Schlock & Gore: Satan’s Cheerleaders (1977)

BRIC-A BRAC-A
FIRECRACKER
SIS BOOM BAH!
SATANAS! BANANAS!
RAH! RAH! RAH!
GOOOOOO CULTS!

Have you ever loved something so much that you became its cheerleader? I did it when Conker’s Bad Fur Day came out for Nintendo 64, and I’m doing it right now for Satan’s Cheerleaders.

 

Coming to us from Greydon Clark, director of such films as Tom (That was my slave name!), and Black Shampoo, is his first non-blaxploitation movie.

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He also holds the patent for the cat-on-a-ship genre.

Satan’s Cheerleaders follows the Huskies football cheer team, which consists of only 4 girls for some reason. After some teacher-sanctioned pranks and hanky-panky at the beach, we are blessed with a scene where a satanist we quickly learn is the school janitor drinks of the blood of darkness.

I know that’s a lot to digest already, and I’ve left out a lot, so let’s break it down.

The girls. The girls basically only talk about sex, making this movie part sex-comedy. The girls are: Debbie, the liberated one; Sharon, the ample-breasted one; Patti, the mysterious one; and Chris, the other one.

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Push ’em back, push ’em back, waaay back!

Teacher-sanctioned hanky-panky. Apparently the 70’s were filled with wanton hanky-panky. It seems that the cheerleading coach almost encourages the girls’ sexploits. In fact several times early on in the movie I got the impression that she wanted to jump the quarterback’s bones herself!

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“Steevieee!”

Even the football coach only seems mildly dismayed when his players run off into the bushes, girl in hand. He would prefer they focus on the game! This is America after all! We believe in Jesus and football!

So then we get our first glimpse of satanic activity. Well that janitor is disrespected by quarterback Stevie and the cheerleaders so he decides (after spying on the girls one more time in the locker room) to exact his revenge. He’ll take the girls to Satan! Yeah, that’s it! Then he can do as he pleases with their bodies!

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Fortunately enough, the car ferrying the cheerleaders gets run off the road by the asshole rival team and they have to hitchhike. Who comes by to rescue them but the stuttering janitor. A kidnapping, some groping, and a failed ritual later, the girls flee to the nearest town to use the sheriff’s phone.

They arrive at the sheriff’s house to find a mailbox that reads B.L. Bubb–

IMG_4635
O-M-F-G, YOU AINT GOT NO SUBTLETY

As it so happens, the sheriff is the leader of the satanic cult and wants to perform the black mass, sacrificing the girls. The whole town is a cult. There are bloodthirsty dobermans named Diablo and Lucifer, And one of the cheerleaders turns out to be a witch. Wait what?

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Yeah, you read that right. Patti discovers she has witch powers. Because why not? This movie is pure blissful camp. Even the sadly written double-entendres and poorly-delivered innuendos reek of charm.

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It also kind of reeks of being a Ghost B-side. No? Just me?

The curious thing is that amidst all of this is a sense of female empowerment. The cheerleaders never come off as weak or helpless, and they are in control of their own sexualities, rather than letting men define it for them. Yes, at times they are reduced to nudity and cliché, but it comes across that writer/director Greydon Clark loves and reveres women. At least in this outing. I can’t speak for his movie Joysticks, however.

Satan’s Cheerleaders is inmensely silly and fun. From the lousy porny funk soundtrack to the flawed logic throughout. The only thing missing for me was any representation of demonic manifestation. A demon in the climax. It would have been rewarding to see the girls escape from an actual ceremony rather than just a holding shack. Nevertheless, good times to be had with this one!

8/10

Stay slime, and be rad at all times!
-Rat

P.S. Yes I will be tracking down The Uninvited. That shit looks crazy and is a perfect Schlock & Gore selection.


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