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Friday, February 3, 2012

Cheerleader Camp

I'm baaaack!

Yeah, so I was in the hospital one week, had my laptop out of commission for 2-3 weeks, but I think we're ready to roll again. This week, I'm watching Cheerleader Camp, a wonderfully daffy movie about a cheerleading camp. Who knew? Oh yeah, and I nearly forgot...blah blah SPOILER WARNING, blah blah blah.

Okay, so first of all, you should probably watch the trailer on the DVD before watching the film. They give you a nice little cheat-sheet of each characters' name, which is helpful. The stars include Mrs. Jigsaw herself, Betsy Russell; Leif Garrett as her boyfriend; and Lucinda Dickey, whose name I remember from those silly breakdancing films in the '80's.

It begins in a locker room, where the main character, Alison, is trying to find her locker and change into her cheerleading outfit. Out in the stadium, a bored-sounding announcer is taunting her by announcing how late she is. She hurries out, waving her pom-poms as cheerfully as is humanly possible.

She needn't have bothered to rush...the stands and field are both deserted. This school's in dire need for some school spirit! To make matters worse, she trips and falls in some mud. I'm guessing that this is not going to be a cherished memory for her, when she looks back on her teen years.

Alison's family showed up, but they wave their hands in disgust at her performance, and just walk out. Ouch! She tries to resume her cheer, but her pom-poms actually slash her skin open! She tries to ignore the wound, but cheering again only injures her further. Then, as Alison begins to panic, a wall of pom-poms surrounds her...

Phew! It was only a nightmare. She's in the back of her boyfriend Brent's van, on the way to CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERLEADING CAAAAAAAMP!!!!!! Ooh, I think I just scared myself for a second there! Also along for the ride are Cory, the cute team mascot; Timmy, the obnoxious fat comic relief character; and Bonnie, Pam and Terry, the other generic cheerleaders who will most likely be the first to die.

Along the way, they discuss how going to this camp will be a great way to get into state finals. Really? So is it a camp, or is it a competition? Why not just call the film Cheerleading Competition? "Camp" makes it sound more like a fun morale-booster kind of thing. Or is that a real thing? Anyone know?

Well, while I was putting probably 150% more thought into this movie than the people who wrote it did, they arrived. Yay! They drive past a group of cheerleaders doing what looks a lot like the dance from "Achy Breaky Heart". Weird. Timmy, being the brain trust of the group decides to aim his epic ass cheeks out the car window at all of the other cheerleaders they pass. It figures that the first bare butt they show is his. Oh, and he's supposedly "stuck" in the window, despite the fact that you can see that he isn't.

One of the people running the camp, Miss Tipton, strides over to the van to check them in. She does a roll call, and even gets Timmy loose by swatting his ass with her clipboard. I hope she plans to burn it after that. I don't want to imply that his ass is huge, but I'm pretty sure I saw Timmy do a cameo in James and the Giant Peach....and he wasn't James.

Alison misses hearing her own name being called, because she was busy watching Brent flirt with the girls on another squad. Oh, and Cory gets all sad because her name wasn't called. Geez, doesn't she have some boogaloo to electrify or something? Anyway, Alison gets a brief scare when a hick gets behind her, and introduces himself. He calls himself Pop, but he looks like the guy who'll be filling the "Crazy Ralph" role in this one. (Ralph, for those of you who apparently don't read my other articles, is a character in the first couple of Friday the 13th films.)

Then we see a cook, some grungy-looking hobo with a loud cough. Yeesh. I'm glad I didn't eat during this one. Then the Jane Doe characters are seen unpacking their crap and saying bitchy comments about Alison.

We get treated to several more scenes of these idiots unpacking, then Timmy decides to watch some of the women sunbathe, while he tries to hide in the grass. Yeah, I'm sure a guy the size of John Candy's left ass-cheek won't have any trouble hiding.

But wait, it gets even dumber. As some of the women go topless, Timmy sneezes, drawing their attention. He stands up, revealing that he's in drag, in a pitiful attempt to "blend in" with the hot female group. He tries to pass himself off as a birdwatcher, but they tear off his "disguise". and surround him. In a frantic bid to escape, Timmy does a belly-flop into the lake, and swims away.

Then we catch up with another peeper, the sheriff. He's so busy staring at the best breasts early 1980's money can buy, he fails to see Pop sneak up on him. They mumble some vague insults back and forth, until Pop inexplicably vanishes.

