Friday, February 24, 2017

Cheerleaders Beach Party (1978)

The depressing thing about Cheerleaders Beach Party is the glimmer of wit visible beneath layers of dopey sex-comedy sleaze. Written by Chuck Vincent, a pornographer who occasionally made R-rated fare, the picture is tacky and tedious, rushing from one topless scene to the next and cramming in as many naughty high jinks and sexual references as possible in between. Yet the story makes sense, and it’s possible to imagine a version of the movie, with some comedy punch-up and a little restraint, becoming palatable. The plot involves a quartet of cheerleaders at Rambling University using sex and subterfuge to keep the football coach at another school from poaching Rambling’s top players with offers of better perks. (As the girls shout upon formulating their scheme: “One-tw0-three-four, who do we put out for? Rambling U, Rambling U—yay, team!”) Although the filmmakers don’t bother much with characterization, they provide a lot of incidents, so the story moves along, and every so often Vincent’s script features something resembling an intelligent line or a reasonable plot complication. For instance, the girls steal a van from Rambling’s coach, so in a running gag, he spends the whole movie chasing after the girls while driving their tricked-out animal-print sedan. Similarly, the climax involves the girls stealing medical samples of crabs and releasing the pests into the jockstraps of players before an important practice. These are bottom-feeding jokes, to be sure, but they reveal that a bit more effort was put into this thing than necessary, just as drawing the line at topless shots and partially clothed sex scenes reveals that the filmmakers didn’t go as far down the grindhouse rabbit hole as they could have. That said, this flick is still called Cheerleaders Beach Party, and it’s still a dimwitted sexcapade driven by awful disco music. Saying it could’ve been worse isn’t the same as saying it’s worth anyone’s time.

Cheerleaders Beach Party: LAME

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