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The janitor at a local high school is actually the scout for a coven of Satanists on the lookout for a virgin to sacrifice. One day he kidnaps the cheerleading squad to use for their rituals. However, unbeknownst to the devil-worshipers, one of the cheerleaders is actually a witch, and has plans of her own for the Satanists.Written by
It's been a long time since I laughed so hard while watching a movie. The first thirty minutes are unbearable (boring teenagers fooling around on the beach) but then it gets interesting. The janitor of the high school is so frustrated with the unruly kids that he joins some Satanists. What's more, he lusts after a girl who could well be his granddaughter, and he expects that his new affiliation opens new perspectives in that field.
The janitor has to drive the cheerleaders and their coach to a road game. Of course, he takes the wrong road leading to a kind of an open air altar in the undergrowth. His attempt to freeze" his passengers and then get at the cheerleader who is the object of his lust fails miserably. The cheerleaders escape, leaving the janitor for dead. They ask a bum for directions and end up in the house of the nearest country sheriff and his wife. Little do they know ...
I always suspect that this kind of American movie has the purpose to assuage a natural hunger for myths and fairy tales of which the USA has not its own national treasure" like more ancient nations. As a matter of fact, Satan's Cheerleaders is structured like a traditional fairy story. The cheerleaders are Red Riding Hood, the Satanists are the Big Bad Wolf. It's clearly a conflict between old and young. The old actually get a pretty rough deal here whereas the young come through as pretty and above all: clean yet bland, uninspired and with an utter lack of any imagination. Interesting is the cheerleader's coach, an infantile, good hearted, innocent and disarmingly helpless woman who in a weird way represents eternal youth. It is actually quite a well played and interesting part.
The old actors rule supreme. This is probably not surprising as they are experienced pros with distinguished careers. The longer I watch movies the more I admire those actors like John Carradine (who plays the bum) who are not choosy about the parts they accept and deliver a good performance whatever the circumstances. Yvonne de Carlo gets the most laughs. The teenagers make her desperate and she starts praying to Satan for their annihilation. The prayer she repeats all over starts with howdy" so at least I know now how to address the devil, should the occasion arise.
The sheriff's two dogs are a major asset (there is also the cameo of a goat without consequence). They are called Diablo and Lucifer and should be fierce, but they are not. The biggest convulsions I had to suffer from came as Yvonne de Carlo runs up to them, unexpectedly leans forward and gasps kill". The nearest dog instinctively draws his head back, disapprovingly raising an eyebrow. A cartoonist couldn't have done it better!
I suppose Satan's cheerleaders will never make it into the Library of Congress. But maybe it should.
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