Cheerleader Camp (1988)

Cheerleader Camp (1988)

 

 

Cheerleader Camp (aka Bloody Pom Poms) is part typical Slasher film and part typical Porky’s-style comedy, which makes it rather atypical overall but far from a standout offer of either film-type.

The Slasher elements of the film revolve around Alison, a member of a high school Cheer Squad headed to Camp Hurrah and some kind of competition. I guess it’s like the Glee Regionals, but it’s in the woods. Alison is played by Betsy Russell (who has had a bit of a comeback with her recurring appearances in the Saw sequels) who looks a bit like a young Heather Langenkamp—which is fitting, given that, like Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Alison is having terrible dreams.

Cheerleader Camp movie review

“Oh, no! Freddy’s back!”

Alison’s dreams, however, are of the anxiety-induced sort, brought on by Popular Girl Syndrome. See, Alison has it all, which means she could easily lose it all—and kinda does, actually. Her perfect boyfriend, Brent, is actually a douche in disguise; one of her cheer squad teammates is bent on stealing away both the title of Cheerleading Queen (or something) and Brent (who is all too willing to be stolen away).

Alison is the one to find the first body (twice!) and the first to suspect that something terrible—besides losing Brent and her title—is going to happen.

The comedy elements revolve around the substantial girth of one Timmy. Timmy is a flatulent festival of self-induced humiliation. Camp Hurrah’s first impression of Timmy is his mountainous buttocks hanging from the team van window. He spies on the camp matron (or whatever she is) banging the local sheriff. He ruins the team performance by tumbling off the stage and into the camp handyman. Later, as he is running away, Timmy launches himself over a tree stump, soaring through the air with all the grace of a pumpkin tossed by a toddler.

Cheerleader Camp movie review

Say hello to Timmy. Not a special effect.

The first half of the film is mostly comedy while the second is devoted largely to horror. There are a few laughs (such as when the segregated mascots are seen trying to eat with their masks on) and the kills aren’t bad, but Alison’s angst earlier on serves to dull the laughs while Timmy’s bumbling blunts the tension. There are no real scares.

Cheerleader Camp movie review

“Oh, no! Cropsey’s back!”

I guess that, if you’re ever in the mood for both an ’Eighties Slasher and an ’Eighties “animal” comedy, but simply can’t decide on which to watch, you could do worse than Cheerleader Camp.

But, in the end, though the filmmakers did try something different, though the ending is actually quite satisfying, with a nice little surprise, the film is just too uneven and too unmemorable to recommend. There’re simply too many better movies of the sort out there.