Cheerleader Camp (1988)

   
Produced & Directed by: John Quinn

Written by: David Lee Fein & R.L. O'Keefe

Starring:

Betsy Russell .... Alison Wentworth
Leif Garrett .... Brent Hoover
Lucinda Dickey .... Cory Foster
Lorie Griffin .... Bonnie Reed
George 'Buck' Flower .... Pop
Travis McKenna .... Timmy Moser
Teri Weigel .... Pamela Bently
Rebecca Ferratti .... Theresa Salazar
Vickie Benson .... Miss Dee Dee Tipton
Jeff Prettyman .... Sheriff Poucher

Release Date: Limited Theatrical: June 1, 1988

 

 

Rating:

 

Allison Wentworth (Betsy Russell) and her boyfriend Brent Hoover (Leif Garrett) are off to camp called Camp Hurrah for a cheerleading session with other cheerleaders hoping that they will all go to the finals.
Allison hopes to make it as a top cheerleader but one of the cheerleaders named Pamela Bentley (Teri Weigal) gives her a hard time as she wants to win.
Allison is also having deadly nightmares and doesn't trust Brent even more.
To top it all off, Brent seems to be interested in other girls and his partner Timmy Moser (Travis McKenna) wants to find a hot date with them as well as videotaping them too.
Allison witnesses a suicide of a cheerleader named Suzy (Krista Pflanzer) that Brent introduced himself to when they first arrived and then afterwards, each cheerleader that Brent hits on, dies a horrible death and Allison is often encountering the dead bodies. Even Pamela is slaughtered as they were enemies from the start plus Brent was making out with her before her death.
Allison thinks that she may have a split personality to kill but there are other suspects there too as certain people at the camp behave very strangely.

 

