Always a Good Time at… – Cheerleader Camp (1988)

While many of the elements present in Cheerleader Camp have been seen in numerous slashers before and after, it ends up being a fun picture nonetheless, a romp through all of the clichés ever seen in a film such as this. So while it might have been a little predictable and figuring out who the killer was not being especially hard, it nevertheless kept the viewer hooked and glued to the screen, waiting to see exactly what they knew was coming.

The story involves a group of cheerleaders who are going to camp to take part in a competition. Once there, the girls find themselves just a few of many and the guys who accompany them, in literal heaven. Most of the film revolves around Alison, a girl who seems a little insecure despite being a cheerleader with a hunky boyfriend, yet when he is seen associating with the other women present, one can see why she might be a little jealous. Alison also has bad dreams and when such a nightmare takes place, there is usually a dead body to accompany it, which by the end of the film, tends to place the blame squarely on her shoulders.

To go along with all the blood and the killing is a lot of humour, some of it intentional and some of it not and it is usually that which is not that ends up being the funnier of the two. Perhaps the most hilarious scene in the entire film is when the cheerleaders are practicing and Alison’s boyfriend Brent as played by none other than Leif Garrett, and comic relief Tim as portrayed by Travis McKenna do a rap to accompany them. Calling the scene cheesy is letting it off easy and it is so cringe-worthy that one cannot help but smile and grimace at the same time. There are others that are perhaps just as bad, but none quite so awful as this one. Additionally, the acting is not the greatest, but neither is it all that bad and there is quite a bit of nudity to tide those over waiting to see just which girl it will be that fails to live another day.

As far as slashers go, some try to be taken seriously and some do not and this is definitely one of the latter. The horror is toned down quite a bit and as such, there are no scares to be had, but it is a bloody good time despite that fact. Other films have done the whole slasher/camp idea better, but Cheerleader Camp stands alongside them simply due to the fact it has everything one needs in a movie such as this and turns out to be a wholly entertaining experience.

3.5 out of 5

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