Moving from one random scene to the next, Miss Tipton is berating a group of cheerleaders as they rehearse. The screen turns red, then Alison is seen back in her group's cabin, having another nightmare.

She dreams about stuff that happened 2 minutes ago, then decides to leave the cabin. She enters the cabin next to hers, and finds a blond cheerleader dead in a bed. Fred. The 2 hobo-guys take care of the body, while Miss Tipton tries to calm down the rest of the cheerleaders.

After she delivers a less-than-inspirational speech, the Jane Does all get together to discuss the mysterious death. None of them buy Tipton's explanation that it was a suicide, but none of them seem smart enough to take the idea any further than that.

Then we wind up with Timmy and Brent. Timmy has somehow managed to get a video of his earlier peepshow, so they start watching. Then Alison gets a pep talk from Cory, who leaves. Alison washes her face in the sink, then hallucinates that her face is covered in blood.

At a pep rally-type performance, we get treated to that rap song from the trailer again. Yay. Pop gets so excited by the show that he wets himself with a garden hose. As the rap goes on and on(and on and on and...), Pop nearly drowns himself with the damned hose. Boy, these '80's movies sure are hilarious. What's next, a pie fight?

Nope, something worse...a mascot party. When Cory refuses to keep the alligator head on while trying to eat, Miss Tipton yells at her. Just to recap: there has been only 1 murder so far, and it was offscreen. But we have had 2 scenes of Timmy partially nude, and now a scene with people dressed as animals trying to drink soda and eat potato chips through their gigantic heads. Is this movie for real?

Brent tries flirting with Alison, who wanders away toward the mess hall. Inside, she finds the cook chopping up meat in a threatening manner, so she enters the walk-in freezer to get something cold to drink. There, Alison finds the corpse from a few scenes ago, and she scurries away.

She uses the pay phone at the camp to call for help, and the sheriff arrives. He demands answers from the staff, but Miss Tipton tries to brand Alison as a troublemaker. Tipton uses her feminine wiles on the sheriff to keep the murder quiet.

Alas, then we get more Timmy. He gets to see Tipton and the sheriff roleplay a kinky cheerleader/quarterback scenario, which is even more terrible than it sounds.

Alison wanders into another empty cabin as the others practice their cheers. She spies on one of the hobos, and nearly gets caught. Seriously, someone had better die soon, and it better not be me, from sheer boredom.

Brent has his hands on some chick's ass, and is lifting her over his head. That's it, that's an actual scene in this movie. Nothing else happens. Seriously. Alison has another chat with Cory, which also goes nowhere.

Okay, let's start skipping ahead here. At another group meeting, Miss Tiptomn gets humiliated when her tryst with the sheriff is shown on a projection screen. Everyone walks out laughing, then Brent kisses Alison, then they have a spat. Blah, blah, blah.

The screen goes red yet again, and Alison enters a cabin that she hears shouting coming from. Inside, Brent is having sex with another girl, while the camp staff stand around the cot, doing a cheer. Then the mascots somehow get involved. Geez, I wish I was a drinker...this is one movie that deserves to be forgotten in a drunken blackout.

The next day, Alison falls during a rehearsal, and lashes out at the girl Brent was screwing in the nightmare. That somehow leads into a scene with Timmy swimming with 2 of the girls, while Brent makes out with his new main squeeze.

Brent abruptly leaves, and the brunette tries to follow him into the woods. She gets lost, and an unseen assailant shoves some pruning shears through the back of her head. Yay, something actually happened!

As Brent is briefly seen running through the woods, the screen goes red yet again. Alison is having another dream sequence. In this one, she finds Brent and Pam, the girl who was just killed, making love e against a tree, and so she decides to slice the girl up with her pom-poms.

Alison screams, and is woken up by Cory. When Alison tries to take a sedative to sleep, Cory stops her. Then we get more bullshit mascot dancing footage. It's supposed to be some stupid mascot dancing contest, I guess. The audience votes for Cory to win, but Miss Tipton pisses her off by handing the award to another mascot instead, just out of spite.

As the cheerleading teams get up to dance for the judges, Alison asks Brent if he's been sleeping with Pam. The team decides to perform without Pam, but Timmy nearly kills Pop when he stumbles into him during the routine. Timmy seems to think it's hysterical, but Pop is pretty angry at him.

Miss Tipton's pissed too, even after they explain that Pam is missing. As the next squad prepares to do their performance, one of the other Jane Does(who looks sort of like one of the girls Prince used to sleep with 20 years ago) tearfully leaves the room, too upset about Pam's vanishing to continue.

