Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
This comedy takeoff on giant monster films is signed by Fred Olen Ray, a producer and director who has spent the last 30 years doing schlocky exploitation fare, first for the big screen and then for video. As major film companies made traditional low-budget sci-fi and horror films extinct by producing their own exploitative genre fare, Ray and a few others like him specialized in fantastic films with infantile comedy plots and nudity, making each new film do double duty as a parody of itself. Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold (on screen, the title is Centerfolds) sexes up the old Nathan Hertz (Juran) Allied Artists picture Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. Even with copious nudity, it manages to be less sexy. Come back, Yvette Vickers!
The Ray formula for direct-to-video success basically boils down to a sucker-bait game. He employs pretty models and spends his budget making them look as attractive as possible. Noted cameraman Gary Graver consistently delivers bright and colorful images. Beyond that the script, production and acting are studiously flat, creating a boring exercise in humorless humor and sexless sex. The women do little more than pose and the camera almost never moves. Star J.J. North's most attractive scene is one in which she wears a white dress, at least for a few minutes. Lacking a commitment to anything but skin, the filmmakers aim lower than the average sideshow charlatan.
The plot introduces a centerfold competition for Plaything magazine, owned by Bob Gordon (Jay Richardson), a Hugh Hefner knockoff who owns four miles of private beach. Models Inga (Raelyn Saalman) and Betty (Tammy Parks) would like to sleep with the boss to win the prize, but Gordon is guarded by a jealous girlfriend, Rosita (Nikki Fritz). The more deserving model Angel Grace (J.J. North) is a sweet airhead fearful of losing her beauty; she's been taking a special potion from Dr.Lindstrom (John Lazar of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls). Lindstrom's test rats have grown to inordinate size and are proving to be a major extermination problem, and he's anxious to contact Angel to ask if she's ... gotten bigger lately. But Angel has already ennlarged tenfold and is living in a tent on Gordon's beach. Cheesecake photographer and resident heel Mark (Tim Abell) is abetting Gordon's exploitation of the giantess, while assistant Wilson (Ted Monte) truly loves Angel and wants to help.
Most every scene goes straight to showing these women topless, which soon becomes intensely counter-sexy. There is almost no human contact in the picture, which conceives of life purely in terms of girlie pin-ups. The special effects are basic video mattes more primitive than those seen in the films of the 1950s. When a second giant girl appears for the final reel, Fred Olen Ray takes the king-sized cat fight to Hollywood Boulevard for perhaps ten static split screen setups. Precocious eight year-olds sneaking into Dad's private collection are the only audience that's going to appreciate this one.
Genre fans will quickly I.D. the film's name guest stars - Ray regulars and recognizable name talent from the past making three-line appearances. Besides cult actor Lazar, there's Michelle Bauer, graduated from nudie cutie to clothed comedienne; Russ Tamblyn, a long way from Riff and West Side Story, Ross Hagen (The Devil's 8>), Tommy Kirk (The Absent Minded Professor), Stanley Livingston (My Three Sons), Steve Barkett, Forry Ackerman, Ted Newsom and Jim Wynorski. All seem to be having a good time. Writer Steve Armogida (Inner Sanctum II) salts the script with in-jokes, mostly character names associated with The Amazing Colossal Man and its sequel: B. Gordon, Dr. Lindstrom, Joyce Mann(ing), Glenn Manning. The Invisible Man "Mr. Griffin" makes a pointless appearance as well.
Ray's American Independent label produced the film, which like Dinosaur Island was bankrolled by Roger Corman. If you read the small print, the DVD is distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, which basically means that in the modern world of corporate profit, Mickey Mouse is quite content to bed down with soft-core (no core?) sex comedies.
Buena Vista Home Video's DVD of the R-Rated Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold is a flat presentation given a less-than adequate bit rate, resulting in some scenes looking soft or digital-grainy. It will look fine on a small monitor. The packaging promises a trailer that did not appear, although several other Concorde soft-core trailers do; two stills on the back cover illustrate scenes not appearing in the film.