Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New York Centerfold Massacre, The (1985)

Directed by:
Louis Ferriol

Ahhhh, the '80s. Ronald Reagan, Atari, big hair, spandex, the Commodore 64, mom-and-pop video shops and, naturally, the slasher movie. There was Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, but who cares about those losers? What about Alma Vinelli? On the outside, a devoutly-religion old crone who likes to sit around all day reading bible passages, singing "Yes, Jesus loves me. The bible tells me so" over and over again and watching Kenneth Copeland's televangelist show on TV, Alma (Jane De Leeuw) proves herself a formidable opponent to her more-famous brothers-in-crime in this camcorder-shot public access video from hell. Alma's frizzy-headed 20-year-old niece Carla (Paula Weckesser) likes to wear (gasp!) short-shorts out in public. If that isn't bad enough, she's hanging out with a girl who makes her money posing in lingerie for a Soho photographer, with only a surgical scar keeping her from showing her full glory. Regardless, the friend suggests to Carla that she go to the same photographer and become a nude centerfold model so she can afford her own place and get away from her religious nutso aunt. Alma knows her niece is being led astray, but what's a 70-year-old God-fearin' Christian woman to do? Well if you're Alma, you put on your finest Christmas sweater, a pillow case over your head and start hacking up nude models. Hey, it might discourage your loved ones from flashing their goods for quick cash if other models who do the same get chopped to pieces, right? I mean, if both the photographer you were going to model for and all his models died before you even got there, you might not even show up, right? Well, if you're Carla you won't let the death of the person who died before you even had a chance to set up an appointment with them keep you from showing up anyway, ready to drop your drawers.

Det. Lawrence Sorenson (Lawrence Lubiner) and his Geri-curl sporting sidekick Williams (Jamel Elam) are on the case. At first they think the killer might be mafioso Tony Martino (Dick Biel - SPLATTER UNIVERSITY), since he previously was involved in child porn and likes to stage bogus auditions so he can drug and rape the starlets who show up. But nah, he's nothing more than your garden variety serial rapist and pedophile, not the actual killer. Try again. Some woman named Marnie (Norma Sparno), who I think is related to one of the victims or is someone's roommate or something, gets fed up waiting for the police to apprehend the killer, so she decides to hire a psychic named Flavian to help her.

Meanwhile... Cassie (Francine Robin Cuff), who suggests her friend wear clean panties to their centerfold audition, and Darlene (Elizabeth Gardner), show up to the (already-dead) photographer's loft studio for an "interview." Cassie can't find a bathroom, so she decides to look for a dark corner where she can relieve herself. While her friend is off urinating on the floor somewhere, Darlene ends up encountering the psycho, who promptly clubs her over the head with a tripod and then sticks a hair dryer in her mouth. I'm not sure what happened to Cassie. She kind of just doesn't come back. During a collage of clips featuring Tammy Faye Bakker (ack!) singing, another model (Leslie Duncan) laying around in her panties is attacked. The killer grabs a bottle with a plain white label with the word "acid" written on it with a ballpoint pen and pours it down her throat.

Lordy... I don't even know where to begin with this one. For starters, it's probably the absolute worst slasher movie I've seen, but since it's about as obscure as they come you won't be likely to stumble across this one unless you're actively looking for it. To be fair, what I saw was a 39-minute composite of re-edited surviving footage made from ancient video sources. Apparently the warehouse the original print was stored in burnt to the ground and destroyed the first generation copy. Regardless, what's left is woefully bad on every conceivable level. I know that the people who reassembled what is being presented here as a film didn't have much to work with, but this was incredibly hard to follow. The editing is the worst I've ever encountered. Often they'd show a brief flash of something that has absolutely nothing to do with what's going on, leaving you sitting there scratching your head saying "WTF was that?" To make matters worse, there are about a half dozen actresses in this with the same bad 80s hairstyle and same exact hair color and I had a hard time telling them all apart. The opening credits boast about "special guest stars" Cheryl Lee and Kandi Barbour. I had to look them up on IMDb, but one played "Leggy Blonde" in just one other movie (granted it's even the same person) and the other was a porno star.



Ulf Kjell Gür said...

Appreciate your passion and endurance for this offbeat filmmaking.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Thank you sir!

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