Ostensibly a thriller about beautiful American women mired in foreign intrigue, Cover Girl Models actually feels more like a dull melodrama about a horny photographer trying to score with his models, with an anemic subplot about Far East crime bubbling under the surface until the ludicrously contrived action finale. Like most exploitation films from Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, Cover Girl Models provides exactly the sort of cheap thrills that viewers might expect, including car chases and gunfights and nude scenes. Nonetheless, the picture is executed with so little imagination that it’s difficult to sustain even prurient interest, and the actress given the greatest prominence has the least screen presence of the three “cover girl models” mentioned in the title. The picture begins promisingly with a scene in Los Angeles, where acidic fashion editor Diane (Mary Woronov) instructs he-man photographer Mark (John Kramer) to escort three models to Hong Kong for a fashion show and a photo shoot. Unlike the rest of the picture, this one scene has a modicum of snap and wit. Then Cover Girl Models settles into its normal stultifying groove.
Before leaving for his trip, Mark does a poolside shoot during which his mousy assistant, Mandy (Tara Strohmeler), accidentally gets doused, resulting in a wet T-shirt. Suddenly cognizant of her assets, Mark recruits her for the Hong Kong trip, along with busty and glamorous blondes Barbara (Pat Anderson) and Claire (Lindsay Bloom). Upon arriving in Hong Kong, Mark spends his downtime trying to get his models naked on camera—since he moonlights for girlie magazines—and he romances whichever model seems the most amenable at any given time. Meanwhile, Asian criminal Kulik (Vic Diaz) takes advantage of the unsuspecting models by trying to hide illicit items in their luggage. Eventually, a suave Asian cop named Ray (Tony Ferrer) shows up to karate-chop bad guys and to protect the ladies from Kulik’s minions. The movie also features lots of slow-motion shots of ladies twirling in dresses. Yawn. With horrific lounge-style music undulating behind most scenes, Cover Girl Models fails to generate excitement or novelty, except perhaps for one very strange line of dialogue: During a topless photo shoot, Mark tells Mandy that she’s wearing “the 49th-most luxurious g-string in the entire world.”
Cover Girl Models: LAME