Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bonnie's Kids / The Centerfold Girls (1973 / 1974, Arthur Marks / John Peyser)

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"I'm gonna tell the whole world that you're a goddamn queer!"

Just released from Gorgon Video is another remarkable set of exploitation classics from the great Arthur Marks. Following on the heels of Gorgon's recent Marks double feature of The Roommates/A Woman for All Men, is another set of his pre-Blaxploitation, mid '70's sleaze. I previously owned the Dark Sky Film's DVD of Bonnie's Kids but had never gotten around to watching it. The Centerfold Girls I was unfamiliar with, but given my track record with other Arthur Marks films, I couldn't pass this set up.

Bonnie's Kids stars the beautiful Tiffany Bolling and Robin Mattson as sisters Ellie and Myra. They live with their abusive stepfather until an unfortunate "accident" occurs, leading the girls to drive across the country to move in with their rich uncle Ben and his wife Diana. Ben tries to help the girls start new lives but when they get mixed up with a private detective and a plot to steal a package full of money, the past starts to creep up on them.

The Centerfold Girls (co-written by Marks and directed by television director John Peyser) plays out almost like an anthology film with Andrew Prine as a religious zealot stalking three different nude models whom he wants to "help". Of course by help I mean taunt, stalk and murder. The girls he hunts are played by the sexy trio of Jaime Lyn Bauer, Inseminoid's Jennifer Ashley and (once again) Tiffany Bolling. Also appearing are The Big Bird Cage's Teda Bracci, Aldo Ray, tough guy Mike Mazurki and Janus Blythe from The Hills Have Eyes.

Gorgon has outdone themselves here with this depraved duo of exploitation classics. Bonnie's Kids felt like a '70's good time Bad News Bears type film one minute (I dig that theme song) and then the next the girls are naked or someone is getting blown away with a shotgun. Oh and did I mention Arthur Marks regular Alex Rocco appears as a goon too! Sadly, they just don't make films like this anymore. The Centerfold Girls on the other hands was just dripping with sex and violence from start to finish. Andrew Prine was so creepy as Clement Dunne, servant of God and professional weirdo and you couldn't find a more beautiful group of stalkees (I think I just made up a new word) than Bolling, Ashley and Bauer. If you are looking for two drive-in classics, you wouldn't be able to find a better pair than these two films. Gorgon's new Blu Ray looks absolutely beautiful and features some nice interviews with Bolling, Marks and Prine giving us some interesting behind the scenes stories about these films and their careers as well.

Rating:

Bonnie's Kids: 9/10
The Centerfold Girls: 9/10

Buy this Blu Ray/DVD combo directly from Gorgon Video (for only $20!) HERE

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