|The Plot: Four young and sex-starved teenage girls gallivant around town in this Greydon Clark masterpiece. Bragging and flaunting their sexuality to all of the older prudes who can’t accept their sexy ways before the crazy janitor at their school, who is also a practicing satanist, puts a curse on them as they make their out of town trip to cheer at a game. The girls are: Debbie who is quite slutty, Chris who is quiet but usually speaks up with attitude, Patti who is soon to be possessed and in my opinion the hottest of the group: Sharon. That girls’ got some legs on her, rawr! So all of a sudden once this curse is revealed, their car breaks down on the side of the road just long enough for our crazy janitor to pick them up and kidnap them. He takes them to a satanic alter in the middle of the woods and straps Patti down as she is hypnotized and nude. Patti is then devil-raped by the pervert fallen angel Lucifer, who wants to make her his bride. When our janitor gets mad and wants in on the action, the devil chokes him out and when the girls come to he is dead at their feet and they don’t remember a thing. They make their way to the road and eventually find the sheriff… but the sheriff knows more than he lets on – and is all part of the satanic cult running the town.|
The Review: This marks my fourth foray into the world of Greydon Clark, after sitting through Final Justice, being somewhat impressed with his first feature The Bad Bunch and simply having a ball with Black Shampoo – I knew coming into this one that Clark can either make something that blows your mind or leaves your brain as empty as the film you just watched It really doesn’t matter if the film is good or bad however, because they are always interesting. He is one of the few really low budget filmmakers from the drive-in era that although making cheap and lurid films always had a little something going for his films. Whether it’s the attempted social commentary of The Bad Bunch or the machismo in a very feminine situation throughout all of Black Shampoo (by that I mean we have the most masculine man who has ever lived in the role of a HAIRDRESSER). Satan’s cheerleaders is no different, the tremendous amount of cheese and girl unity as well as the satan worship are about as awkward a mix as it sounds. The ten minute opening sequence of beach fun are utter torment to sit through, with the high school girls being introduced as well as their rivalry with the evil kiddos from Baker. All of the girl power is too much to stand, especially when in real life it seems like every girl you ever meet hates all of their girl friends. Seriously, how many times have you ever heard “Yeah, I don’t really get along with girls so much. They’re all drama, that’s why I hang out with guys mostly.” Unfortunately that seems to be the case in every situation other than in Satan’s Cheerleaders. Not to mention their annoying rebellion from all of normalized society. Then there’s the cheerleader coach who is as big a moron as her own students and perfectly encapsulates the “wannabe cool mom” that we all know and hate.
This kind of cheesy and naive hyperbole is anguish to sit through. You remember the standards of the acting in your average H.G. Lewis picture? Well, this makes Color Me Blood Red and and Wizard of Gore look like Brando level performances. There’s so much shtick flying around that it hurts, and I find it hard to imagine the audience that could watch this sort of unbearable “comedy” in the first thirty minutes with nary a satanist in sight. Somewhere around the thirty minute mark, whenever our groundskeaper takes the cheerleaders before the devil, things pick up ever so slightly. Unfortunately we’re still tortured beyond any man’s limitations with such totally hip and not at all corny lines such as “take a picture pop, it’ll last longer!” ZING! She definitely showed that old man who was totally checking her out while she spread her legs in order to get his attention! That’ll show him for doing what she was hoping for! The nonstop one-liners are cancer inducing. The cheerleading coach who seems to get dumber as the film goes along, and lets her students run amuck simply because she can’t understand the jokes, grates my nerves to the point where I had to pause the film and go for a walk around the room several times. The latter half of the film does become slightly more tolerable, with less focus on the absolutely terrible “jokes” and more on the girls running from the evil satan cult. The whole film itself at this point finally begins to resemble The Devil’s Rain (ever so slightly), the seventies satan-based film starring the legend himself William Shatner – which is how I had imagined the film before actually seeing it. I mean really, with a flick called Satan’s Cheerleaders there are a lot of things you can imagine but I wouldn’t think of spending half the running time on a corny cheerleading movie and the other half dealing with a cult chasing them in about the same manner as Scooby Doo and Shaggy would be chased from one door to another in those cartoons. The other way to look at it is that I got my cheerleaders, I got the satan and what else can you really expect?
Normally, this is about the time I say “well I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy myself, but…” – well, there’s not much for a “but” this time around. It’s far from being the worst film out there but the redeeming qualities of Satan’s Cheerleader’s come nowhere near outweighing the truly awful bits. I haven’t given a really bad rating in a while, and I hate to do it to a Greydon Clark production because for one thing his work makes for an easy target and another, I do respect the guy. Clark has made some bad films no doubt, but as I said earlier he always has a little something extra going on in them. Satan’s Cheerleaders unfortunately doesn’t have enough to save it from pure mediocrity at best. The one thing that really stands out for the movie is the switch at the end, but I won’t go into that and spoil it but at the end it’s the only thing that makes you think you didn’t actually waste your time. I’m giving the film a one of five, the first rating that low in a long time. That isn’t the lowest however, but it isn’t a good rating that’s for sure. Hopefully others will take my warnings in stride though and definitely form their own opinions.