Perhaps Leif Garrett kept one or two of the bloodstained cheerleader costumes from this 1987 effort. For your cheerleader outfits (sans blood), navigate online to find the best source for all of your dress-up needs. Children's costumes, Star Wars costumes and more!
CHEERLEADER CAMP (US R-rated Paramount video cover)
three stars   Cheese Rating: 100% King Cheese!

"Competition was murder at..."

directed by: John Quinn
starring: Betsy Russell, Leif Garrett, Lucinda Dickey, Lorie Griffin

(back of video blurb):
       "As the Lindo Valley squad arrives at cheerleader camp for district finals, some have their eyes on winning, while others have their eyes on the beautiful bodies bouncing around them. Haunted by bad dreams, sexy Alison Wentworth (Betsy Russell) has no idea what a nightmare cheerleading camp will become.

       The competition is stiff, in more ways than one. Yell leader Brent (Leif Garrett), Alison's boyfriend, flirts with a buxom cheerleader named Suzy. Later, Suzy's found dead- from an apparent suicide- and Lindo's cheerleaders start dropping like pom poms. When Pam (Teri Weigel)- the new object of Brent's attention- doesn't show up for the finals, Theresa (Rebecca Ferratti) goes looking for her and doesn't return. One by one, team members disappear until only Alison, her boyfriend, and her friend Cory (Lucinda Dickey) remain.

       Convinced one of the team members is a killer, Alison takes matters-and a gun- into her own hands. Is this another one of her terrifying premonitions, or chilling reality? Will cheerleader camp be Alison's last hurrah?"

choice dialogue:

"You know, I think we'd all be better off if she'd think more about the team and less about getting honey on her muffin!"

slash with panache?

       I don’t know if it was just because I was faintly delirious with the hangover-from-hell, but I really enjoyed CHEERLEADER CAMP. It’s a smorgasbord of cheddary delights and more than warrants the lofty heights of a three star rating- not to mention the accolade of ‘King Cheese’. It is a rip-roaring, dairy rollercoaster! The creme-de-le-creme of late 80’s cheese no-less!

       This little beaut stars Betsy Russell as Alison- a pill-popping; big haired; border-line psychotic cheerleader who is plagued by "inner demons" and, to make matters worse, is haunted by nightmares of being engulfed by voracious, glittering pompoms. She is part of the group of ‘Yell’ cheerleaders-( two of whom, unfeasibly, have even bigger hair than her!). Who are accompanied to the regional BLOODY POMPOMS (alternate title for CHEERLEADER CAMP) Dutch video cover- courtesy of Wright On Video ( at Camp Hurrah!, "...where the nearest town is, like, a thousand miles away!", by her boyfriend Brent (Lief Garrett) and his fat buffoon of a friend. The camp- which is one part Crystal Lake, one part ANIMAL HOUSE, is staffed by a twitchy bunch of reprobates, lead by the cheesily cheerful Ms. Tipton- who is sort of like Mink Stole crossed with Ivana Trump. Things start off badly as ill feeling and jealousy simmer beneath the surface as the race for Camp Queen hots up and evil looks and one-liners are flung around with bitchy abandon. Alison, however, finds it difficult to concentrate on the upcoming event- not only are her quirky mental health problems getting worse but Trent is trying it on with every girl in the camp and it seems he has doe eyes for Camp Queen favourite- a blond trollop called Susie. Alison takes solace, confiding her woes to team underdog and mascot, the supposedly dowdy ,Cody- her room-mate for the duration of the camp. Cheerleader practice takes a backseat to topless sunbathing as the Camp Queen wannabes check out each others ample assets. And it is amongst this hotbed of fluffy intrigue that things first turn deadly- golden girl Susie is found, lying in her bed, wrists slit. Everyone supposes suicide- "Why did she kill herself? Was it something I said?" laments, a momentarily heartbroken, Trent. But soon, as the competition hurtles towards its inexorable climax, it becomes obvious that Susie’s death was no accident. A killer is skulking in the shadows- perky baton twirlers on their mind. Cheerleaders fall like bouffant flies as Camp Hurrah! turns into the veritable charnel house, awash with gore-soaked pom-poms....

       The first half of CHEERLEADER CAMP plays like a PORKIES clone. It has it all: fat guy (check!); fat guy who plays practical jokes (check!); fat guy who dresses up in women’s clothing to get a better view of semi-naked cheerleaders (check!); fat guy fart humour (check!). Present and correct are every teenage sexMs. Tipton looks on as one of the team is crowned Camp Queen in CHEERLEADER CAMP-comedy cliché imaginable. What saves it from bottom of the barrel, straight-to-video oblivion is the fact that it plays like a PORKIES clone directed by John Waters. Full of colourful characters- not least of all Ms. Tipton who, in one memorable moment, finishes a moving speech on the subject of suicide with a cheerful grin. It’s knowing, without being cynical. An affectionate parody of early 80’s teen mayhem with a little bit of the caustic wit of HEATHERS (1987) thrown in- (it also acknowledges that it is, somewhat, in debt to Wes Craven’s A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) by, cheekily referencing Freddy’s blades- Krueger type wounds appear on Alison’s arms during her first nightmare). The unremitting buffoonery doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for the slasher aspect and for the first third of the movie it is only Alison’s nightmare’s and hallucinations that remind us we are, in fact, watching a horror movie. However, it pretty successfully, makes the move from broad comedy to teenie-kill epic without sacrificing its previous camp humour, managing to play the horror fairly straight- in a SCOOBY-DOO kind of straight way if you get me. It is also helped by an, incredibly, generous amount of graphic gore fx- highlights include a cheerleaders head skewered on garden shears (the tips exiting through her mouth!), and a splattery disembowelment with a scythe. The tape I watched was, amazingly, R-rated- the censors were definitely napping when this baby snuck through!

       If the film has one major flaw then it is the identity of the killer which was just way too easy to guess. That apart though, I can easily rank CHEERLEADER CAMP up there with that other late 80’s cheese legend CHOPPING MALL (1986) as a guilty pleasure supremo. Fun, fun Fun!

BODYCOUNT 10  bodycount!   female:6 / male:4

        1) Female teen found with wrists slit
        2) Female teen has gardening shears forced through back of neck- tips exiting through her mouth! to screen captures of this death scene...
        3) Female teen slashed to death with pom poms (dream sequence)
        4) Female teen crushed to death with van
        5) Female has meat cleaver embedded in her back
        6) Male teen disemboweled with scythe. to screen captures of this death scene...
        7) Male gets an animal trap embedded in his face
        8) Male shot dead
        9) Female teen killed (method unseen)
      10) Male teen shot dead.