Satan’s Cheerleaders (1977)

Rating: D

Dir: Greydon Clark
Star: Kerry Sherman, Jacqueline Cole, John Ireland, Yvonne de Carlo

Ah, the heady combination of dreadful 70’s acting with situations that would have been dumped from Porky’s 2 – at least, that’s how this starts… An uberperky cheer-squad engage in the sort of high-school hi-jinks with boys and teachers which would make Columbine seem like justifiable homicide. Then, on the way to a game, they are waylaid by the Satanic janitor, who paws them a bit before one of them (Sherman) causes the guy to drop dead. [We presume she’s a reincarnation of a witch, since her lookalike painting turns up later] They stagger into town and find the local sheriff (Ireland) and his wife (de Carlo), but miss the hint in his name: B.L. Bubb. Yep: Satanists, too. In fact, the whole town are – albeit curiously inept ones, including a former monk (played by Charlie Chaplin’s son, Sydney!) who can’t seem to shake the habit of crossing himself. Can they escape?

This final third is at least amusing, compared to the rest which is just painfully dull. Indeed, the final scene – the only one that really justifies the title – is a positive cornucopia of wild, unexplored possibilities. Cole, playing the teacher who wants desperately to be “hip”, is slightly amusing; John Carradine has a small role as a vagrant. But I should stress, these in no way atone to any significant degree for the abomination which is the opening hour. Wince at the Chicken-Fight for the Beach? Groan at the gratuitous use of water balloons! Stare in shock at the hideous fashions. Or, more likely, fall asleep at the tedium of it all. You have been warned…