Swinging Cheerleaders, The (1974) Reviewed

(L-R) Rosanne Katon, Colleen Camp and Rainbeaux Smith

Three of the Swinging Cheerleaders: (L-R) Rosanne Katon, Colleen Camp and Rainbeaux Smith

Nineteen seventy-four is significant for two reasons: It’s the birth year of yours truly and the year the best cheerleader movie in the (fairly significant) history of cheerleader movies descended on drive-ins from coast to coast. Jack Hill (Spider Baby and Switchblade Sisters) wrote and directed SC even though two bogus female writers are credited in the opening. At Mesa University a confident underground student reporter (sexy Jo Johnston) goes undercover as a cheerleader for her expose’ on the exploitation of women(!). There’s a plot with a corrupt coach and a black professor throwing football games and betting on the home team that sends the sexual politics to the backseat for most of the movie. Characters actually develop and behave like real people. The jock turns out to be a nice guy and the liberal hippie turns out to be a plotting sexual deviant with a violent streak. The primary cheerleaders include Colleen Camp and the real-life tragedy-stricken Rainbeaux Smith who spent time in prison for drugs and died of hepititis in 2002. She’s in her prime here, even though she’s more of a presense than an actress. A solid story, decent acting and Hill’s genius touch for spinning gold from low-budget low-concept b movies makes this a 70s drive-in staple and easily the most entertaining of all cheerleader movies. There IS, however, far less nudity and sex than one would expect (or hope for) given the subject matter. If you’re looking for that try The Pom Pom Girls (1976), Satan’s Cheerleaders (1977), Revenge of the Cheerleaders (1976), H.O.T.S. (1979) and The Cheerleaders (1973). The theme was briefly resurrected with 2000’s mainstream success, Bring It On.

~ by Number5ive on August 13, 2008.

2 Responses to “Swinging Cheerleaders, The (1974) Reviewed”

  1. Hello,
    We have been using film stock from this movie to decorate our eyewear. to see some pictures of them check out: http://tiptoneyeworks.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/press-release/
    Check out my blog at http://www.tiptoneyeworks.wordpress.com.

    I think your review is one of the best of this movie.

  2. Nifty merch! Thanks for the comment.

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