COVER GIRL KILLER (1959) Reviews and overview

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’40 luscious beauties marked for murder’

Cover Girl Killer is a 1959 British psycho-thriller film written and directed by Terry Bishop (Model for Murder). The movie stars Harry H. Corbett, Felicity Young and Spencer Teakle.

The plot predates productions with similar themes such as Night, After Night, After Night (1969), The Centerfold Girls (USA, 1974), Strip Nude for Your Killer (Italy, 1975), Mary Milligan vehicle The Playbirds (1978) and Snapshot (Australia, 1975).



Set in the world of a backstreet 1950s London nightclub. A serial killer is believed to be murdering the models of glamour magazine Wow!, when bikini-clad cover girl Gloria Starke, is found dead by the River Thames, having gone on an assignment with mysterious TV producer who wears pebble glasses and a badly-fitting toupee (Harry H. Corbett).


Inspector Brunner (Victor Brooks) is put on the case. Meanwhile, John Mason (Spencer Teakle), the young owner of Wow! decides to conduct his own investigation…



Cover Girl Killer is a great little movie, which actually seems a bit ahead of its time (despite its almost sweet approach to the subject matter), pointing the way to the sex and horror thrillers of the late 60s and 70s. After all, as the killer says: “Surely sex and horror are the new gods in this polluted world of so-called entertainment.” British Horror Films


” … simple and effective crime-drama displays a plot elevating it above standard B-feature fare.”

“Unfortunately Corbett is about the only thing the film has going for it, with flat direction, generally poor performances and – as might be expected – little real sleaze content except that inherently attaching to its grimy, low-rent milieux.” Giallo Fever

” … notable for anticipating the post-Scream nature of self-reflection, especially with the ingenious sequence involving the hiring of an actor to pose as the killer and the fabrication of a planned film version of the very events we are viewing. Highly recommended for anyone interested in tracing the roots of the stalk-and-slash subgenre, and extremely satisfying viewing in retrospect.” Hysteria Lives!

Cover-Girl-Killer-poster-1959-British-psycho-killerBuy poster:

“Fast-moving and only slightly creaky, Cover Girl Killer is good value for money. A few too many scenes are allocated to the American hero, but this is counterbalanced by the super laid back pipe puffing investigating detective and by Corbett, effectively playing a dual role as both the psychotic, really creepy Spendoza and his smooth, unnamed ‘real-life’ self…” Mounds & Circles


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Cast and characters:

  • Harry H. Corbett – Mr Spendosa/Mr Fairchild – Carry On Screaming
  • Felicity Young – June Rawson
  • Spencer Teakle – John Mason
  • Victor Brooks – Inspector Brunner
  • Bernadette Milnes – Gloria Starke
  • Christina Gregg – Joy Adams
  • Tony Doonan – Sergeant
  • John Barrard – Lennie Ross
  • Charles Lloyd-Pack – Captain Adams – Dracula (1958)
  • Alan Edwards – Hodgkins
  • Dermot Kelly – Pop
  • Denis Holmes – Actor
  • Julie Shearing – Rosie
  • Tony Thawnton – Doctor
  • Paddy Joyce – Stagehand
  • Claude Jones – Constable Jones
  • John Baker – Plainclothes Man
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Choice dialogue:

Mr Fairchild [Harry H. Corbett]: “The borderline between what we call insanity and what we call a hyper-sensitive intellect is not always clear, Inspector.”


Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.52.54

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 12.52.06

Filming locations:

Walton Studios, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England

Image thanks: Mounds & Circles

Our rating:

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