Thursday, June 30, 2016

Swinging Cheerleaders (1974, Jack Hill)

Jack Hill is one of those directors I heard of through Quentin Tarantino. The first time I heard the name was in an article in either FHM or Maxim that listed the best Grindhouse movies (right after Tarantino/Rodriguez's Grindhouse came out). The list included either (or maybe both) The Big Bird Cage and The Big Doll House. It may have included more of his movies too. After that, I watched a special feature on the Reservoir Dogs dvd, which was a biography on Jack Hill. I had remembered reading about some of his films and now I was very interested. The first of his films that I watched was Coffy with Pam Grier, one of the hottest female action stars I had ever seen. Shortly after I watched The Big Bird Cage and Switchblade Sisters, which I also enjoyed very much. The Switchblade Sisters dvd had a trailer for The Swinging Cheerleaders and it definitely piqued my interest.

The Swinging Cheerleaders is about a college football team which has the potential of being undefeated. One of the prize players, Ross (Ric Carrott) is dating a cheerleader (Rainbeaux Smith) who won't go all the way. Buck (Ron Hajek), the star quarterback, is dating Mary Ann (Colleen Camp), the lead cheerleader. A young radical named Kate (Jo Johnston) tries out and makes the cheerleading squad in order to write a paper exposing how cheerleading exploits women. She soon finds out that the Coach, one of the Professors and Mary Ann's father, who is also the Dean of the School, is rigging the games to make a fortune gambling.

The thing that I love about Jack Hill's films is that there is so much going on, so much character and story development that you forget you are watching a sleazy low budget exploitation film. They have lots of nudity, drugs and profanity but they also have great stories and interesting characters. The Swinging Cheerleaders is no exception. Most of the acting was appropriately over the top (this is a good thing) and the story moved along at a nice pace. Throw in some beautiful cheerleaders and some action and you've got the winning Swinging Cheerleaders.  I would have to say that this probably gets my vote as my favorite Jack Hill film.

Arrow's new release is chock full of goodies.  Here is a full list of extras for this director-approved special edition:

·         Brand new 2K restoration from original film materials
·         High Definition (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD Presentations
·         Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
·         Audio commentary by writer-director Jack Hill, recorded exclusively for this release
·         Brand new interview with Jack Hill
·         Archive interview with cinematographer Alfred Taylor
·         Archive interview with Hill and Johnny Legend
·         Q&A with Hill, and actors Colleen Camp and Rosanne Katon recorded at the New Beverly Cinema in 2012
·         TV spots
·         Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

Pre-Order Swinging Cheerleaders from MVD HERE

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