Just before the “Blizzard of 1978″ seriously hit the Metro area, Harry (brother of William!) Kerwin’s Cheering Section hit the Detroit Metro area with 1/20/78 being it’s first Friday. Distributed through Dimension Pictures in one of it’s final years of being a strong Independent (Skin-Dependent!) film company. Although not in this ad (it was the Detroit News, so expect a little prudishness in the 76-82 ads from there), the reported tagline was that “They put the F and U and N in FUN” obviously with the F and U being potentially offensive to maybe a reader somewhere…maybe. Of course, the programming focus was at few Drive Ins were open at the time ready to play that film and the flick that was a re-titled print of Kerwin’s other Dimension flick, deadbeat, which seriously was 180 different from what the ads showed as it was a Rape and Brotherly Revenge flick with an appearance by the one and only William Kerwin himself.
You could see them, but you could also catch The Guy From Harlem at the Adams and Norwest, too! then again, if you’re sane, you might just want to stay home and catch the Late Show…maybe, unless if you have that too hot for her parents date or still having the jones to catch yet another Cheerleader flick (which, if you’re reading this, you’re possibly that type!)
Greydon Clark’s Satan’s Cheerleaders played the Metro Area on 7/8/77, Distributed through World Amusements, and was one of the most mentioned films of the 70′s Exploitation history just for the title alone although it’s rating history from getting a PG to a more bankable R is a good piece of trivia. You have to admit that some of the sights are pretty nice to look at and the lame jokes that are a must for these films might give you a chuckle. With stars like John Ireland as the Sheriff B.L. Bubb (Drum roll, please!) and Jack Kruschen as the Janitor who is made fun of my our cute group who wants to show the Cheerleaders a “Hell” of a good time at an alter with his wife (Yvonne De Carlo) helping out, there’s not much of a chance that this is going to go into Schoolgirl Report fun and games, but it’s a nice time waster at the Drive In.
Come on, you can’t resist this!!! Cheesy Disco Music, cute women, classic stars slumming it, John Carradine…it may not be Drive In Double Platinum, but it’s like a decent soda that needed a little something extra from the back seat cooler to make it go down good. Sadly, in the Metro Area, it was teamed up with the very tame Weekend With the Babysitter, making it a major miss for the Bel Air, Blue Sky, and Holiday although the Grand Circus Downtown Detroit had it with Mean Johnny Burrows and the Jolly roger DI had it with at least The Teacher – you would have had better luck with Ruby with To the Devil a Daughter at a number of other theaters that weekend…but that was just the first sighting.
The film also got a mention in the Satanic Panic book Satanism Today by James R Lewis.
Here is a clip of the “Virgin Sacrifice”!
According to Shock Cinema #29′s interview with Clark, he likes the film and it was the one where the budget went to to $75,000 due to getting some stars that some viewers might have been familiar with. Although it is an official PG, it was one of the few films that had to be re-rated to get an R that meant more $$$ at the Drive Ins, this is where the re-issue comes in.
Fast forward to 9/22/78…
In the wonderful world of classic Exploitation, even if the film failed to make that much of an impression, it always had a second chance to win the audience. Teaming up Satan’s Cheerleaders with Cheering Section with an updated tagline and adding Cherry Hill High to the program, things turned a little more focused. Alex Goitein’s film about a bunch of Cheerleaders trying to lose it was perfect Drive In fare and was one of the examples of sleazy Late 70′s Cannon before the company went into their Golan and Globus era of The 80′s. Sadly, this only hit two DIs in the area