Cheerleader Camp (1988)
Campy thriller will have you cheering
Ripped from today’s headlines, the Cinema Connoisseur’s Halloween Spooktacular Fright Film Festival concludes with a film featuring plenty of spirit – not the ghost kind of spirit that we think of this time of year, but school spirit.
Recently London made front page news across the country when a group of Western Mustang cheerleaders were fined for performing a street cheer on the way to the Western’s homecoming game. When I first heard of this development, I immediately sat down and penned a script for Bring It On 2 Fast, a mashup film about the illegal world of street cheering, starring Kirsten Dunst, Vin Diesel and The Rock. I’ve contacted all three of them through Twitter, and it is just a matter of time until we begin production.
Until my film is completed, the title of “greatest movie ever on the subject of cheerleading” belongs to the 1988 classic Cheerleader Camp.
The lovely and talented Betsy Russell leads the cast of Cheerleader Camp. You may recognize Russell for her work in the Saw horror series. She portrayed Jigsaw’s ex-wife in Saw parts 3 through 87, except for Saw 23: Assignment Miami Beach, where she instead played a sassy crocodile hunter. Russell shines as Alison, one of the most popular girls at her high school. Despite this, she is plagued with feelings of jealousy, as her boyfriend Brent (Leif Garrett) has a wandering eye.
Alison heads off to Camp Hurrah, where she will compete against other cheerleaders from all across the country. The competition is intense; it is like the NFL combine or an Olympic trial, amped up by a factor of a 1,000. On a bit of a side note, did you know that cheerleading is the only major sport where the competitors commonly use pompoms?
Unfortunately, Alison has little to cheer about. Her boyfriend Brent has also come to the camp, and is like a kid at a candy store with all the other cheerleaders around. Soon Alison begins to have intense nightmares about the deaths of these other women. Worse yet, the murders actually do happen. Alison must wrestle with the fact that she may in fact have a split personality, and that she might be the killer!
Cheerleader Camp is a campy thriller that delivers scares, sex, silliness and surprises. If you are on the fence about whether or not you want to watch Cheerleader Camp this Halloween season, I should point out that the whole film is up on YouTube in one part (just search for cheerleader camp full movie). If you are like me, however, you will be so guilt-ridden after watching it for free, that you will feel obligated to write a cheque and send it to film’s producer Jeff Prettyman. And yes, that is actually a real person’s name, and he went on to produce a film called The Magic of the Golden Bear: Goldy III, starring Cheech Marin and Mr. T, so I have a feeling I will be writing about him again.