The Swinging Cheerleaders
directed by Jack Hill
starring Jo Johnston, Cheryl Smith, Colleen Camp
Its 1974, the Hayes Code is dead and buried, and you could see all the boobies you wanted on the silver screen. The Swing Cheerleaders begins that way, but soon takes a turn into that rarest of trash cinema creatures: it’s both sexy AND boasts an interesting plot. Kate (Jo Johnston) plugs away at her thesis; it’s called “Swinging Cheerleaders” and it explorers the sexuality of the modern teen college life. She auditions for the cheerleading squad, wins a position and befriends a mix of women with various sexual problem and hang-ups. Lisa (Rosanne Katon) sleeps with Professor Thorpe (Jason Sommers) until his wife tries to cut her, Mary Ann (Colleen Camp) chases womanizing Buck (Ron Hajek), and when Andrea (Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith) won’t do it with her jock boyfriend her friend talk her into doing it with the first guy she sees. We soon enter gang rape land and a pair of corrupt campus cops.
But the real story she uncovers is a football betting fix. The local team looks like it could go undefeated but the coach, the Professor and a crooked alumnus cook a game hoping to make money on side bets. It’s a surprisingly frank look at two important aspects of campus life. Best of all the fight scenes where Buck is kidnapped and drugged are actually exciting. You do worse while watching a movie marketed for its topless scenes. Director Jack Hill shoots cheap and quick; the story in the commentary track tells how Corman fired him twice. Another charm of this film is its delightfully dated sets. Avocado green cook wear, black dial telephones, and a real vinyl record player with a stack of albums sitting on the spindle add music to the seduction scenes. Then there are some features with intriguing interviews and background on the flick. You just can’t stop finding big charm in this small movie re-issue.