Plot: What’s it about?
Ah, those wonderful cheerleaders, the girls who revive our spirits, cheer us on to victory, and showcase their beautiful bodies. Of course, given the massive fantasy potential within the cheerleader figure, it was a lock that exploitation filmmakers would pounce on the subject matter. But not all of these cheerleader movies were mean spirited, as most were brisk and light, just the risque teen comedies of their times. In The Cheerleaders Collection, Anchor Bay has issued three such films and done quite an impressive service to fans of cheerleaders. You’ll find the original, best film of its kind, The Cheerleaders, as well as Revenge of the Cheerleaders and Jack Hill’s campish The Swinging Cheerleaders. Revenge of the Cheerleaders, a source of constant embarrassment for star David Hasselhoff, is exclusive to this special release, but both of the other films can be purchased in standalone editions. I do wish a new anamorphic version of The Swinging Cheerleaders could have been included here, but aside from that, this is a terrific collection of sex, breasts, and high school madness. If you read below, you will find a brief synopsis on each of the films included in Anchor Bay’s The Cheerleaders Collection.
1. The Cheerleaders- Jeannie (Stephanie Fondue) was good girl, even still a virgin when she joined her school’s cheerleading squad. But the cheerleaders at Amoroso High live a hedonistic lifestyle, so Jeannie is soon dropped into a world of sex, drugs, and wild times. The big game is right around the corner and like all cheerleaders, this team wants to do whatever it can to ensure their team leaves the field as the winners. As such, the squad devises a plan to suck all the energy of the other team, making them useless when the game begins. But will the plan work and beyond that, will Jeannie ever find the right person to pop her cherry?
2. Revenge of the Cheerleaders- At Aloha High, the cheerleaders rule the hallways and can do whatever they please. This means they can ditch classes, engage in public displays of affection, and even claim all the credit for the basketball team’s success. But the players don’t mind, since the squad goes above and beyond to keep their spirits raised. A top secret plan threatens to close Aloha’s doors however, which would send the poor cheerleaders to Lincoln High, where they would fall from the rulers of the roost to the bottom of the social ladder. But these girls have no plans to go down without a fight, even if it means taking drastic action…
3. The Swinging Cheerleaders- Kate (Jo Johnston) is a reporter for Mesa University’s student newspaper, which means she is always looking for a hot story. In order to make a name for herself and do some good for the college, she seeks to expose the exploitation of females that takes place in the college social circles. The best place to start seems to be the cheerleading troupe, which a lot of people think serves to further women as being simple sex objects. So Kate goes undercover to find out the truth, which she thinks will show the cheerleaders to be exploited young women. But will this assignment play out as Kate expects, showing how used the cheerleaders are, or will she discover something she never expected?
Video: How does it look?
The Cheerleaders and Revenge of the Cheerleaders are presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, while The Swinging Cheerleaders is presented in 1.66:1 widescreen, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. The two anamorphic transfers look quite good, but keep in mind, these are low budget movies with some years behind them. The prints have held up rather well though, with only some light grain and minor defects to mention. The colors, including those ever present flesh tones, have a bright and natural appearance, while contrast remains slick and well balanced also. The same old presentation has been used for The Swinging Cheerleaders, which is a real missed chance on behalf of Anchor Bay. A new anamorphic version could have cleared up most of the problems, such as jagged lines and a soft visual texture. The movie still looks decent, but a new treatment could have worked wonders.
Audio: How does it sound?
All three films use mono soundtracks, which seem to fit the material perfectly. The dialogue is clear, and sounds very good. Some previous home video releases have been shoddy, but this disc avoids that by giving me crystal clear vocals. The softcore porn style music sounds great, so all the sex scenes have that special naughty, but at the same time silly atmosphere. I know a lot of you are diehard surround sound fans, but these movies are mono movies, no two ways about it. So while the audio won’t dazzle, it more than supports the material.
Supplements: What are the extras?
An audio commentary has been created for each movie, with director Paul Glickler & writer Ace Baandige on The Cheerleaders, ex-cheerleaders Heather Swanson & Lisa Webber on Revenge of the Cheerleaders, and director Jack Hill & film historian Johnny Legend on The Swinging Cheerleaders. I found Hill’s comments to be the best of the lot, but all three sessions have some worthwhile moments. The Swinging Cheerleaders also features a television spot, while Revenge of the Cheerleaders also boasts a television spot, radio spot, and the film’s theatrical trailer. The Cheerleaders sports the most extras, with a cheerleader cheesecake gallery, behind the scenes still photos, posters & advertising artwork, a gallery of production stills, a radio spot, and the film’s theatrical trailer.