Cheerleaders Beach Party

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What are the cheerleaders of Rambling University to do when their star football players are looking at another college? Why, they’ll follow them on their campus visit and sabotage it! After all, loyalty is the most important quality of a star player.

Cheerleaders Beach Party (1978) finds the purveyor of raunchy sex comedies Chuck Vincent tackling the “naughty cheerleader” sub genre. As with most Chuck Vincent efforts Cheerleaders Beach Party plays as a series of episodes designed to get the titular cheerleaders into various stages of undress. Films like this rely more on the charms of their leads than the originality of their scripts or direction. Luckily for Cheerleaders Beach Party the leads Elizabeth Loredan, Jamie Jenson, Lynn Hastings, and Gloria Upson possess enough charisma and chemistry to keep the narrative momentum of the film going.

The film is at its best when it is most stylized. The seduction and recruitment of the player from Alabama is frantic and kinetic in its execution, elevating the softcore jollies of the plot to the level of farce. The scene where the girls crash and attempt to ruin the dean’s party plays out similarly. These sequences are cut rapidly for cause and effect, amplifying the mayhem in the process. The gags may not be all that funny, but the energy is contagious.

At its worst Cheerleaders Beach Party is too slow and too repetitive to be anything more than boring. Instead of embracing the absurdity of the film’s premise writer Chuck Vincent and director Alex E. Goitein attempt to service the dramatic stakes of the boiler plate plot. The farcical episodes that give the film its energy are bookended by these long scenes of exposition that do little more than reiterate the premise of the film over and over again.

This is the great trap of films like Cheerleaders Beach Party. The filmmakers have a handful of raunchy scenes in mind and then invent a plot to house these ridiculous scenes. What could have been a decent four minute erotic short becomes an inventive little scene lost in a larger film that lacks any stylistic or narrative coherence.

Yet, there is something endearing about these drive-in cheerleader comedies. Perhaps the continued draw of these films is the cartoonish characterization of the cheerleader characters and the charming performances that bring them to life. One can’t help rooting for the Rambling University cheerleaders despite the shortcomings of the film itself. In this respect Cheerleaders Beach Party is a success.