Scorpion Releasing // 1978 // 86 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 6th, 2009
It'll grab you by the pom-poms!
As playful and crazy as the title, tagline, and winking cheerleaders on the cover make this movie sound, viewers primed for a standard-issue, sleazy-fun excursion might be surprised by the heavy-duty thematic nature of this flick.
On their way to a big deal cheering competition, cheerleaders from rival schools find themselves in a position they never expected would befall such curvaceous, lively young ladies: a diabolical kidnapping plot.
Their bus is hijacked by some malcontent former football stars angling for a robust payday once their ransom is coughed up. But the cheerleaders have other ideas and put into place a plan to escape. In the meantime, why not engage in some pointless sponge-bathing?
This isn't the type of movie one would expect in the "cheerleader" genre. Despite the mandated appearance of nipplage, giggling, and skirts, the sleaze factor is considerably diminished in Wild Weekend. In fact, the title Wild Weekend is itself misleading. We're not talking "wild" as in "wow, that time when all those cheerleaders stripped down to nothing and started wrestling in pistachio ice cream, that was wild!" It's more like "that wild animal just disemboweled a baby deer."
The film begins how you would think a film starring cheerleaders would: lots of trash-talking between buxom young women about who's the best. That continues on the bus, where the conversation eventually turns to more carnal topics and suddenly a competition breaks out to force highway drivers off the road by flashing. So far, the formula is in full effect, but the game plan is severely disrupted when the kidnappers appear and the movie shifts from teen sex farce to black comedy. In fact, that might be even too generous a description, as the comedy level nearly bottoms out once the kidnapping plot kicks in.
Director Jeff Werner knows his audience is expecting some kind of debauchery and miraculously manages to cram it in. We're talking "out of nowhere" kinds of sequences that have little bearing to the plot or the character actions. For example, we get an impromptu fashion show/disco party that inevitably leads to random nudity, as well as the aforementioned bathing sequence. This makes zero sense, but bumps the sleaze barometer up enough for Wild Weekend to earn its pom-poms.
The DVD from Scorpion is nicely done. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is clean and the original mono track suitable for the content. Extras: two commentaries from Werner, editor Greg McClatchy, and stars Narilyn Joi and Kristene DeBell; interviews with DeBell, Joi, and actor Leon Issac Kennedy; an alternate opening; and a photo gallery.
It's a wild weekend, for sure, but maybe not the kind of zaniness most people think of with cheerleader flicks.
It's hard to ignore that this movie makes no sense. Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Scorpion Releasing
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 1978
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Alternate Opening
* Photo Gallery