Sunday, June 17, 2012

"The Pom Pom Girls"(1976)d/Joseph Ruben

 As summer approaches fast in the rearview mirror, we'll take a look at another seventies-tastic Crown International drive-in hit from Joseph Ruben, reminding us just how unforgettable those girls that turned us on really were, in another teen sex comedy starring a cast of familiar genre actors including Robert Carradine, Bill Adler, Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith, and Jennifer Ashley; centered around high school hijinks between rival football squads, and peppered with genre staples of the day like make out vans, dope-smoking, beer-chugging, littering, drive-in restaurant sex(never gets old, just wish they'd stop serving it up with ugly-looking fast food), tits n' asses, stolen fire engines, limp fistfights, games of 'Suicide Chicken', and a total disregard for all things education and authority in the country's bicentennial year, man.Probably the wrong flick to get into if you're looking for logic and cohesion, but a helluva good-often raunchy,  time capsule of reckless youth of the happening seventies.Let's get this started, now who's rollin' the hog's leg to pass around...
 Wood(would) times five.
 School is in for the senior class at Rosedale High, and for Johnnie(Robert Carradine), a loose wire that ain't afraid to take a piss out a classroom window,  with a cherry '55 Chevy and goofy overbite,  it's an opportunity to show off to Sally(Lisa Reeves), Duane(Bill Adler)'s sweet blonde arm decoration, and best his rival in the process in a series of chest-puffing feats of bravado and stupidity.Johnnie's pal, Jesse(Michael Mullins) has designs on getting this happening brunette named Laurie(Jennifer Ashley) onto the air mattress in the back of his love machine, but fellow promiscuous Pom Pommer, Roxanne(Rainbeaux Smith) and drive-in waitress Sue Ann(Susan Player) will do, if that frigid bitch won't put out.With "the big game" with rivals Hardin High approaching fast on the horizon, a prank war has commenced between the schools, and harmless mascot effigies hung burning from nooses and car vandalism soon escalate into sloppily choreographed Western saloon-level fistfights and hosing down rival players and pursuant officers of the law from a stolen fire truck Johnnie and Co. end up in(big deal, they didn't do it naked.).To these fun-loving young tearaways, quadratic equations are for squares.Did I just make a fucking mathematics joke?Where's that cyanide capsule...
 The one and only Rainbeaux I'd ever be interested in chasing, thankyouverymuch.
 Of course, we get to see lots of reckless driving, an obligatory gross cafeteria food fight, pop-top beer-chugging(Johnnie's shirt ends up drinking more beer than he does, if you're keeping score the way I was, the way grizzled veterans often do), beach frolicking, some amusing soul sistahs trying out for the cheer squad, Jesse slugging the cocky football coach in the mush, some spirited joint passing, Laurie obliviously failing to notice Jesse and Sue Ann backseat boogieing right in front of her classroom window, then giving him her own goodies under her sleeping parents' noses, followed by a chuckle-worthy breakfast table sequence in it's own right.The football game degenerates into a battle royale after a single play, and Duane channels Brando in challenging Johnnie to a dangerous game of suicide chicken near an oceanside cliff.Johnnie drives Duane's car off the edge, jumping out at the last possible moment to live and torture him about bagging his girl yet another day.All's well that ends well, I guess.
 Sheesh, he's outta position on the MLB blitz, and he's a jibber bogart.
 Though I was never much for cheerleaders growing up(they always seemed a bit too shallow and saccharine-flavored for my 'refined tastes', apart from one or two rare birds that really layed it on me), I could watch the drive-in movie variety all day long.Especially when one's Rainbeaux Smith, one of my all-time favorite chicks, at her sweet n' sensual peak here, despite being mostly overshadowed by her co-stars, the wholesome brunette, Jennifer Ashley, who you'll remember from stuff like Phantom of the Paradise(1974), Tintorera(1977), and Horror Planet, aka/Inseminoid(1981), and leggy blonde, Lisa Reeves, who you probably won't remember from You Light Up My Life(1977) and the 1977 San Pedro Beach Bums tv series.Robert Carradine has been in everything from the iconic cult classic, Massacre at Central High(1976) and Orca(1976), to Revenge of the Nerds(1985) and the Humanoids from the Deep made-for-tv remake(1996).Hell, he even played a skinhead in Carpenter's Escape from LA(1996).Adler, who we just saw in Van Nuys Blvd.(1976), also featured prominently in genre fare like The Van(1977), Blue Sunshine and Malibu Beach( both 1978).On the scale, Pom Pom scores an average two Wops for technical skill, which doesn't make itself very apparent here, though entertainment-wise, it would easily earn another, a cult classic, perfect for the impending hot weather and hot babes that go hand-in-hand with it.See it.
Stealing a fire engine for a joyride?Oh, you crazy high school kids.

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