10th Oct2011

‘The Cheerleaders/Revenge of the Cheerleaders’ Review (ArrowDrome)

by Phil Wheat

The-Cheerleaders

THE CHEERLEADERS

Stars: Stephanie Fondue, Denise Dillaway, Jovita Bush, Sandy Evans, Brandy Woods | Written by Ace Baandige, Paul Glickler, Tad Richards | Directed by Paul Glickler

High schooler Jeannie dreams of joining the school cheerleading squad in the hopes that popularity and a loss of virginity will follow. What she doesn’t know is that the cheerleaders of Amorosa High have to plan to help out the schools football team by literally taking one for their team and seducing their rivals into exhaustion and “riding” their team to victory.

REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS

Stars: Jerii Woods, Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith, Helen Lang, Patrice Rohmer, David Hasslehoff | Written by Ted Greenwald, Nathaniel Dorsky, Ace Baandige | Directed by Richard Lerner

The cheerleaders of Aloha High School in California are some of the popular kids in their school thanks to their amorous behaviour. They’re also the cause of the school’s lecherous reputation for underage sex and drug abuse. When the school board considers a merger with Aloha’s biggest rivals, the vocational school Lincoln High, the girls spike the lunchroom spaghetti sauce with a drugs just in time for the school inspectors visit which puts and end to those plans. But when the school is blown up and the principal is kidnapped it’s up to the cheerleaders to save the day and unravel a conspiracy to use Aloha High’s land for a shopping mall.
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Released by Arrow Film’s new sub-label ArrowDrome, The Cheerleaders and its sequel Revenge of the Cheerleaders are two classics of the sexploitation genre from the 70s featuring a bevy of (natural) beauties who have no problem stripping off at the drop of a hat in the name of entertainment. The two cheerleader movies presented here are in fact the perfect pairing – The Cheerleaders features copious amounts of sex and nudity and Revenge of the Cheerleaders has tons of drug-taking, dance numbers and generally anarchic behaviour – together they make one great sexploitation epic! Of the two though Revenge of… is by far the wilder and completely outrageous, with a sex scene involving two cheerleaders and a “boyscout” that only just scrapes under being XXX-rated thanks to good use of camera angles and editing, and a plot that sees the cheerleaders drug their entire school – students and teachers alike – in the name of stopping progress. You really wouldn’t get away with this type of movie today thanks to the political correctness brigade!

The print on The Cheerleaders looks fantastic – the image is clean, if very grainy, with no print damage from what I could see which is amazing considering the films low-budget origins. The print of the sequel Revenge of… is slightly worse for wear. Don’t get me wrong, it still looks great given the films age, with more of a soft-focus look and negligible amounts of discoloration in some places. It also looks like this version is a composite of various sources, but given that the sequel is included as a bonus item with the original there’s nothing to complain about. Both prints look the best I’ve ever seen them, much better than both the VHS and TV versions I’ve seen previously.

Both films also include trailers, TV spots and radio spots. And keep an eye out for both Rainbeaux Smith as a pregnant cheerleader and a young David Hasslehoff as high school jock Boner in Revenge of the Cheerleaders

An essential purchase for cult movie fans, The Cheerleaders is released on DVD to an unsuspecting UK audience on October 24th.

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