Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Attack of the 60-Foot Centerfold (1995)

Directed by Fred Olen Ray
Starring J.J. North, Tammy Parks, Raelyn Saalman
Rated R

"Oh my God! Look at the size of those tits!"

Quick, how many giantess movies can you name? Well, there's Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, along with Bert I. Gordon's Village of the Giants... but what else? Given that it's been half a century since the original 50-foot woman first stomped across screens, it's safe to say that the giantess film has been under-represented in modern American cinema.

Thank God for Fred Olen Ray. With his movie Attack of the 60-Foot Centerfold, Ray proves that a good giantess movie need only abide by 3 simple rules: there must be a giant chick, she must be scorchingly hot, and most importantly, there must be NUDITY. Lots of it. In this movie, Ray gives the male audience exactly what they always wanted to see in a giant-chick movie but were too ashamed to admit: giant naked boobs.

Our story begins when centerfold model Angel Grace (the incredibly buxom JJ North) enters a contest to become Plaything Magazine's Centerfold of the Year. To win the contest, Angel must square off against two rival girls: hot blonde Inga (Raelyn Saalman) and gorgeous redhead Betty (Tammy Parks).

Ray doesn't waste any time getting started. A mere 6 minutes into the film, we're treated to our first topless photo-shoot. We also learn that Betty is a massive bitch, making snide remarks at Angel. "How old ARE you anyway? 30??" sneers Betty, before delivering her final insult: "Are your BREASTS getting smaller?"

That's a pretty nasty thing to say. Angel's breasts are massive! But Betty's cruel taunts have left our heavy-breasted heroine shaken up.

The next day, Angel pays a visit to Dr. Lindstrom (John Lazar). Terrified of shrinking boobs, she begs him to give her an experimental beauty formula. He refuses, saying the formula can cause side-effects such as rapid cell growth. You can see where this is going, right? But Angel pleads harder until the doctor has no choice but to give in.

After drinking one vial of the formula, Angel's breasts suddenly grow huge. Life's good again.

The contest starts heating up. Angel, Inga, and Betty are all invited to the Plaything Mansion. They meet Bob Gordon (Jay Richardson) an obvious nod to Hugh Hefner, complete with smoking jacket and pipe. He tells the girls they'll have a big photo-shoot at the beach tomorrow to determine the winner. Later that night, sleazy photographer Mark (Tim Abell) starts hitting on Angel with a bottle of champagne. So she does what any starry-eyed innocent would do. She gets drunk and passes out.

Meanwhile back at the hospital, Dr. Lindstrom is paged to a top-secret lab. Turns out they've been experimenting with the formula on rats. But now one of the rats has grown to 8 feet tall! (Though it's clearly just a guy in a rat suit). And another giant rat is running around loose in the building. Why? Because this movie needs a subplot to pad the running time, that's why. The doctor tries to call Angel to warn her not to take the formula, but she's nowhere to be found.

Angel wakes up the next morning, as curvaceous as ever. But now she's looking haggard from the night before. To make things worse, the other girls are down at the beach to start the photo-shoot! So she panics, grabs all the vials of formula, and starts swilling them down. What happens after that is the lamest morphing effect you've ever seen. Then she passes out again.

When she wakes up, she looks gorgeous, utterly stunning. The room still looks the same, but everything's scaled down a bit smaller, making the petite Angel look like she's about 6'4". It's actually pretty convincing.

What happens next is quite possibly the most awesome scene in the movie. A now-statuesque Angel bounds over to the beach for the photo-shoot. Everyone is shocked at her new height. "You look taller!" Mark says. She joins the other two girls, and they all promptly take their tops off. There's some nifty surf-guitar playing on the soundtrack, but you'll be too busy ogling their boobs to notice.

Suddenly, Angel collapses yet again. Mark and the girls run over to Bob's mansion to call an ambulance. By the time they get back to her, we finally get what we all came to see - a giant, fully-nude, smoking-hot babe!

But the problem is, now that we have our 60-foot centerfold, no one can figure out what to do with her. Being the sleazebags that they are, Mark and Bob take one look at Angel and start seeing dollar signs. So the flick falls into a hoary exploit-the-monster plot a la King Kong. It's pretty lightweight stuff.

Along the way, the cornball humor goes off the charts. The whole thing starts to resemble a bunch of variety-show skits more than an actual movie. There's more bullshit with the giant rat, along with mugging cameos by Tommy Kirk (Village of the Giants) and Russ Tamblyn (Satan's Sadists, The Haunting). Still, JJ North fills out her white canvas bikini to perfection, and the special effects really aren't that bad, considering.

Without much plot to speak of, things start to become a bit strained. But Ray has one more ace up his sleeve: another gratuitous boob scene!

What happens next is almost too loopy to get into here. Suffice to say, it involves exploding rats, exploding people, campy one-liners, and groan-inducing sight gags. It all climaxes in a giant-size catfight with two enormous babes duking it out over Hollywood Blvd. Plus some really dodgy special effects.

Forrest J. Ackerman's cameo is a nice touch though.

Okay, so Attack of the 60-Foot Centerfold is not a perfect movie. The jokes start to wear thin after awhile, and the flimsy plot might as well not exist. Nevertheless, Ray managed to get the tone of the film pretty much dead-on. There's a breezy, cheerful cartoonish vibe to the proceedings that makes the shortcomings a bit easier to forgive. Plus it's got giant naked boobs, which is always a good thing. It's certainly no classic, but until the perfect giantess movie comes along, it'll do.

Though Centerfold remains her best-known film, JJ North actually appeared in a dozen other b-movies during the 90's. Titles include: Vampire Vixens From Venus, Psycho Sisters, and Vice Academy 5. She later reteamed with Fred Olen Ray in '97 for the sci-fi thriller Hybrid, where she had a steamy shower scene with Brinke Stevens. Sadly, JJ North quit making movies in 1998. We are still awaiting news of her return, but it seems highly unlikely at this point.

- Barry

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