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Monday, June 26, 2017

Cheerleader Camp (1988)



For the first three movies in my Slasher marathon I picked ones that I knew I liked at least a bit. While I owned Cheerleader Camp and have watched it years ago I remembered nothing about it. I figured it was time to take a chance on something that I wasn’t sure was going to be any good. So, I dusted off, literally there was an inch of dust on it, my old Anchor Bay DVD and tossed it in the player. Let’s see what we have.

A group of teenagers in their mid to late twenties pile into a van for a cheerleading camp that leads up to a series of competitions and awards. Our group consists of four beautiful young ladies, the token fat guy comic relief, and the good-looking love interest dude. They get to camp and the good-looking guy starts hitting on another cheerleader in front of his friends. Did I mention he was the boyfriend of one of the girls on his team? Yeah so that doesn’t go over well at all. Eventually the object of his affection ends up killing herself, probably… Nah someone killed her. Anyway, after a lot of pointless talking someone decides to start killing everyone else. I can’t really blame them.

The good kill
If you can’t tell Cheerleader Camp didn’t thrill me. It is some weird hybrid of teen sex comedy and slasher movie that fails at both. You have comic hijinks as people are filmed topless and having sex by the harmless, by ‘80s standards, comic sidekick. Honestly by 2017 standards the guy would be a registered sex offender! These creepy scenes are interspersed with some attempts at stalking and killing so that you know it’s a horror movie. The shifting tone might have worked with a better script and editing, but here it is off putting. So, you have a movie that isn’t funny when it is trying to be and certainly not much of a horror movie.

Overweight, binge drinking, sex offender. Now that is comedy!
The effects work isn’t terrible. You get some garden shears to the neck and a decent bit of guts falling out of the fat man’s stomach. But most of the kills are off screen and there isn’t anything too memorable about any of it. Probably the best effect is a bear trap to the face. I give them props for trying to bring some gore to the table. By the late ‘80s with the censors attacking horror movies that wasn’t easy to do.

So, I’m sitting here writing a review for Cheerleader Camp and trying to figure out why I’m so damn mad just thinking about it. The movie is bad, but harmless. Then it hit me. I watch and review the kinds of movies that I do because most mainstream consumers ignore them. Slasher flicks especially get a bad rap for being nothing but voyeuristic nudity and gore wrapped into a ridiculous plot. If you have been reading my reviews you know that isn’t the case with a lot of them. But then a movie like Cheerleader Camp comes along and reinforces that stereotype. That annoys me because it encourages the uninformed to dismiss some really excellent movies.

I can’t recommend Cheerleader Camp. It can’t decide what kind of movie that it wants to be and ends up being neither a slasher or a comedy. I can recommend many different movies that do both better. In fact, if you need me to send me an email at the link to the right and I’ll put something together.

Next up in my Slasher marathon is April Fool’s Day


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