Give me a C Cup.
#1 Cheerleader Camp (2010): 4 out of 10: Two men, one a lazy bum and the other a former olympian that chocked in competition, are maintenance guys at the titular cheerleader camp. Can they find motivation in their lives among so much gratuitous nudity and help the camp win the championship against the rich camp across the lake or some such nonsense? It is an Asylum film, so set expectations accordingly.
The Good; #1 Cheerleader Camp is a sex comedy. Sex comedies comprise two parts. Sex and comedy. Well, Cheerleader Camp gets the sex part correct. Actually, let me refine my answer. Cheerleader Camp gets the gratuitous nudity part of the film correct.
Now I have a love hate relationship with sex comedies. But one cardinal sin of some recent (IE non-eighties) sex comedies is a lack of gratuitous nudity. As the famed critic Roger Ebert once said, if you already have an R rating, why is the actress wearing a bra during the sex scene?” See also my complaint about R-rated movies that have scenes in strip joints where the strippers are all mysteriously dancing with clothes on.
Cheerleader Camp nails this one. This is a proper eighties level of gratuitous nudity in good lighting from the entire cast. Hell, the movie’s credits open with random topless cheerleaders jumping on trampolines. And if you are looking for a brainless film with well lit nudity, you could do worse than Cheerleader Camp.
The Bad: The second part of the sex comedy equation, and the place where most of the eighties sex comedies fall at the post as well, is the comedy side of things. And Cheerleader Camp continues this unfortunate tradition. Now Cheerleader Camp is an Asylum film and those folks are usually in the sci-fi or disaster film space. (Cheerleader Camp is apparently a mockbuster of Fired Up! As of this writing I will have to take thier word on it.) My major criticism of Asylum is not their wonky CGI special effects of so wooden it floats acting. It is their scripts. A good script doesn’t cost more than a bad script after all.
Cheerleader Camp simply is not funny. There are some smiles but I didn’t laugh out loud once. Comedy is a personal choice, certainly, but many of these jokes were old when they were first used in the eighties. The attempt at shock values. (oh a gay panic scene… Ha ha it’s an elderly woman who is a dominatrix.) simply fall flat.
In addition, while Cheerleader Camp gets the nudity down, it really doesn’t nail (pun slightly intended) the sex scenes. While this is not meant to be an erotic film by any means, a good sex comedy knows when to throw in some heat between the laughs.
The acting seems serviceable but our two male leads are neither likable nor, in any way, believable. (Our female lead Erica Duke is actually one of the best things in the film.) These issues kneecap the tropes that script trots out. (Do you care if characters you don’t really like nor relate to get caught “accidentally” peeking at the girls in the shower?) Porkys, this is not. In all fairness, I haven not seen Porky’s since the mid-eighties, so my recollection of that film may be clouded by nostalgia and memories of Kim Cattrall.
The Ugly: There is a gay panic scene where our failed gymnast lead gets all Madison Cawthorned by a gay male cheerleader in a squirrel costume. I certainly understand how that scene has aged like milk over the last 12 years. But in reality, it was an opportunity for the movie to push boundaries and take the funny up to eleven. Think the nude wresting in Borat. A couple of rewrites by someone with a darker or more meta sense of humor would have done wonders for the film. If you are going to have accidental gay sex involving a man dressed as a squirrel, someone’s nuts need to get in someone’s mouth.
In Conclusion: If #1 Cheerleader Camp could have kept the tropes, well lit nudity and the actors and just pushed the envelope on the funny, it would have not necessarily been a brilliant film. But it would have been a more entertaining film. Unfortunately, Cheerleader Camp is so by the numbers it commits the deadly sin of being boring. Boring with well lit nudity, but still boring.