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1 review, 2 user ratings

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Cheerleader Camp
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by Jack Sommersby

"'Give Me a C-!'"
2 stars

The theatrical poster promises a far better time than you'll likely get in this too-tame, listless non-entertainment.

The slasher picture Cheerleader Camp has a bountiful array of skimpily-clad female bods, a couple of shots of agreeable tan-lined boobs, and not a little bit of gore, but it's not particularly enjoyable, and you find yourself faulting it for things you would ordinarily let entries in this sub-genre get away with. A group of teenagers arrive at Camp Hurrah, where a competition is going on: spread over a couple of days, the contestants perform their numbers in a rather cramped log cabin, ranging from the cheerleaders to team mascots; in between these goings-on, an unseen assailant is picking off the best of the lot with an assortment of sharp instruments. Not the most original of premises, to be sure, with its zenith-level derivativeness never leaving any doubt we're witnessing something of an inspired nature; and we wouldn't necessarily care if the proceedings were executed with semblances of agility and imagination by the likes of Tony Maylam's The Burning and Tom McLoughlin's Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives. Rather, the novice moviemakers adhere to a boringly mediocre structure, and the talking-heads padding in between the murders make the mere eighty-eight-minute running time seem at least twenty minutes longer -- I haven't looked at my wristwatch this many times since waiting for a habitually-late Greyhound to arrive. There are attempts at humor, all of which are forced and stale, and the attempt to add variety in having the one of the girls tormented by a barrage of nightmares so we're given the occasional skewed perspective are squarely staged (though the lighting in them is a degree or two above average). And the whodunit angle is negligently rendered where any reasonably astute viewer will guess the culprit's identity by the halfway mark. The gorgeous Betsy Russell, who was alluring as the bitchy sorority chick in Private School and arresting as the tough-as-nails heroine in Avenging Angel, has the lead role but is never given a chance to shine -- she's too held-in and never gets to break free and engage us on a responsive level. Travis McKenna, as the trouble-making bubble-butt constantly spying on the sunbathing hotties, has some charm. But the standout contribution comes from Lorie Griffin, who plays the blonde airhead of the bunch with genuine appeal. Previously effective as the object of Michael J. Fox's hormonal desire in Teen Wolf, Griffin is amateurish, obvious, and overacts in every one of her reaction shots, but she's so effortlessly vivid we find ourselves yielding to her the way we would the cutest doe-eyed puppy of the litter. While not enough to make Cheerleader Camp recommendable, Griffin succeeds in making it not a complete waste of time.

The DVD from the good folks at Anchor Bay sports a fine transfer and a decent amount of special features.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10070&reviewer=327
originally posted: 02/03/14 10:07:16
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User Comments

4/22/14 Avery Hemming Watching this movie always makes me think of USA Up All Night! 3 stars
11/01/04 tatum Camp value alone not enough to recommend dumb flick 1 stars
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  02-Mar-1987 (R)
  DVD: 03-Aug-2004



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