Zeegrade Reviews

Zeegrade Reviews
Movies for scumbags.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Satan's Cheerleaders (1977)


     Why would God's adversary need cheerleaders?  While you ponder that thimble deep query let me address this misleading title.  Yes, there are cheerleaders — a whopping four of them in fact.  No, they are not aligned with nor affiliated in any way to the theological enemy of all humanity.  If you were expecting a campy romp used as an excuse to get young, pretty actresses to disrobe, you'll be left limper than Rock Hudson was in Pretty Maids All in a Row.  After sitting down and watching it, I still have no clue what director Greydon Clark — responsible for one of MST3K's most famous episodes, Angels' Brigade —  was trying to accomplish as there seems to be two completely different types of movies presented here that eventually collide together like two shopping carts in Wal-Mart's chip aisle.

     Benedict High School must be suffering severe budget cuts.  Why do I infer this?  Because their varsity cheerleading squad has only four members that appear to be well into their late twenties.  Our gang of gaiety girls is lead by perky blonde Patti (who comprises the bulk of the nudity quotient) along with tall and sexy Sharon, (whose ample rack we never get to see) quiet, pigtailed brunette Chris and the comically promiscuous Debbie.  Our heroines are constantly shadowed by their either criminally naive or possibly slightly retarded coach, Ms. Johnson played by Greydon Clark's wife Jacqueline Cole.  Our heroines gather at the beach for practice:

 "Perhaps you should try it without your tops."

     What follows is a mind-numbingly monotonous beach grab-ass montage where the cheerleaders and a couple of  the "teenage football players" engage in a battle of who can cram the most sexual innuendo into every sentence they speak.  The tacky disco music only makes it worse:

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If I had a time machine, the first thing I would do — after throwing a rock at a dinosaur — would be to travel back to late 70's California and inundate sexy-as-hell Sharon with obscene propositions until she had sex with me.  Good lord woman!  Are you on Tinder?  Oh wait ... where was I again?  Yeah, the beach.  The shenanigans continue as the football coach laments over Steve, his quarterback, getting enough fluids before burying his beach balls in Debbie's low tide.  Patti, sitting alone, has a foreboding sense that "something is going to happen".  Care to extrapolate on that a little?  Just when I think this scene is finally going to end, a group from Baker High School arrive:

"Well, OUR school is more ethnically diverse than yours!"

The blonde Baker student is played by Robin Greer, who was a friend to Nicole Brown Simpson before she was murdered by her husband assassinated by a squad of ninjas.  They settle the land dispute the same way Caucasians have been in affluent neighborhoods nationwide.  By chicken fighting. I'll spare you the details of this epic battle and just tell you that Benedict High wins thanks to curvy Sharon.  I wouldn't skimp on a 4-hour nap.  She gets the jacuzzi suite for the whole night!  I ain't fuckin' around!  Sorry, gotta focus.  Baker High swears to toilet paper their campus in retaliation for this humiliating loss.
     It's finally time to introduce some satanists!  A dark ceremony is taking place and ... look!  It's Yvonne De Carlo from The Munsters!  Yvonne is Emmy, a satanic high priestess, who gives some stuttering jackoff the "blood of darkness" to drink in exchange for Satan's help in punishing those that mock him — mainly, his stutter.  The man who is seeking revenge via the living incarnation of all that is evil is Billy, a rotund, mustachioed janitor at Benedict High.  That seems kinda petty to ask Satan to take time out of his busy day of damning souls to the pits of Hades for eternity just to smack around a couple of snotty teenagers that think you're a fucking creep.  Anyway, he downs the concoction and has this pendant draped around his neck:

Uh, you're doing it wrong.

What fucking scab satanists are these guys?  Anyone who's dabbled in the black arts — it was my major in community college — knows that satanic pentagrams always should be pointing downward!  The goat head anyone?  
     So much for Ol' Scratch helpin' a brotha out because no sooner than after quaffing the demonic drink does Billy get stuck cleaning the aftermath of Baker High's TP-ing.  He pauses to watch the cheerleaders practice while three of the football players — in street clothing — practice.  You have the black guy at center and Steve at running back?  Does Greydon think he's directing science fiction now?  The fucking coach just called him his quarterback a few minutes ago.  Get your football positions straight Clark!  DO NOT FUCK WITH ME ON THIS!  Steve flops in front of the cheerleaders inciting another letters-to-Penthouse scenario where all the girls suddenly believe his pecker has Godlike powers.  Sharon is looking particularly yummy wearing a red jersey:

Lookin' for 10?  I can only offer five 6 1/2 I mean, 8!

Billy breaks up the faux orgy and threatens to tell the coach.  Steve snaps back that the coach won't keep his job as long as he doesn't play.  No play, no game, no cheerleaders.  You get the point.  Billy chides them for their derision and waddles off as the girls giggle at his hasty retreat.  In all honesty, they were being assholes to the poor shlub.  I'm actually gonna side with the satanist at this particular moment.  Ms. Johnson arrives in time to witness Baker High take a victory ride onto the football field in a Cadillac that looks like it was taken from Bishop Don "Magic" Juan.  A fight ensues.  Water balloons are employed liberally.  Wet t-shirts?  None.  The football coach breaks it up and suspends Steve.  Ms. Johnson promises to talk to the coach and tells her girls to get ready for the game.  
     Shower time!  How many schmucks waited in the theater with their pants around their ankles for this moment?  Ms. Johnson and the girls enter the locker room where Billy is suspiciously loitering in front of.  Take titillating and remove the tit.  A couple of bare bottoms are offered save for Patti:

  You, my dear, have "star" potential!
   
