Cheerleader Camp

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Cheerleader Camp
Cheerleader Camp dvd cover.jpg
Cheerleader Camp poster
Directed by John Quinn
Produced by Jeff Prettyman
John Quinn
Written by David Lee Fein
R.L. O'Keefe
Starring Betsy Russell
Leif Garrett
Lucinda Dickey
Music by Joel Hamilton
Murielle Hodler-Hamilton
Cinematography Bryan England
Edited by Jeffrey Reiner
Distributed by Prism Entertainment Corporation
Release date
  • June 1, 1988 (1988-06-01)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget Unknown

Cheerleader Camp (originally and also known as Bloody Pom Poms) is a 1988 American slasher film directed by John Quinn, and starring Betsy Russell, Leif Garrett, Lucinda Dickey, George "Buck" Flower, Teri Weigel, and Rebecca Ferratti. The plot follows a series of murders that occur over a weekend at a cheerleader camp during a competition.[1]


Cheerleader Alison (Betsy Russell) dreams of giving a performance in an empty stadium during which she exclaims, "I need love," after being rejected by both of her parents. A menacing laugh is heard as her arms are slashed, causing Alison to wake up with a start, revealing that she had fallen asleep in the backseat of a car which is carrying her and her cheering teammates to a remote cheerleader camp called Camp Hurrah to compete in a contest, led by the icy Miss Tipton (Vickie Benson). At the camp, Alison rooms with the mascot, Cory (Lucinda Dickey), who is often ridiculed by the cheerleaders, and Alison's boyfriend, Brent (Leif Garrett) immediately begins flirting with a blonde cheerleader named Suzy. The girls go to the river where they sunbathe, and are spied on by Tim (Travis McKenna), who is a member of Alison's cheering team. Also watching them is Sheriff Poucher (Jeff Prettyman), who gets interrupted by the camp handyman, Pop (George Buck Flower).

The next morning, Alison finds Suzy in her cabin with her wrists cut, dead of an apparent suicide. The next day, Alison goes into the kitchen walk-in refrigerator in search of a drink and discovers Suzy's corpse on a shelf. The police are called, and Miss Tipton explains to Sheriff Poucher that, in order to protect her job, she didn't want to report Suzy's death until the program was finished. The Sheriff assures Tipton that he will take care of the matter, and the deal is sealed by the pair having sex, an act which is caught on video by Tim. As the result of a prank, the sex tape is broadcast the next day instead of a video of the camp's cheer routines.

In the meantime, Brent has begun to flirt with teammate Pam, garnering Alison's concern. Alison has a nightmare in which she cheers along with a group of mascots as Brent has sex with Pam. At the river the next day, Brent and Pam leave to have sex. They argue, however, and he leaves Pam in the woods where she is murdered with garden shears by an unseen killer. That evening, Alison has a dream in which she kills Pam. The next day at the competition, Alison worries that she may have hurt Pam in a fit of rage and not remembered it. She mentions this to Cory who assures her that she slept through the night.

It is now the day of the competition and Pam is nowhere to be found. Cory competes in the mascot dance contest, but is denied the win by Tipton. During the team's improvised routine, Tim falls offstage, knocking Pop to the ground in the process, prompting the handyman to declare, "I hope you die!" During the Camp Queen competition, Theresa, who has become increasingly worried about Pam, slips away to find her. Cory and Brent follow separately into the woods to look for Pam and Theresa, and Miss Tipton sends Pop to search for her as well. Theresa finds Pam's body in the woods, and is chased down by a van before getting splattered against a tree.

In the meantime, Alison and Bonnie compete for title of Queen, which Bonnie wins. Tim has managed to impress a cheerleader from another team and takes her outside to have sex with her. He returns almost immediately with his hand covered in blood and reveals that he has found Theresa's body. Brent announces at the party that there is a killer on the loose, prompting the cheerleaders to panic and flee in their cars. Miss Tipton stumbles drunkenly into the woods to search for Pam, but she is soon hacked in the back by the killer. Alison, Cory, Bonnie, Tim, and Brent try to drive away, only to discover that their car has been tampered with, rendering it undriveable.

The four hear gunshots in the woods, causing them to run separate directions; Alison returns to the van followed by Brent, Bonnie, and Cory, who claims someone attacked her in the woods. Brent retrieves Timmy's video camera in the woods, where they watch Timmy being killed on tape. The four set a booby trap using a bear trap in the tool shed, which inadvertently kills the Sheriff. They then encounter Pop, armed with a shotgun; Cory who believing Pop to be the killer, shoots him with a revolver. Back at the camp, Cory and Bonnie go to call the police, leaving Brent alone with Alison. He attempts to have sex with her, but she resists. Cory stumbles in, saying she can't find Bonnie; Brent goes to look for her and Cory tells Alison she thinks Brent may be the killer. Armed with the revolver, Cory sends Alison to shoot Brent. They find him standing over Bonnie's corpse and Alison shoots him. When the police arrive, they charge a distraught Allison with the murders. Cory supports this, claiming that Alison would have done anything to be number one. In the ambulance, Alison insists she only killed Brent, but the detective says that Cory blamed all the murders on her. Alison screams as she is taken away while Cory, dressed in a cheerleading uniform, cheers in front of the camp in the morning.



Cheerleader Camp was shot in 1987 in Bakersfield, California,[2] and Camp Nelson.


Cheerleader Camp was given a limited theatrical release on June 1, 1988,[3] but the release was not expanded due to the distribution company going bankrupt.[4] It was released on VHS by Prism Entertainment through Paramount Home Video in 1990.[5] It was later released on Region 1 DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment in 2004.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Allmovie wrote, "Cheerleader Camp won't hold pleasure for any except the most dedicated Z-level celebrity watchers."[7]


A sequel was planned by producers of the original film, but the project was eventually scrapped and made into another, unrelated film (Camp Fear) that was produced and financed by another production team.[8]

However a film was shot in 2014 based on the original Cheerleader Camp 2 outline called Cheerleader Camp: To The Death.


  1. ^ New York Times Review Summary
  2. ^ "Cheerleader Camp". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  3. ^ "Cheerleader Camp (1988)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  4. ^ Quinn, John. Audio commentary on Cheerleader Camp [DVD]. Anchor Bay Entertainment. 2004.
  5. ^ "Company Credits for Cheerleader Camp". Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  6. ^ "Cheerleader Camp (DVD)". Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  7. ^ Fred Beldin. "Cheerleader Camp (1988)". Allmovie. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Cheerleader Camp DVD (DVD Liner notes). John Quinn. Anchor Bay Entertainment. 2004. DV12736. 

External links[edit]