“Cheer up, c’mon, we’re lookin’ at naked women here!”
That’s the requisite jovial horror movie fat guy, a clinically obese cheerleader and buddy to 80s icon Leif Garrett (Brent) in the 1988 gore-fest Cheerleader Camp.
Instead of fine-tuning his metabolism at fat camp, he’s at Camp Hurrah, a cheerleading competition camp. And wouldn’t you know it, he’s competing with a team of super hot chicks, against a bunch of other super hot chicks. His team also has a hot mascot in tow, who’s meant to be their Plain Jane because she is a brunette who could — but doesn’t — doff her clothing. (“I’m just a mascot.””You make it sound like a disease!”and “you’re a mascot, not a human!” among the choice bits of banter)
The competition at the cheerleader camp is run by Dee-Dee Tipton, a closet case who purrs lines like “If you want to kiss up to me, feel free. I deserve that kind of treatment” while having football foreplay with her hairy husband, who stiff-arms imagined opposition before plowing into her end-zone.
And because the stakes are high, even with no Kirsten Dunst on hand, the girls go at one another. “She looks like SHE could be the camp queen.” “Oh yeah?” Throwing down the gauntlet results in what can only be described as a “breast off” and taunting which would be penalized in the NFL (“I think I see chicken skin!”)
But before things get too frolicky and the nudity too pronounced, a few of the girls start to mysteriously disappear (although the denouement is given away half an hour in). The first such disappearance is explained away as a suicide (“even though Suzie had everything to live for, personal demons terrorized her soul!”) which doesn’t kill the cheer spirit. As the bodies start to pile up, well, it kinda does.
There’s a spectacularly creative and very gory pair of shears murder, the obligatory “hello, who’s there?” (please see our Signs You’re in a Bad Horror Movie) while the attractive victim ventures out into the woods in her uniform. There’s also the usual cast of staff creeps.
And when things start to really turn sour, Leif Garrett’s Brent interrupts a punk show (!) to say “one of our girls has been murdered, let’s get out of here alive… don’t panic!”
The film looks good, there’s solid atmosphere, some nice puns and frankly perverted dream sequences. There’s lots of amateurish cheering, with nary a George W. Bush to be found.
*** (out of 5)