Just outside, Billy is rubbing his pentagram necklace — which he brazenly displays — in a very inappropriate way while repeating in Latin, "Audi preces mea, Satana.  Blessed be."  He makes his way to an auxiliary closet and opens a vent that allows him peer into the girls' shower.  Did I say peer?  I mean gawk through the most obvious peephole in pervert history!

"Subtlety is for Christians!"

How the ladies don't immediately see his goofy mug grinning back at them is beyond me.  The disappointing shower scene ends with nary a peek at Sharon's beatific glory.  This is not the proper format to withhold such things, my dear!  Sophomoric hijinks aside, the girls are finally dressed for the game.  Each uniform has their personal name printed across their breasts.  Billy uses this opportunity to sneak back into the locker room and "enchant" Patti's tube top with his pentagram like Wizzo the Wizard did on Bozo's Circus.  He's caught in the act by Steve and his friends who insist on calling him a "pre-vert".  Billy, backed into a corner, rubs his pentagram in shame.  
     Ms. Johnson drives the cheerleaders in her station wagon unbeknownst that Billy is following close behind — yes, rubbing his fucking pentagram.  Somehow he creates a vague, near collision between the wagon and those assholes from Baker High in the green Caddy.  With their vehicle stalled off the road the girls attempt to hitchhike a ride to the game.  Billy pulls up in his hatchback pickup and offers a lift.  Not able to contain himself, he lifts Patti onto the back by the ass and gloats that they are "going to get it" and that Patti will be the first.  Since Clark has decided to make his female leads imbeciles, they willingly accept to be transported by this creep who expressed loud and clear his beastly intentions for the girls.  Billy pulls onto a dirt road and informs the dumbest of them all — Ms. Johnson — that he's the boss.  He grabs her boob in celebration.  I stare at the running time.  There's still an hour left to this son of a bitch?  The truck suddenly loses the ability to brake and when Billy finally gets it to stop the clueless girls and Ms. Johnson pile out.  While they mock a clearly deranged kidnapper, Patti is pulled toward a statue that she immediately starts to disrobe in front of:

The demonic panty dropper in its natural habitat.

She lies naked on an altar and begins to experience a supernatural orgasm when Billy assumes that this is his opportunity to "get even" with her.  The wind kicks up and a cheesy red flash effect pushes the slovenly satanist away from her.  Satanic cock block!  Billy whines that she was promised to him.  You mean he reneged on your deal?  It's as if this Satan character is the father of lies!  Somebody should look in to that.  Not wanting to be denied some young trim, Billy goes back in for another shot but is rejected just the same.  Satan lets him know he ain't sharing and chokes him Vader style:

At least he died with dignity.
  
Ms. Johnson and the girls — despite witnessing everything that happened a few feet away —  ask Patti why is she naked and if Billy did anything to her.  His body lies on the ground like a beached whale.  They all pile into the truck and travel down the main street when Ms. Johnson decides to ask a bum (John Carradine, slumming for a check — again.) collecting cans along the side of the road if he can direct them to the Sheriff's office.  Money exchanges hands and the ladies are off to the Sheriff, but not before some of the cheerleaders make some ageist remarks to the ancient actor.
     They arrive in the small town of Nether where satanism is publicly flaunted:

Yes, I fuckin' get it Clark!

Sheriff Bubb (long time actor John Ireland) is waiting outside his home/office when the ladies arrive.  They step into his house when Bubb seems to take an interest in Patti.  Later, Emmy (De Carlo) the Sheriff's wife greets the women and also takes an unnatural shining to Patti.  Emmy says something to her in Latin and Patti, clearly able to understand, replies that she feels fine.  Nobody else bats an eye at this bizarre exchange.  
     Bubb finds Billy unconscious on the altar that Patti was laying on in the nude.  I guess he woke up, climbed onto it and passed out again.  Bubb wakes him up and the groggy janitor immediately attacks the Sheriff for taking away his satanic poon that was promised him.  Bubb is putting up with none of his bullshit:

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After that demonic drubbing, Bubb hoists his fatass over his shoulders and chucks him down a steep hill yelling "Geronimo" when his corpse finally comes to a stop.  By the way, that "Say Geronimo" song playing on the radio lately — fucking awful.  
     Finally, someone displays a modicum of sense and realizes that something is amiss with the Sheriff.  Chris decides to investigate by herself.  Meanwhile, Bubb tells his wife that the Prince of Darkness himself told him at the altar that there will be a sacrifice during the black mass.  Chris creeps up behind them (Sneak Increases to 41) and hears the rest of their plan.  Patti, the "pure" one will be the official sacrifice and the rest of them will be murdered as well which the Sheriff will pin on the now deceased Billy.  Chris accidentally alerts the dogs, Lucifer and Diablo (groan) but our euphoric devil worshipers attribute the barking to canine excitement that usually manifests when sacrifice is on the menu.  Seriously?  This should have been called Special Olympics: The Movie.  Chris returns to the house and tells everyone that they have to leave now.  Ms. Johnson, ever the dullard, doesn't believe her, blowing their only chance of escape before Bubb and Emmy return.  The Sheriff won't let anyone leave until his investigation is over.  He tells them that his phone is also out of service.  
     Patti confronts the pair while the others escape.  Chris, Sharon and Debbie scamper off the roof and into the woods.  Ms. Johnson (ugh!) gets caught by Bubb hanging over the ledge because she was too frightened to drop three feet to the ground.  The trio hatch a plan:

"It's simple, we kill the satanists."

At least they understand that they have to get to a phone.  Problem is, they have no fucking clue who to call.  They also decide to split up.  Just slam that stupidity accelerator to the floor Clark.  Hopefully the cliff is nearby.  How much time is left?  THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES!!!  Fuuuuuuuuuuuck!  Each cheerleader goes their separate way while Ms. Johnson gets physically abused and then raped by Bubb.  Nice, huh?  Little surprise that all the "help" the girls encounter are anything but.  Debbie finds the bum again and he goes into the "they all think I'm crazy" trope.  It's not long before they realize that the whole town are members of the upward point pentagram sect of satanism local #666.  This was done so much better a few years earlier in Race with the Devil, starring Peter Fonda and Warren Oates.  I highly recommend seeing that movie instead.
     The cheerleaders and Ms. Johnson are soon rounded up and locked in a shoddy building until the black mass begins.  Emmy wants Bubb to kill Patti now because she has a power that frightens her.  He has enough to deal with including an ass kissing monk (Charlie Chaplin's son Sydney Chaplin) who does the sign of the cross an awful lot for a satanist.  The girls escape as the locking bolt was easily within arm's reach.  The cumulative IQ of this town would barely break triple digits.  The satanists find the lockup empty and Bubb chastises the dogs like they're fucking children.  They fan out in pursuit of them.
     Bathed in red lighting, Emmy consults her "Satanism for Dummies" manual.  She turns to a page:

Satan likes them goth, just not too goth.

Just a picture?  No writing?  No instructions whatsoever?  Whatever.  Fuckit.  Emmy sicks the dogs on them all and returns to her altar to pray. Patti guides her friends back to the sacrificial altar where Billy tried to rape her and she engages in a battle of prayers between Emmy and herself to see who Satan favors.  He chooses the younger and more attractive woman like any sane man would and Patti uses this and has Emmy mauled to death by Lucifer and Diablo.  The victory is short lived as Bubb and his party recapture them.
     The black mass begins and the ladies are escorted in white robes to the altar.  Before the sacrifice begins each girl must be presented to Satan to verify their purity.  This fucking absurd scenario has Bubb asking "Is this the one?" over and over to an audible growl offscreen.  The girls act more offended that they are assumed to be virgins rather than in terror over their impending death.  Patti cuts to the chase and monologues to everyone present that Bubb broke his covenant with Satan when he raped the only virgin left ... Ms. Johnson!  Bubb tries to quickly Scooby-Doo his way out of it and say that this was all fake to begin with, showing them a tape recording of demonic growls.  It's too late as Patti has him punished by having zombie Billy stab him in the dick with a piece of wood.

Yippee ki yay, motherfucker!

The satanists kneel and submit to their new high priestess.  
     The girls are cheering during an evening football game when Steve — definitely a running back — gets injured.  With the team losing 20-0 he doesn't think he can physically return to the game.  Patti, wearing the fucking pentagram, commands him to return to the game and he jumps up and returns to the field yelling like a suicide bomber.  This exchange happens:

Coach: "Well I be damned!"
Patti: "Probably."

The go on to score a fuckload of touchdowns.  Ms. Johnson celebrates the notion that she doesn't believe they will lose a football game this year.  Yeah, who gives a fuck about eternal damnation if your high school football team goes undefeated, right?
     This was a rough one.  I've had this fucker for years before I sat down and watched the entire thing for this review.  The most I ever made it to was around thirty minutes which is coincidentally when phase two kicks in.  Everything from the moment they hit the road on is a complete shift in theme (not that there was much anyway) from the dopey comedic introduction.   The satanist portion is played out straight as a yardstick without any acknowledgement of what type of movie this is.  For fuck's sake you don't title it Satan's Cheerleaders and pretend that your audience is seeking anything higher than a cheap excuse to see some naked girls.  I know this, you know this and sure as fuck, Greydon Clark knows this!  Speaking of which, why did he make his wife's character such an imbecile?  Is there a parallel to intelligence and sexually proclivity?  If there is, wouldn't it likely tilt the opposite way? 
     One last thing.  A message to Sherry Marks who played the sensuous seductress Sharon.  If suddenly you recall one handsome cat hitting on you in a bar, take him up on his offer — you'll make him one happy time traveler! 


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