There's an impressive beginning when we have Allison getting ready for a cheerleading session in which was well shot on her out in the field as well as some terrifying incidents happening to her with her pom poms looking deadly only to discover that she was having a nightmare. Then the story falls flat with alot of bad dialogues trying so hard to be funny but misses by a longshot.
We also spot the team arriving at the camp in which things looked pretty sloppy as well as the head coach Miss Dee Dee Tipton doing a role call in which this seemed incredibly lame to watch as well. It looked too slapstick and badly written too.
There's also a lame camera shot and scene with the people as mascots dressed in their costumes having a hard time eating their lunch which was supposed to make you laugh but this looked incredibly silly and in a bad way too.
Also we have some of the women suntanning and of course offering some skin which seems to be a tradition in a slasher flick that they will become the next victims as well as the burly goofball Timmy Moser disguised as a woman trying to spy on them which seemed to look familiar in those other teen comedies of the 80's while trying to check out some lustful babes. Yet the comedy really falls flat here like in the rest of the scene's that we spot here.
We also spot a situation with Allison going to a cabin as this was supposed to make you think that something terrifying has happened to one of the campers and when we spot this deadly situation it looked very stale and amateurish. Not shocking or frightening at all.
We even spot a hallucination sequence with Allison looking at herself in the mirror as her face is bloodied and peeling off in which I must say this does look genuinely twisted for sure.
There are impressive camera shots with both Brent Hoover and Timmy doing a rap song for their tryouts and the cheerleaders trying to do their performance which is pretty memorable to watch for anyone who has seen this flick.
There's also another situation with Allison going to the kitchen of the cafeteria as we spot an eccentric mean looking butcher cutting meat with a meatcleaver as this gives you a twisted and gross feeling and then Allison spots a corpse in a freezer which almost gives you an impression of canniballism at the camp. Certainly draws an unsolved mystery too and a nice look at a possible suspect. It had that low budget horror feel.
Then it gets lame again when we have the Sheriff Poucher talking to Dee Dee about the deaths as well as them getting into a lustful mode as we spot her in a cheerleader outfit acting wild and him jumping her with Timmy spying on them and shooting this which looked incredibly dumb to watch and uninspired as it borrows heavily from other corny films that were certainly alot funnier than spotting what we see here. Just a pointless moment to fill the time of the movie folks.
There seems to be a good argumentive moment between Brent and Allison which was nicely set to the story and fits right in making the moment look good and serious as well as leaving a nice key role to the killings that will happen later on in the plot.
There's also a nightmarish sequence with Allison spotting Brent getting it on with one of the stuck up cheerleaders named Pamela Bently as well as the staff doing a cheerleading chant with pom poms around them. At first this seemed to look like it might be a dark scene but it gets very hokey and ridiculous. Ho hum.
Things seem fun to watch with Timmy in a lake flirting with a bunch of girls as it adds some good spunk here along with a moment on Brent massaging Pamela with a ticked off Allison spotting all of this as this is a good suggestive move that this bitch will be the next one to die.
There's a good camera shot on the back of someone's head along with garden shears but the shears looked a bit fake. However the results of the killing looked nicely done and the most memorable killing in this film. Yet it's still nothing too big to brag about. Yet I was thinking that finally the horror comes into the story.
Some nice shots on a rock band playing during a ceremony at the camp which works out well in the story as well as Timmy being drunk with a beautiful girl and carrying her away as this was impressive I must admit.
There's nice shots on one of the girls named Theresa Salazar trying to look for someone in the deep dark woods at night in which this gives the film a nice low budget horror feel to it all. However after she spots something terrifying we spot her running away from a vehicle chasing after her and she is cornered by a tree but has space to dodge it but doesn't as this looked way too typical and not well focused on how to make her look too cornered by how this was all shot.
Then we have more bad writing when Brent announces everyone to stay calm but there's a killer on the loose as everyone flees as this was supposed to look funny but tries way too hard without a doubt.
Nice dark shots on Brent and his gang trying to find safety while going in the woods as well we spot Timmy not taking things seriously by using a camcrder and filming everything especially when he tries to act funny by being alone in the woods which gives you a cringing feeling that he will be next. It for sure looked good and dark blending the comedy with the horror in which I will compliment the makers for doing this scene well.
We also spot the eccentric man Pop acting dark with his shotgun as well as a struggle against Brent in the woods as this looked good and dark and making it a mystery wondering if he is the killer or not.
There's even a scene with Brent acting too happy with Allison due to his drinking wondering if he's behind the murders which looked well done too.
There is an ending leaving a door open for a sequel in which the makers planned to make one but scrapped it and used some of the same cast to be in a flick called Camp Fear. Thank god one wasn't made since most sequels are disappointing and watching this one is the pits.
Bottom line is that this is such an awful flick with a confusing plot. Seems to combine a ripoff homage to the Meatballs sequels as well as a bit of A Nightmare On Elm Street. Yes we've seen enough of those so you know what I mean. Alot of the times it doesn't even make sense why the murders are happening and what is going on throughout the story. Made on a terrible budget to top it off but not a Z-grade flick. Also when a scene fades out in another scene the picture is blood red instead of black but that doesn't make it look original at all. It starts off as a dark teen comedy and then ends off as a horror.
Gimme an A-V-O-I-D What does that spell? AVOID!

