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  Revenge of the Cheerleaders The Pom-Pom Girls
Year: 1976
Director: Richard Lerner
Stars: Jerii Woods, Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith, Helen Lang, Patrice Rohmer, Susie Elene, Edra Gale, William Bramley, Norman Thomas Marshall, Regina Gleason, Carl Ballantine, Fred Gray, Carrie Dietrich, Sheri Meyers, Lillian McBride, Bert Conroy, David Hasselhoff
Genre: Comedy, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Aloha High School in California is in trouble, though its students are not aware of that. There is a planned merger with their great rivals on the cards, and all so the place could be knocked down and developers can build a new and exclusive shopping mall complex on the site; if they knew that they might perhaps behave with a shade more decorum. But they don't, the atmosphere in the school is nothing short of wild with the kids running riot and the wildest of the bunch are the cheerleaders, five girls whose purpose is supposed to be to gee up the basketball team, but in effect spend most of their time thinking up pranks to play at the school, engaging in dance routines, and having as much sex as possible...

The Cheerleaders was a fairly successful movie at America's drive-ins, so one of the writers of that was given the chance to direct the hastily put together sequel which was actually released a couple of years after it had been filmed, and therefore was rather past it as far as cashing in on the cheerleader flick craze went, though it still managed to ride the crest of an exploitation wave. The cast this time were all different though the essential premise remained the same, just put a collection of actresses who are willing to doff their togs together, give them some appropriate outfits to wear as befitting the title, and have them run around in a fashion most unbecoming to well-mannered young ladies.

In fact, if anything the characters here are even more extreme than they were in the first movie, as they come across barely one step up the evolutionary ladder from wild animals: bonobos maybe. They looked the part, but so offputting was the way in which they conducted themselves that it was a brave man (or woman) who would want to ever share a room with them, never mind a school, with their biggest trick being where they stick a cocktail of drugs in the canteen spaghetti sauce and reduce not only the pupils but the visiting inspectors to laughing maniacs. It's one way of prompting the inevitable foodfight, yet so reckless are the girls it's a wonder they're not arrested within the first half hour, leaving the rest of the film a stern talking to for them and the audience.

But just when you think the cheerleaders cannot get any worse, they manage to redeem themselves when a conspiracy to get rid of Aloha High falls to them to be stopped. After an hour of plot that can best be described as haphazard, suddenly our heroines are like something out of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon of the age, should those cartoons have featured gratuitous nudity, visiting a huge dinosaur park and turning sleuths to discover who bombed the school - it was the developers, who bizarrely live underground in a James Bond villain-style lair. But there was a lot that even with the passage of time looks very odd about this movie, as if the screenwriters assembled their cast and then thought, wait a sec, we actually have to have them do something now.

Among that cast as one of the cheerleaders was cult B-movie princess Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith who was pregnant at the time of filming, a fact that is made a joke to illustrate how sleazy these girls are, but is actually rather sad and weird: she shows up at the end of the credits with the baby, after having offered us a couple of scenes of Smith naked too, which you have to assume appealed to somebody. Infamously she met a tragic end when her drug addiction overwhelmed her, but you won't be too sure if this is a decent tribute to her. As if that wasn't enough, how about a nude David Hasselhoff? What do mean, "no thanks!"? He's in this, his movie debut, as "Boner" and if there's anything more embarrassing than seeing the future Michael Knight frolicking in the shower then it's his attempts to join in with the musical numbers. There are some sights you cannot unsee. Anyway, Revenge of the Cheerleaders now comes with the endorsement of Quentin Tarantino, who you have to say never has directed anything as downright peculiar and trashy as this. Music by John Sterling.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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