Tee-Hee, I'm Naked!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Cheerleaders

(1973, 84 min.)

Starring Stephanie Fondue, Denise Dillaway, Jovita Bush, Brandy Woods, Kim Stanton (Kimberly Hyde), Sandy Evans, Richard Meatwhistle, Jonathan Jacobs, Raoul Hoffnung, Patrick Wright.

Screenplay by Ace Baandige, Paul Glickler and Tad Richards, from a story Glickler, Richard Lerner and Richards.

Directed by Paul Glickler

Allow me to begin with an expression perhaps not coined by my generation (that characterized by the letter directly between W and Y), but certainly brought to prominence in mainstream pop culture by same: Eew.

Modern mass psychology would have you believe that every boy dreams of fucking a cheerleader, and I’m not in a position to argue otherwise. The truth of it is that none of the schools I attended even had cheerleaders and I’ve still indulged that particular fantasy, which is either proof of how ingrained the idea is or proof of how relentlessly horny I am.

Either way, even a dedicated pervert such as myself might be turned off of the whole cheerleader thing after watching the first third of this flick. Aside from the icky almost pedophilic vibe that runs through the first fifteen minutes, there’s also the charming scene set in the male locker room that seems designed to use gang rape as a way to set up a defensive tackle joke.

The “story” (nota bene: I’m already, this early in the game, reaching the point where I’m going to have to stop qualifying this crap with quotation marks and snotty little asides) concerns Jeannie, the new girl on the cheerleading squad, and her various attempts to further her womanhood, as it were. What’s more she doesn’t seem to care much whether the instrument of her deflowering belongs to her schlubbie boyfriend Norm or, well, anybody else. As oogy as this attitude may be, it seems rather appropriate for a film where the virginal character in question is played by an actress named Stephanie Fondue. How ‘70s porn queen is that? And don’t even get me started on fellow cast members Jovita Bush and Richard Meatwhistle. (Not to mention co-screenwriter Ace Baandige, although that’s just jokey, not suggestive.)

The entire thing climaxes (narf) with a whole lotta’ fuckin’, starting with a slumber party crashed by the football team in which everyone (excepting Jeannie, natch) gets it on with everyone else, resulting in the team being too pooped to play. (They also manage to work in a scene where Jeannie’s semi-voyeuristic dad gets it on, though thankfully the girl who seduces him is the comparatively mature-looking Dillaway.) The girls compensate by finding and screwing every single member of the opposing team, in a montage set to music that includes, in an odd little coincidence, a riff identical to the theme song from Quincy. Problem is they missed one guy, meaning the rival team has a tiny little advantage, and guess who gets sent in as a last minute choice to schtup him in the locker room? That’s right, Jeannie gets to be a top tier booster and puncture her hymen all in one fell swoop. So now everyone on the field is jello, no one can do squat, and Norm, dressed like a player, but actually selling hot dogs, inadvertently picks up the ball and brings it to the end zone, winning both the game and a chance to get frisky with all of the major female characters in the backseat of a car while the credits mercifully roll.

The main problem with this film – putting aside for the moment the bad writing, bad acting, bad blah blah blah – is that it achieves a level of authenticity in a place it really shouldn’t have. Costume play is just that: play. Getting turned on by the sight of a grown woman dressed in, for example, a girl scout uniform doesn’t mean that you actually want to screw a girl scout. (And if it does, seek help. Now.) The kick comes in seeing something normally associated with innocence presented in a mature and salacious manner. The libido is frequently stimulated by the corruption of purity; an uneasy fact about humanity, but a fact nonetheless. But again, the two words are ‘costume’ and ‘play.’ The wearer is a grown woman. We don’t want to see someone who actually looks age appropriate for the costume, if it is a case of a cusp-of-pubescence cheerleader, schoolgirl, etc. The girls in this film, however, come uncomfortably close to looking the part, especially Ms. Fondue. Not helping the situation is that while she’s as sexually aggressive as the rest of the girls – and we’ll just sidestep the debate as to whether high schoolers should be sexually active in the first place – she seems to want to pop her cherry just as much if not more because it’s what she thinks she’s expected to do as for any particular desire on her part. This effect is enhanced by the somewhat vacuous air Ms. Fondue brings to her role, not entirely unrealistic for a clueless teenage girl perhaps, but regardless of the reason or circumstance, the resulting reaction is, to reiterate, eew. (Her deadpan, if it can be called that, isn’t entirely a bad thing. When she dryly states that, “A carwash is not the business world, Norm,” that was about the only true laugh I got in the whole movie.)

This does have a following, which I can only assume is more the byproduct of nostalgia than anything else, a concept I can completely get behind, but seeing as how it doesn’t hold any such special place with me, I needed more, and given that the sex scenes are fairly lackluster and the movie isn’t particular funny, not even in a dumb sort of way, this just didn’t have much to offer me at all, except the eew factor.

I actually saw one of the sequels to this, Revenge of the Cheerleaders, first, but can’t remember much about it. My colleagues would probably chalk this up to a memory block owing to the film’s inclusion of a naked David Hasselhoff, but I’ll probably get around to watching it again to review for this section. With the memory of this film fresh in my brain and the notion of a nude Hoff somewhere in my future, all I can say is…pray for me.

Click here for my colleague El Santo's take on this horny silliness. (Or is that silly horniness?)


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