Bad Reviews

As mentioned elsewhere, there are two kinds of “bad” reviews concerning this movie — those that are unfavorable, and those that are inaccurate. Herein, I’ll be discussing the latter.

Naturally, a low budget film such as Satan’s Cheerleaders is not without flaws. What such a fact often invites is a great deal of criticism; some understandable, while even more of it is just completely misguided.

What seems particularly mindboggling is the expectation factor with some reviewers. It should be obvious from the get-go that SC is not (nor was it probably intended to be) an Oscar favorite. In many respects, it is what it is — a b-movie of its time. Though this doesn’t stop the armchair critic from massively over-deconstructing the film — not only to point out every single last minutiae of mistake, but to also express dismay over elements of the picture that don’t match up to, say, The Godfather or even The Omen. Somehow, I could see some of these same folks lambasting a Spider Man comic for not being The Grapes of Wrath. The Internet merely seems to crank these types out like an assembly line these days.

In addition to the above, an incredible number of errors on the reviewer’s part are out there. Take this glaring example of character confusion…

“The girls then head off to play football against the Benedict High football team, of which there are only three players (or so it seems) led by the team quarterback. Since I have no idea what his name is, we’ll call him asswipe. Asswipe and his friends LOSE to the cheerleaders while Stevie and Coach (Joseph Carlo) look on in dreamy bemusement (Stevie) and horror (Coach).”

Through the entire review, this person thinks that Ms. Johnson’s name is, instead, Stevie. Funny, considering everyone’s name is said a zillion times in the film, let alone the end credits sequence. He calls the football player “asswipe,” when he should be calling HIM Stevie, since that’s the character’s name. If you’re going to bash a film, try to get the names right.

A number of reviewers (such as this one) were somehow of the opinion that this story took place at a university. That flies in the face of the term “high” used throughout the film, as in reference to “Benedict High” and “Baker High.” Yes, the coach was trying to get a job away from the high school and at a university (which is why he was talking to a dean), but that doesn’t make his prospective employer the “Dean of Benedict High.”

Even the simple location of one lone altar was too much for this reviewer as evidenced by this extremely brief review…

“Satanic altar at a high school bodes ill will for the students!”

Considering the altar was in the woods in another town entirely went straight over the head of this critic.

And the real gem of the lot is this reviewer‘s comment…

“So jam packed with bad humor and lame jokes that you’d swear you were watching reruns of Love, American Style and about as believably Satanic as Anton LaVey’s infamous documentary on the subject, Satanis: The Black Mass”

Yes, Anton LaVey. You know… the man who codified and established Satanism for the first time in human history. Granted, Satanis doesn’t have as much of the (unintended?) humor factor that SC does (though, admittedly, on an apparently similar budget), but those folks in Satanis are actual members of an actual organization expousing actual Satanism. Funny that such a documentary isn’t “believably Satanic” enough for the reviewer.

Of course, some of the actual errors in the film really do pose some questions: Why are Stevie and Debbie’s two successive romps in the bushes BOTH surprises to the football coach? Didn’t he remember knowing where they were and what they were doing the first time? How is it that, when Stevie slaps a “Boys” placard over the “Girls” one for their respective locker room door, the coach isn’t the least bit surprised and enters through that door? Doesn’t he know where his own locker room is? There are more to be certain, but even these goofs in continuity, for me, merely add to the charm of SC.