As Miss Tipton makes all of the various teams do a dorky little parade around the stage, she gets visibly annoyed by the popularity of Alison's team. Despite this, the award for the most popular(or whatever...I tuned out about 20 minutes ago) cheerleader goes to the country gal. I forgot her name, so let's call her Ellie May.

Anyway, Ellie May beams with pride as the tiara is placed on her head, and this somehow leads into another fight between Alison and Brent. He leaves to see if he can find the other girls, and Alison follows him after having a quick flashback to one of her 900 dreams.

Then there's a "let's see where each of our isolated characters is" montage: Brent is lost in the woods, calling out random names; the girl who was upset earlier(whose name,I think, is either Lisa or Kim) is stumbling around in the dark; Pop is drunkenly lurching around in one of the cabins; and Cory is also out looking for Lisa/Kim/Whoever she is.

Anyway, Whatsherface finds Pam's body, just as the killer shows up to try and run her over in a vehicle. Alison and Brent find each other in the woods, and then Pop and Cory also arrive. What the Hell? Weren't we about to see that other girl get run over? Why are we bothering with these idiots?

Then we get randomly transported back to the dance competition. Timmy meets a cute girl from another squad, and tries to fumble his way through a pick-up line. In what may be the film's only truly funny moment, he gives up, says, "Ah, what the fuck!", then grabs the girl and kisses her. Because it's a movie, she's into it. This one scene actually made me crack a smile.

Okay. Back to the dreary rest of the film.

Brent gathers the rest of the team together, and they panic when they realize that the others have vanished. As they try to come up with a plan, Miss Tipton staggers away into the forest, drunk as a skunk. She gets killed seconds later, from behind.

The sheriff gets a call on his radio, then our main group discovers one of the dead cheerleaders in the woods. At the same time, Alison sees Miss Tipton staggering toward her, and mistakenly thinks that she's drunk. Then she sees the blood on the woman's back, and screams.

Cory finds her, and they leave the body behind. At the same time, Brent and the others reach the dance, where they announce that a killer is on the loose. As expected, the other cheerleaders all go nuts, and leave in a frenzy.

With only Brent, Timmy, Pop, and the rest of the squad left, Brent stumbles across Miss Tipton's body. He finds Alison and Cory together, and brings them back to the main group, only to find that the van has been sabotaged.

The group stick together, and start hiking through the woods. They get frightened when Pop shows up with a shotgun, then Timmy is abandoned by Ellie May, because he's too busy fooling around with his camera to try to survive the night.

Brent finds the camera, but there's no sign of Timmy. They bring the camera back to their cabin, where they watch the last video that was recorded...a tape of Timmy being murdered, as it turns out. He was disemboweled in front of the camera, and it's probably the bloodiest death so far.

Brent sets a trap for the killer, but ends up killing the sheriff instead. Oops. He runs off into the woods, where he has a standoff with Pop, who ends up being killed by Cory. Does any of this make any damned sense? I know I was complaining about it being too slow before, but this isn't exactly an improvement.

Cory breaks down and tells Brent that she only shot Pop because she thought he was trying to kill Brent. Then Pop staggers to his feet, so she shoots him a second time. Maybe they decided to make a spoof of slasher films, and gave up on the horror angle?

Alone with a corpse, Alison starts to lose her grip on reality again. Brent arrives to calm her down, then he, Ellie May, Alison and Cory celebrate being alive. When they get some alone time, Brent tries to put the moves on Alison.

Cory interrupts, and announces that another member of the group is now missing. As soon as Brent leaves to go searching, Cory convinces Alison that they have to escape together. She gives Alison a gun, then scares her into thinking that Brent is the killer. Not thinking clearly, Alison shoots Brent.

The authorities arrive, and Cory makes it look like Alison went crazy when she shot Brent. Alison is loaded into an ambulance, where she suddenly realizes that Cory was the killer. As she figures it out, Cory is seen is a cheerleading uniform, acting all gonzo. THE END.

Man, this was horrible. The plot was terrible, the acting was poor, the kills were almost non-existent...this is like a case study in how not to make a slasher film. This gets 1 killer tree out of 5, just for wasting so much of my time.

And what did this crapfest teach me?

-Jigsaw's wife was one hot mama!

-Obese perverts get all the girls.

-You can make a movie about anything, even if it makes no sense.

Next up is a movie called Whisper, about a creepy little kid. Hopefully, it'll be a little bit more coherent than this last movie was. See you then!