exploitation master Fred Olen Ray's "daikaiju"
epic, Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds,
is exactly what you would expect it to be -- politically
unsound, artistically inexcusable and (if you're in
the right mood) a fair amount of genre-based comedic
fun. Ray is, of course, responsible for many such films,
including the accurately titled Hollywood Chainsaw
Hookers. So what did you expect?
three centerfold chicks for Plaything magazine
are in competition for Plaything of the Year, and visit
the sleazy magazine owner's mansion for a final photo
shoot and judging. "Angel" (J.J. North, the
blonde with the biggest tits) is the main character
-- sweet and innocent. The brunette, however, is bitchy
and manipulative. Suddenly overcome with insecurity
thanks to the brunette's calculated insults, Angel takes
an overdose of the special "beauty-enhancing"
drug supplied by a research scientist (who, in a parallel
plot-line, is trying to deal with a giant rat -- the
result of too much experimentation with the said drug
-- running rampant in his lab). Naturally it is not
just Angel's boobs that grow bigger. After their initial
surprise, the magazine owner and his even-sleazier photographer
decide to exploit Angel rather than help her get back
to normal. But the brunette, jealous of her rival's
spectacular fleshiness, steals the drug supply and ends
up giant-size herself. The two giant centerfolds scrag-fight
through the streets of LA, until the photographer's
assistant (a nice guy, who of course loves Angel from
afar) fetches the scientist and they shrink the girls
back to "normal" using a convenient and unrationalised
features: Lots of naked flesh, especially breasts.
The film begins (after an amusing mock-horror sequence)
with the girls posing in various states of undress for
a photo shoot and takes its sweet time getting on with
Very low budget, but, surprisingly, not too bad. It's
all done with superimposition. No model buildings were
injured in the making of this film. The actors have
problems with line-of-sight between Big Chick and Small
Guy. The giant rat is ... um... strange.
groan-worthy moment: People running in panic
through the streets. One guy, however, reacts with shock,
points and yells: "Look at the size of those knockers!"
[or something equally Shakespearean]
Eiga references: Fred indulges his obvious
interest in kaiju eiga and other giant monster films
with a few verbal and visual allusions. At one point
gigantic Angel moans: "I look like Godzilla!"
and the guy replies, "But you're much cuter!"
At another point 60-foot Angel goes wandering through
the countryside and comes to some high-tension electrical
towers ala a similar scene in Gojira.
She doesn't wreck them, however, just looks at them
for a moment as though considering doing so, and then
moves on. Also there's an amusing cameo by Russ Tamblyn
(who was in Furankenshutain no kaiju: Sanda
tai Gaira aka War of the Gargantua).
In the coda, a woman in a supermarket queue picks up
The Enquirer and remarks to her friend, "Would
you believe this?" There is a picture of Angel
and her huge rival fighting in the streets with a headline
that reads: "War of the Colossal Centerfolds"
-- an apparent reference to War of the Colossal
Beast (the 1958 sequel to The Amazing
Colossal Man, in which a 60-foot man escapes
from captivity and goes on a rampage through the streets
of LA). Declaring "What will they think of next?",
the woman throws down the newspaper which opens at another
headline that reads "Eight Foot Rat Terrorizes
Beverly Hills" (though in the accompanying picture
the giant rat towers over the buildings and couldn't
possibly be only 8 feet high!)
Pretty much what you'd expect -- pure sexploitation
with a heavy dose of daikaiju referencing -- though
much slicker than it might have been. Like many of these
low-budget genre comedies, however, the pacing is wrong
... too slow, too unfocused ... and often misses the
best jokes. But if you don't come to it expecting Citizen
Kane, you'll only occasionally wonder whether
you should have stuck to Godzilla vs Barbie
The DVD case gives the title as Attack of the
60 Foot Centerfold (singular), as does Joe
Kane's The Phantom of the Movies' Videoscope
and the Internet Movie Database. However, the film's
own title card reads Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds
(plural). As there are two of them (and the
best monster sequence is the scrag fight through LA),
I've gone with that one.
2: Naturally there is a cameo by Forry Ackerman,
in this instance posing as a Bela Lugosi statue.
Unfortunately Godzilla vs Barbie doesn't
really exist, in case you were wondering.
OF THE 60 FOOT CENTERFOLDS
note below on pluralisation of the title)