The Pom Pom Girls – Rediscovering ‘The Cheerleaders’ – (US 1973 – 82 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - August 19, 2017
The Pom Pom Girls – Rediscovering ‘The Cheerleaders’ – (US 1973 – 82 mins)

The popular Cheerleading sub-genre churned out numerous features in the 1970’s, but the one that stands out above all the rest is the once-controversial sex comedy ‘The Cheerleaders’. It’s a fun and fast-moving exploiter with plenty of raunchy moments and gratuitous nudity from an attractive (if sometimes wooden) cast who were barely heard of again!

In spite of her strict parents, pretty virgin Jeannie (Stephanie Fondue) finally fulfills her dream of joining the Amorosa High school cheerleading squad. An over-dedicated bunch, the hormone-heavy girls hatch a plot to seduce the opposing football team the night before the big game, thus wearing them out to the point of not being able to perform on the field.

Thin plot aside, this borderline soft-core movie does feature an attractive and certainly uninhibited cast, the standout being the cute Enid Finnbogason. A nude model billed here as Stephanie Fondue, she gives a pretty good turn as Jeannie, and I always wished that she had appeared in more films. Along with ‘Malibu High’s Jill Lansing, I’ve long thought of these two starlets as the 70’s one-shot actresses who should have had longer careers. As fellow cheerleaders, Denise Dillaway, Jovita Bush and Brandy Woods (the last two surely pseudonyms!) certainly look the part, and each do their best, though only Dillaway (as ‘Head’ cheerleader!) had a longer career, as a make-up artist mostly on television. Exploitation regular Kimberly Hyde has one of the most memorable moments, a lesbian encounter where she’s seduced by the cheerleading coach on an exercise bike!

Also known as ‘The 18 Year Old Schoolgirls’, this was the second feature from writer/director Paul Glickler, who only made one more film, the 1980 army adventure ‘Running Scared’, starring Ken Wahl and Judge Reinhold. Co-writer Richard Lerner went on to make the better-known ‘Revenge of the Cheerleaders’ (’76), with genre favourite Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux’ Smith, and a young David Hasselhoff as a horny jock called Boner!

With an abundance of clumsy sexual encounters, eye-popping shower scenes and even an orgy, ‘The Cheerleaders’ remains a guilty pleasure that’s still very entertaining. It was never going to win any awards, but as it’s still being talked about nearly 45 years later, it’s proved to have outlived many other similar drive-in features from the overly busy 1970’s.

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