotel too. From there we meet a model named Charley (Jennifer Ashley), who is joined by a crew who are going to shoot some pictures of her on the coast. Clement tracks her down to do his thing but is soon having a hard time deciding just who he should knock off first. Last but not least, a model named Vera (Tiffany Bolling) who works as a stewardess comes home to find a bouquet of roses which her roommate figures is from her ex-boyfriend. Vera soon figures out that someone is after her, however, and she decides to take off and make a break for it, but Clement in hot on her trail, whether she realizes it or not.

    Directed by John Peyser, The Centerfold Girls is a surprisingly vicious stalk and slash film with an inspired performance from Prine who seems to relish playing the psychopath in this picture. As he runs around the various California locations doing his evil deeds and spouting off semi-religious dialogue, knocking off attractive and frequently naked ladies, you can tell by the glint in his eye that he’s having a good time (something he confirms in the extras) and that makes his killer, clad in a black suit, nerdy glasses and saddle shoes, all the more unusual. Tiffany Bolling is fun here, as are the other attractive ladies in the cast, but it’s Prine who you’ll remember once the end credits roll, with special mention going to Aldo Ray for his sleazy portrayal of a philandering backwoods hotel proprietor.

    The plot’s three part structure does wonders for the pacing, ensuring that, since there are three stories to tell here, things move at a good pace. There aren’t really any slow parts to complain about and every few minutes we’re treated to either some welcome nudity or a vicious killing. This ups the trash quotient considerably, while small supporting roles from an interesting cast of B-movie regulars adds to the fun. Sexy, sleazy, and wildly entertaining, they really don’t make them like this anymore – or at least not as well.

    Centerfold Girls – DVD Review:

    Dark Sky’s transfer, presented in the film’s original 1.66.1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio, is a good one. Taken from the original 16mm negative, it’s often fairly grainy but never in an inhibitive and detail is generally strong throughout. There’s a bit of mild print damage here and there but nothing too distracting and color reproduction is pretty decent. Keep in mind that this is a low budget 16mm presentation made over thirty-five years ago, but this presentation is certainly more than acceptable.

    The sole audio track on the disc is an English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track that comes with optional subtitles in English only. Quality is about on par with the video in that it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good. The score in particular sounds strong here, while the levels are properly balanced ensuring that the performers don’t get buried in the mix under the sound effects or background music.

    The best of the extras is a fifteen minute featurette entitled Making The Cut: A Look Back At The Centerfold Girls, which features interviews with Andrew Prine, Arthur Marks, Francine York and Jennifer Ashley. Prine gets the most screen time and talks about how it was fun to play the role he took on in this picture, while York and Ashley discuss the pros and cons of doing nude scenes in a movie like this. It’s a pretty interesting featurette, and if it has one flaw it’s that it feels a bit on the short side.

    Rounding out the disc are red band and green band trailers for the feature, a pair of television spots, a radio spot and a collection of music from the feature. Menus and chapter stops are also included.

    Centerfold Girls – The Final Word Review:

    An entertaining film that’s just about as sleazy as they come, The Centerfold Girls has been unjustly maligned for too long. Dark Sky’s excellent DVD release goes a long ways towards changing that, so here’s hoping it finds the cult audience that it rightly deserves.

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Andrew Monroe's Avatar
      Andrew Monroe -
      I really dig this one, passed on my dvd to a friend when the BD double feature came out.
    1. Alison Jane's Avatar
      Alison Jane -
      I really liked this movie. Andrew Prine was great in stuff from this era.
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      Big fan of this one. Love Tiffany Bolling and Andrew Prine is sooo good as a psychopath.