Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Cheerleader Camp AKA Bloody Pom Poms (1988)

A mildly amusing slasher movie from the late 80s, Cheerleader Camp falls far behind many other examples from the decade but holds up not too badly nowadays thanks to some cast choices that should interest horror fans and enough gratuitous nudity to keep undemanding viewers pleased (it's just a shame that the same can't be said of the bloodshed).

Betsy Russell plays Alison Wentworth, a troubled young woman who has been plagued by nightmares for some time. When she goes with her friends to a cheerleader camp she tries to relax but finds that there are too many people around her raising her stress levels. The stress just keeps rising when people start dying, Alison starts to suspect that she may very well be the killer.

Written by David Lee Fein and R. L. O'Keefe, and directed by John Quinn, the technical aspects of this movie are the least pleasing aspects. Despite the occasional nudity, the pacing is a bit slow and none of the characters are all that interesting. There's some humour here and there, albeit clumsy stuff, but no real thrills or excitement.

Thankfully, we have that cast. Betsy Russell is just fine in her role, as is Leif Garrett, but the real pleasure here is in the supporting cast. Best of all, in my view, is quite a decent amount of screentime for the legendary George 'Buck' Flower but people who would rather ogle some pretty young women will not be displeased Teri Weigl's ability to shed skimpy clothing. Teri went on to quite a number of proper adult movies but here has a nice mix of the freshness of youth with her sexiness. Lucinda Dickey does well, Lorie Griffin is fine and Rebecca Ferratti is a nice enough addition. Vickie Benson and Jeff Prettyman get a number of good moments, including one hilarious scene together, and Travis McKenna is the loud and overweight guy who will do anything to get close to naked female flesh.

Fans of the subgenre, and particularly the 80s output within the subgenre, will find enough here to enjoy but it barely scrapes a pass. At least it also has a fun ending.


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