A bit the acting is not too bad, the rest of it is terrible. Betsy Russell (Allison Wentworth) was better off in Avenging Angel and her other popular teen flicks but she seems to do very well with her role and her disturbing emotions with everything bad happening around her. She has the nice tense emotions throughout her behavior. Plus she does well acting ticked off which seems a little natural. Plus she shows a great evil expression while slowly charging towards someone in a nightmare which looked impressive too. However there were moments when she screams or gets freaked out after spotting a dead body which needed a bit of improvement. But yet she does well with her sobbing emotions which was nice to spot her doing this. Almost two decades later she struck gold as a mainstream actress in the Saw sequels.
Leif Garrett (Brent Hoover) plays the unfaithful boyfriend and womaniser. Man oh man I could never understand as to why he would accept this project. But again he had a tough battle with drugs so he'd do anything for a paycheque. He seems to do an okay job with what he does by getting into his charming personality along with really getting it on with things. Shows off good spunk while practising with the cheerleaders. He also does a nice job while acting peeved as well as having a good cocky attitude too. He also shows great excitement when he thinks he got the killer which showed great energy here. Plus he was good by not acting like himself near the end of his performance making his personality a bit intimidating. Of course this guy always took whatever was offered to him even in his brief teen idol years in the 70's in which he was only considered a pretty face but this must be the worst film I've ever seen him in UGH!
Lucinda Dickey
(Cory Foster) was more famous for her breakdance film Breakin and it's sequel and even that film is extremely dated. She does well with her role as the convincing caring cheerleader and bringing that role to life. She shows a good seriouenss to whenever she has a discussion in which she was strong by doing all of this. Plus does a nice job with her energy when the terror strikes. Plus has a great twisted behavior due to the end of her performance too which she draws in a nice mysterious personality here.
Lorie Griffin (Bonnie Reed) had the beautiful blonde looks that did all the talking for her to portray this type of role and no talent at all as she was way too over the top with everything. She was incredibly wooden when she shows an anxious or upsetting reaction and making it out that she was forced to do all of this. Plus when she tried to add some excitement and happiness this too falls flat. She seemed to have graduated out of a modelling academy.
George 'Buck' Flower (Pop) has a main supporting role instead of a small role in films in which he comes across as too humoress to be taken seriously by portraying another suspect. He was a natural ham yes but when he tries to come across as dark it doesn't work too well. There's a moment when he gets sneery which he's supposed to look intimidating and this doesn't cut the cake at all. Yet later on in his performance when he acts out of it he does show a good horror type of appeal here with his grumbling behavior.
Burly actor Travis McKenna (Timmy Moser) tries to save this film by being funny with his character but even he can't save it however he is the best actor in this film with his actions surrounding his character. He certainly shows a great type of charm as well as a believeable perverted attitude too in which he knew a thing or two by acting outrageous. He also does a good scene by acting like a goofball in the woods while talking to his camcorder camera in which this shows off terrifically big time. He has done a few good shows afterwards like in Road House and the series Coach.
Teri Weigel
(Pamela Bently) moved onto pornography as she made better money in that as she stinks with her performance in this one as all she had was the looks thats it. However she seems to come across nicely by acting very stuck up and thinking she's better than others so I will tip my hat off for her while she does this.
Rebecca Ferratti (Theresa Salazar) seemed to have the looks as well in which she has a hard time getting into characteristics here especially when she spots something terrifying in the woods as her screaming and anxious attitude really lacks. Also she was low on energy while trying to run away from a vehicle attacking her as she shows very little effort while doing all of this.
The worst out of them all however is Vickie Benson (Dee Dee Tipton) who plays the cheerleader camp owner. She tries to be the comedic character but she flops big time as she is way too overly dramatic.
There's a moment when she is stern and strict while speaking to everyone as this looked way too planned out and goes over the top while acting like this. There's also a situation when she cries a bit which looked so amateurish that it wasn't even funny or when she gets flirtatious in a cheerleading outfit which she was really humiliating herself while performing like this. Also there's a moment when she's drunk as this looked too silly as well. She was very annoying in her performance and needs a new career as it seemed like she graduated out of a porn industry.
Jeff Prettyman
(Sheriff Poucher) was very wooden in his role as a lawman and trying to be serious on situations which doesn't look convincing at all. However he seems to ham it up just a little bit when he goes into a lustful rage but this is nothing to brag about either. He just came across as someone who is amateurish and had the right looks for this role. That's about it.

Burly character actor Travis McKenna moons cheerleaders in a van (Scary).
Krista Pflanzer
is sunbathing fully breasted and the same with porn actress Teri Weigal.

Lots of graphic violence
A cheerleaders arms are bloodily slit.
During a hallucination scene in the mirror Allisons face is bloodily scarred.
A pair of clippers cut through Bentley's head and then during a dream sequence she is slaughtered by deadly pom poms.
Theresa is slaughtered after being hit by a van and her guts are revealed.
Miss Tipton is whacked in the back by a meat cleaver
An axe is whacked in Timmy's stomach and he spits out blood
A cook is caught with a bear trap in his face and blood pours out

The music was even terribly trashy as there is piano playing in the opening which sounds out of tune and brutal poundings. However there's some icy synthesizer music as well as low sounds. Plus some spooky ghoulish types of music in the film especially during some night scene's in the forest as well as the odd bonging sounds too as this moments works in for a cheesy low budget slasher flick such as this one. There's an odd moment when a murderous vengeful moment that involves someone's neck slashed by a bear trap we hear various low piano poundings as this seemed to work in okay but needed a bit of improvement. There's a nice ending song with some thumps and alot of this mixed in which seemed to work well. The music was composed by Joel and Mureille Hamilton.

(Brent tries to make out with Alison) Alison: Brent you're drunk!
Brent: I'm happy. (Chuckles)
Alison: Don't be crazy.
Brent: I'm only crazy for you.(Continues to make out with Alison)
Alison: Brent, stop it! What's wrong with you?!
Brent: Nothing, we're alive!