Saturday, July 2, 2011

#330. The Pom Pom Girls (1976)

Directed By: Joseph Ruben

Starring: Robert Carradine, Jennifer Ashley, Michael Mullins

Tag line: "They Were the Girls of our Dreams"

Trivia:  Robert Carradine performed all of his own stunts in the film, as did Bill Adler

The opening sequence of The Pom Pom Girls intersperses scenes of a high school football team at practice with those of five cheerleaders on a beach. Now, the cheerleaders, who are in bikinis, are also practicing, but they don't do so for very long. After rehearsing a cheer or two, they run into the water, splash around a bit, and get each other as wet as they possibly can. This is about as smart as The Pom Pom Girls, a 1976 sex comedy, will get during it's 87 minute run time. Come to think of it, it doesn't get any funnier, either.

Johnny (Robert Carradine) and Jesse (Michael Mullins) play football for Rosedale High, and if Coach Hartmann (Robert Gammon) has his way, Rosedale's going to go all the way this year. The only problem is, the players are more interested in the cheerleading squad than they are in winning games. Johnny gets into trouble when he starts dating Laurie (Jennifer Ashley), a cheerleader who's former boyfriend, Duane (Bill Adler), isn't too happy she's moved on, and Jesse's juggling two girls at the same time. Yet even this off-field drama takes a back seat when it comes to the big game with Hardin High, an event that kicks off a battle of pranks between the two schools that nobody, including the Sheriff (John Lawrence), will soon forget.

The “comedy” in The Pom Pom Girls is about as mean-spirited as it gets. In an early scene, Laurie and Duane are walking down the street together when Johnny suddenly decides to go after Duane with his car, chasing him down an alley and damn near running him over. Not to be outdone, during tryouts for the cheerleading squad, the five cheerleaders mock the potential new recruits, laughing to themselves about all the “unpopular” girls who've come out, thinking they have what it takes to join their very exclusive team . Usually, sex comedies like The Pom-Pom Girls are, at the very least, a bit of harmless fun. This movie's downright nasty.

The lead characters in The Pom Pom Girls aren't cool, and they aren't funny. In fact, they're nothing but jerks. There's even a scene where Robert Carradine's Johnny, whose request to go to the bathroom was denied by his teacher (Sondra Lowell), stands on a desk and urinates out the window, hitting some young girls who are skipping rope below.


I've liked Robert Carradine in just about every movie I've seen him in. Here, I wanted someone to hit him over the head with a chair.


joem18b said...

At some point in my life, I was told that it's "pom pon," not "pom pom." I was shocked! Even Wikipedia lists "pom pon," with "pom pom" as an alternate. But thank god this definitive movie gets it right!

DVD Infatuation said...

@joem18b: Thanks for the clarification. I had actually never heard of "Pom Pon"...interesting.

And it's nice to hear this movie got at least SOMETHING right!