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  Cheerleaders, The Take One For The Team
Year: 1973
Director: Paul Glickler
Stars: Stephanie Fondue, Denise Dillaway, Jovita Bush, Brandy Woods, Clair Dia, Kimberly Hyde, Richard Meatwhistle, Jonathan Jacobs, Raoul Hoffnung, Patrick Wright, Terri Teague, Jack Jonas, Jay Lindner, Charles Goldman, John Bracci, Bill Lehrke, Evett Wilber
Genre: Comedy, Sex, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Californian high school of Amorosa has its own football team, and that team has its own cheerleadng squad though it's very exclusive, so not just any girl can join. However, now that one of their members has had to leave for certain reasons of impending motherhood, a position has opened up and they will be holding auditions soon. One aspiring cheerleader is Jeannie (Stephanie Fondue), but she doubts she has a chance; she would love to get on the squad and attract plenty of male attention since her boyfriend Norman (Jonathan Jacobs) is something of a wet blanket who doesn't even appear to be particularly interested in her. But there's a special quality about Jeannie which brings the squad around to her...

The Cheerleaders was notorious in the early-to-mid nineteen-seventies for being about as close to hardcore porn as a comedy could get without committing to such scenes, and it ran into a lot of trouble in its day with censors and authorities demanding cuts to its running time to tone down the activities it depicted. It was not until its release on DVD that most interested viewers could see what they had been missing, by which time it was a relic of a bygone age, with the actresses sporting the natural look and stretching the definition of the term "actresses" in their flat line readings and obviously solely hired to disrobe for the camera.

Most of them, and their male counterparts, were never heard from again, and after adopting pseudonyms for their roles it was no surprise that they were difficult to identify so long after the fact (where are you, Richard Meatwhistle? On second thoughts, don't answer that). Therefore unless you wished to hire a private detective, all you would know about the players here was what you saw on the screen, which added a layer of mystery to the nostalgia making it more potent than simply watching a bunch of famous faces going through the motions. They were no comedians, that was for sure, practically delivering their supposedly amusing lines with admirable restraint given they were patently trying not to wink at the camera and say "geddit?" at every double entendre, of which there were as many as the screenwriters (four of them!) could conjure up.

That screenplay was curiously fond of rhyming slang, not of the Cockney variety but simply matching words in the dialogue, suggesting what the characters would truly like to do was get down to the business of penning saucy limericks more than anything else. The anything else they did get on with was what gives the impression that this decade, more than any other, was utterly obsessed with sex almost to the exclusion of all, and to an extent you could understand why that was the case as the newly liberated Western world was adding that to the mix in everything from their advertising to their comedy to their debates to, well their adult entertainment: the genie was out of the bottle and material like The Cheerleaders was set to cash in with enthusiasm.

The plot hardly mattered, all you needed to know was there were six cheerleaders and five were mightily keen on the pleasures of the flesh, while heroine Jeannie was a sad virgin who wanted fulfilment but was continually thwarted, so much so that she was the subject of a bet she would not lose her maidenhood before the completion of the football season. In the meantime, the other thing these young ladies were keen on was cheerleading, you could tell because like cartoon characters they sported the same red and white outfits throughout the movie no matter what they were doing, fuelling the peculiarly American obsession where the participants in dancing about and chanting as the game continues were seemingly more than just the icing on the cake, they were a major distraction, here to the point of eclipsing the players. This culminates in a misguided orgy with their own team before the big day, exhausting the boys, so drastic action must be taken of a type that the following decade would make foolhardy to say the least. Sleazily naive. Music by David Herman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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