Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer of Slash: Cheerleader Camp

Like a bad amalgamation of drive-in comedies of the ‘80s (think G.O.R.P., King Frat, et al) and bad slasher movies (with the word camp in the title it’s pretty obvious which slasher movie this one is cribbing from), Cheerleader Camp is for the diehard slasher fan only. Most of the film is played as a wacky comedy with lots of gratuitous nudity while the horror parts aren’t worth talking about. Basically a crazed cheerleader who is somewhat of an outsider is knocking off cheerleaders at the annual camp for said cheerleaders. It’s all your basic, generic hack-and-slash set in the woods. Who is responsible for the murders? Could it be the big fat guy (who likes to eat bananas, you see, because he's a big ape...brilliant!) who's stuck in the wrong type of ‘80s movie? Could it be the misunderstood cheerleader whose dreams are convincing her that she’s the killer? Could it be the creepy town sheriff who likes to ogle the young ladies? Or, how about the crusty old camp groundskeeper, who, of course, in one scene watches the girls cheer while he's hosing something down and then the water sprays up into his face (never not funny)? Is it Leif Garrett?!? Does it really matter? No, it doesn’t, but like a lot of these types of so-bad-they're-good horror movies, it’s short and harmless; and hey, it has Leif Garrett in it, to boot! It’s also a lot of cheesy fun if you’re with a group of friends. Generic characters; gratuitous shots of boobs; bad cheers by Garrett and his big fat friend (pictured above), horrible gore effects, and everything else you’d expect in a late-era slasher movie. It’s everything that makes hating slashers so easy, and it’s everything I love about ‘em. Hang out with some friends and rip this movie apart; or, go spend your time doing something valuable and go see The Tree of Life…or do both…it’s not impossible to enjoy both extremes of the high-low spectrum. 


  1. Everything you have said about this movie makes it sound like the most amazing thing that I've never, ever heard of. Added to the queue.

  2. I love CHEERLEADER CAMP. First of all, what an amazing cast... Betsy Russell, Teri Weigel, and the chick from the BREAKIN' movies! I also thought George "Buck" Flower had some hilarious parts in this. Yeah, it's bad, but it's also a lot of fun and it's one of the cheesy 80's slashers that not a lot of people talk about. Nice little write-up.

  3. I recall really liked this when I saw it years and years ago (friends and I still quote it), so I'm happy you give a relatively 'thumbs up'. It is incredibly cheesy, and for genre fans only, but it's a specific kind of genre fan because, as you wonderfully state, the gore is just atrocious to nonexistent. It's for the genre fan who always though MEATBALLS (and any of its sequels) should have been slashers. It's heavy on the T&A though, which will always endear it to many (plus the whoddunnit plot is better then average). I watched SLAUGHTER HIGH last night, and I definitely watch CHEERLEADER CAMP ten times over before I'd watch SLAUGHTER HIGH again, for whatever that's worth.

    Nice work, per usual. What's next on the dock?

  4. Thanks, Aaron. I is an amazing cast. I appreciate the comment!

  5. Jamie:

    Good call on the Meatballs connection. That title was also running through my head because this movie really is thinking, for most of it, that it's one of those raunchy, camp (as in the setting) '80s movies. As for pure cheese goes (and having fun with friends while watching the movie), I would go with Cheerleader Camp, too. It's just a lot of goofy, harmless fun.

    I think I am going to be doing Evilspeak, Alice, Sweet Alice, and He Knows You're Alone next. But I have some REALLY good titles coming up!

    Thanks as always for reading and for leaving a comment. I appreciate it.

  6. All I can think of when I remember this film is "sock stuffing." Oh, Leif Garrett, how could you have fallen to this level.

    But this is seriously one of the more fun bad horror movies to watch. For those who want to see it NOW, it's up on Youtube at the moment.

    And speaking of Youtube, here's a link to the video I uploaded that should explain why you need to watch this film:

    Consider it my contribution to the academic film study of CHEERLEADER CAMP.

  7. And it's that clip that encapsulates all that is great and horrible about the film. I would think the guys at Rifftrax could have a field day with this one. Oh, and that video isn't nearly as good as your Commando comp.

  8. Here's a link to the Commando comp you mentioned...yeah, that one's pretty fun.

    "Why don't they just call him GIRL george."