Director: Jack Hill
Screenplay: Jack Hill, David Kidd
Starring: Jo Johnston, Cheryl Smith, Colleen Camp, Rainbeaux Smith, Rosanne Katon, Ron Hajek, Ric Carrot
Producer: John Prizer
Running Time: 91 min
BBFC Certificate: 18
Comedy drama The Swinging Cheerleaders, was originally filmed in 1974 by Jack Hill, following on from his 1973 accomplishment The Cheerleaders and tells a tale of the fight against inequality and corruption. The Swinging Cheerleaders was filmed in Los Angeles in just twelve days; the whole thing from script to cinema was completed within five months. Swinging Cheerleaders is also known in the USA as H.O.T.S. II and Locker Room Girls, but I prefer the German name “Footballmatch und Süsse Girls” or even better in Italian “Le ragazze pon pon”.
Kate (Jo Johnston) goes under-cover in Mesa University college cheerleader squad to write a story exposing the demeaning nature of cheerleading. Whilst undercover she becomes embroiled in the lives of the other girls, Lisa (Rosanne Katon) is tangled romantically with her teacher, Professor Thorpe (Jason Sommers). While Mary Ann (Colleen Camp) has boyfriend troubles with Buck (Ron Hajek) and Andrea (Rainbeaux Smith) ponders being a virgin.
During her investigations Kate uncovers a plan to fix the football games by the college dean Mr. Putnam (George D. Wallace), coach Turner (Jack Denton) and Lisa’s boyfriend Professor Thorpe. Eventually Professor Thorpe tries to do the right thing, rounding on Putnam and Turner as they try to force their star quarterback to throw the big football game. The plan to persuade him goes wrong as he won’t go along with their evil plan. The bad guys won’t be stopped though and go to plan B, which involves getting the local bent cops to plant a drugs stash on the quarterback. One thing leads to another culminating in the climax of the film which is a slap-stick punch up between the bad guys and the whole football team.
It’s a comedy but needs a few more laughs, an exploitation film without much exploitation and could do with a spot more character empathy. The wacky slap-stick escapade towards the end gives it the comedy element injection. I’m left feeling that I missed the point of this flick, but probably not. Having said that I did enjoy watching it and became quite embroiled in the plot, wanting to know how it will all end, will good get to defeat evil and will we get to see more of the cheerleaders. This would have been livened up by a bit more swinging from the cheerleaders and maybe a few zombies as well.
On the DVD you’ll also uncover a steaming great pile of extras to add to your film experience.
- Brand new 2K restoration from original film materials
- High Definition (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD Presentations
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Audio commentary by writer-director Jack Hill, recorded exclusively for this release
- Brand new interview with Jack Hill
- Archive interview with cinematographer Alfred Taylor
- Archive interview with Hill and Johnny Legend
- Q&A with Hill, and actors Colleen Camp and Rosanne Katon recorded at the New Beverly Cinema in 2012
- TV spots
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on all the film by Cullen Gallagher
Arrow video poked us in the eye with this latest release on the 4th July, the Blu-Ray I reviewed was of the usual high standard visuals and sound, oozing with special features.