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No, it's not a porno.
There are some films that when you see them on a shelf, you just can't resist their siren's song. While I waited in line with the DVD in hand, I knew no good would come from this. With the tagline "Come Score with the Cheerleaders," this dinosaur of a bad horror film from 1977 promised very little. Well, that's up for debate. It does promise both Satan AND pom-poms. I've never quite understood the whole cheerleader thing, now that I think about it. I think about how conservative older generations were....and yet they organized teams of young girls in short skirts bouncing up and down. I'd be curious to know the origins of cheerleading. Did one high school principal say to himself: "Hey, no one's coming to our school's football games. I wonder what we could do to bring more...THAT'S IT! Let's have young girls dressed as strippers bounce up and down. It'll give the parents something interesting to watch. I'm a genius!" Of course, I'm thinking the whole "cheerleader = stripper" formula really is just a by-product of generations of slutty cheerleading. Satan's Cheerleaders exists because of that formula. Let's have a look.
Say hello to plot point A:
The first chunk of the movie is pretty much summed up by those two pictures. Girls, who happen to be cheerleaders, grope boys and shake their asses at the camera while making goofy terrible jokes about how much they like sex. It's the classic male fantasy (or so I'm told) concerning cheerleaders: They like to be watched, and if you buy them a beer they'll sleep with you. No offense to any cheerleaders who might be reading this. Then again, if you're a cheerleader like the ones in this movie, chances are you aren't literate enough to read this article. This film is pretty tame, but it's that weird "we won't show you nudity, but we will totally zoom in on a girl's butt" kind of naughtiness. Which is just somehow more upsetting.
So the film from the beginning is a goofy comedy, with perky teenagers bouncing up and down and playing touch (grope) football on the beach. Later they'll have a mock orgy and a water balloon fight.
And then, the movie shifts gears. Well, shifting gears is an exaggeration. Basically, at 80 mph the transmission falls out of the engine and the car spins into a fiery crash. Like so:
"I drink from the cup of darkness Blessed Be Satanis!"
So we go from a close-up of girl's butt to a Satanic ritual where pudgy people drink from a goblet of blood and pledge their lives to Satan. It's kind of like Dusk til Dawn (or Vamp if you want an example that's a good movie), where the film starts out as one thing (in this case a boob-centric comedy) and turns into something else (a supernatural Satanic story). It's actually a good technique in filmmaking...it throws the audience off balance. Of course it undermines the movie when you kill the mystery. So, who was that hooded man who sold his soul to the devil?
Say hello to the Satanic Janitor. Right after seeing him pledge his life to Satan, we see the same schmuck sweeping up bleachers at a high school. You'd think Satan would help him out with career mobility. Mr. Janitor has other priorities.
Ah, it just wouldn't be the 1970's without a locker room scene with gratuitous nudity. The Janitor watches the girls shower from a peep hole, the whole time rubbing the crap out of his satanic medallion and muttering something about Satan. It's an obvious "implied masturbation" thing...but it does have a point to the plot. The janitor prays to the Devil, who apparently makes the girls' station wagon, which was taking them to the away game, break down on the side of the road. While this isn't overtly evil, it does bring the movie back to plot point A.
Hitchhiking cheerleaders who flash their butts at passing cars in hopes of getting a ride. :sigh: Were repressed sexuality comedies big in the 1970's or something? Here might also be a good point in time to illuminate the fact that all the cheerleaders have their names on the front of their shirts. This makes two facts very clear. First off, there's no reason to remember the characters' names because they're all clearly labeled. Secondly, Sharon really has the biggest breasts on the cheer squad. You know because her name is super distorted in chestular 3-D. Not that I'm....looking at their...Oh fine. Yes I am. You can't watch this movie without goggling the crap out of the girls. It's not my fault...its why this film was made.
Hitchhiking pays off when the SATANIC JANITOR shows up to save all the girls. They're all a little oblivious to what he has in store for them, despite the janitor making himself very, very clear:
"You know you want it. I'll have you first. Now get in the truck and don't run away or anything."
