THE CENTERFOLD STRANGLER
Review by Othello
Over the past ten years, I’ve scripted and commissioned dozens of films for the death erotica
genre, and like most who have explored that world, have had my share of both pleasures and
disappointments. My rule on reviewing them is pretty simple. If a disappointment, I usually don’t
go for any kind of public outing of the talents (or lack thereof) of the producer. These are people
out there trying to make enough to feed their families, just like me. I won’t go back to them, but I
leave it at that. Some filmmakers do good, fun work that is far from classic but entertaining
anyway, and some I’ve encountered are exceptional (one of them being JohnM of PKF Studios,
who has done many outstanding features from my scripts).
But what a writer (and unabashed sex/death fetishist) longs for, of course, is that remarkable film
that goes beyond a fun and sexy diversion, and is truly special.
That takes me to Chris’ Corner’s The Centerfold Strangler.
My death fetish got hardwired into me at a time when niche films were something one could only
dream of. The sexual material available were men’s magazines like Playboy and Penthouse, and
the occasional mainstream movie, like Psycho or Frenzy, that provided shocks and delights of
necro sexual excitement.
Hitchcock and Hefner…and some raw sex 2011 style. A concoction from a fetishist’s heaven.
The concept of the film is a psycho photographer who re-creates Playboy centerfolds to a minute
degree, then seduces his model into consensual sex, and when she is completely impassioned,
he strangles her, then has necrosex with her corpse. Simple stuff, really.
But what goes so far, far beyond simple is where Chris took the concept. First and foremost, the
model has to be hot. Not just sexy, but drop-dead fever dream sexy. One look at Traci in this film,
and you won’t be disappointed. She has a Playboy-era body to die for, an expressive, sensual
face, and what’s more, the woman can act.
Next, the props. I could not believe, until I saw it for myself, that Chris had the sexy American flag
pants from the centerfold I chose (Miss September 1971) sewn and made specifically for the
movie. Not only that, but the matching choker she wears. He then re-created the pose, the scene,
and even the centerfold’s hair style! Unbelievable attention to detail.
I know there are death fetishists who like the sex in these films to be simulated (brief and
suggested only), but what can I tell you? I like it explicit, hardcore, and raw. That’s exactly what
you get here, as the photographer and model finish snapping pictures, and she gives him a
luxurious BJ. More steamy fondling follows, and another thing that raises this film to a special
height is the intensity of that torrid sex. Many models, let’s face it, go through the motions, and
paste on a smile or overact through sex scenes. Traci seems totally into it, gasping, panting, and
getting hotter and hotter (the fact that the man playing the photographer is her husband might
have something to do with this).
Then comes what is the center of any death fetish film. The murder scene. First, I refer you to this
description of the famous shower scene in Psycho.
From Wikipedia’s Psycho page: The murder of Janet Leigh's character in the shower is the film's
pivotal scene and one of the best known scenes in cinema history. As such, it spawned numerous
myths and legends. It was shot from December 17 to December 23, 1959, and features 77 different
camera angles. The scene runs 3 minutes and includes 50 cuts. Most of the shots are extreme close-
ups, except for medium shots in the shower directly before and directly after the murder. The
combination of the close shots with their short duration makes the sequence feel more subjective
than it would have been if the images were presented alone or in a wider angle, an example of the
technique Hitchcock described as transferring the menace from the screen into the mind of the
As I watched the strangle of Traci in The Centerfold Strangler, my jaw dropped. Hitchcock is alive
and well, my friends, and his name is Chris Brown. Hitchcock had 50 cuts in his shower scene,
chosen and crafted to perfection. There are no less than 61 cuts in the four and half minutes of
the strangle (yes, I counted them). They are also perfect: skillful, artistic scene-enhancing cuts,
both powerful and sensual close ups and long shots, racheting up the intensity of the strangling
by the second. As the film historian above relates, it literally transfers the sexual menace of the
scene from the screen into the watcher’s mind (and body). The climax of the strangle, where the
dead Traci topples from an upright kneeling position face down to the floor, has five camera
angles all by itself. She goes over like a pure dead weight, tongue lolling, and I sincerely hope
Chris had her land on cushions that he later edited out, because otherwise that had to hurt.
Thoughout the film she had swayed and clutched and gurgled and leaned forward, actually
stretching the nylon around her neck tighter. She is, of course, topless throughout, showing her
As if that is not enough, there is more explicit sex, of the necro kind with the centerfold’s body,
followed by lingering, artistic body shots of the corpse.
I’ve been chasing the holy grail of the perfect sex strangle since the seventies, folks, and I finally
got there. Brought to that high place by Chris Brown, and The Centerfold Strangler.
Click HERE for more details or to purchase "The Centerfold Strangler"