I'm paraphrasing, but the janitor pretty much kidnaps the squad and tells them he's going to have sex with all of them because they're "under his power". Apparently, his deal with the Devil means he gets to have sex with the cheerleaders. Not the biggest of dreams, but I can imagine worse things to sell your soul for. Of course the girls really aren't into it...until Patti sees the Devil. Well, the Devil as far as this film is concerned.
The devil in Satan's Cheerleaders is played by this wooden scuplture that's shown whenever you would expect a close-up of the Devil. Think of it as an infernal puppet. That's what I did. Patti sees it tied to a post in front of an altar. Apparently she IS under someone's power as she takes off all her clothes and lies down on the altar.
With all the moaning and writhing around, it became very clear to me that I'm watching yet ANOTHER film where the devil rapes a young woman. Thank you, Hollywood. I needed more of this in my life. Of course, this isn't the funny thing. Let me walk you through Satanic Janitor's response to all this.
"Um....ok. Are you almost done, Satan? I sort of kidnapped these girls so that I could have my way with them. Oh, you're just loosening her up for me? Awesome let me just take off my pants and....
The devil was not amused at Satanic Janitor's drive for sloppy seconds, so the dark one kills him. The other cheerleaders, by the way, pretty much just stood there and watched the whole thing. Did they think that Patti liked being forced by supernatural entities? Maybe Patti has a much weirder sex life than we all thought.
"Hey Patti, how was your date with Thor? Did he show you his hammer?"
"That was last week. Last night was that Alien from H.R. Giger. You'd be shocked at what he can do with that second mouth."
The scary thing is those jokes right there are pretty close to how the cheerleaders in this movie talk about each other's sex lives. You know, because cheerleaders are sluts. Well, if this film has any truth in it.
The cheerleaders get back in the truck and go looking for law enforcement so they can tell them about the dead janitor. When they do find him, they see a bad sign. Literally.
See? That's never a good sign. It's a good thing cheerleaders can't read.
And so the film turns into "Outward Bound 3: The Cheerleaders" as the squad escape a satanic cult that apparently wants to sacrifice them to the Devil. There's lots of footage of cheerleaders running through the woods and meeting hillbillies who all end up being servants of the Dark Lord.
Oh, and because the director didn't think there was ENOUGH rape in the film, he figured he'd throw in a quick scene were the Coach of the cheerleaders gets molested and sexually attacked by the sheriff. Jesus. Why the HELL is rape so common an occurrence in old movies?
Man, if you're running away from evil cultists, why the hell would you assume that the man in the robe is a monk? The cheerleader apparently drops to her knees asking for help from the priest...and you could write a novel in the time it takes her to figure out that most priests don't usually dress like medieval madmen with giant pentacles around their necks.
So all the girls get captured. Are you surprised? These are the kind of people who end up colonizing the back row of Walmart because they can't find their way to the door.
The big twist at the end is that the cult of Satan is a big fake, but Patti (girl who likes it rough from the Devil) is apparently the bride of the devil and has all sorts of supernatural powers. She takes over the cult just in time to get the cheerleading squad to that game they'd been trying to get to this whole time. When the quarterback suffers an injury and says he can't go on, Patti (cheerleader bride of Satan) issues a statement:
"You WILL go out there and you WILL score touchdowns."
And there you have it. There's not much to Satan's Cheerleaders, but I couldn't help but share. Oh, and if any cheerleaders are reading this: Congratulations on overcoming your handicap. I'm very proud of you. Now put some pants on.
Oddly enough this film reminds me a LOT of another film I reviewed about 3 years ago that also had way too much Satanic rape in it. The hell was going on in the 1970's? (Click the picture to read that article)
Copyright 2007 Jared von Hindman or maybe just Jared Hindman. It depends. Any images used that are not Jared's are used via Fair Use review purposes and belong to their respective owners....who are nice people that don't want to sue me.
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