This effort from exploitation auteur Jack Hill was a profitable early entry in one of the most beloved subgenres of sexploitation cinema, the cheerleader movie. The soap opera-styled premise focuses on the lives of a squad of cheerleaders at Mesa University. Mary Ann (Colleen Camp) is worried with trying to get her roving football player boyfriend, Buck, to settle down and marry her; Lisa (Rosanne Katon) is caught up an in an affair with the married Professor Torpe (Jason Sommers); and Andrea (Rainbeaux Smith) frets over whether or not to give her virginity up. There is also a new cheerleader named Kate (Jo Johnston), who is actually a journalism student using the experience to write a feminist-slanted paper for her thesis. Kate soon learns that the cheerleaders and football players deserve more respect than she gives them and also uncovers a secret gambling ring involving the coach, Professor Torpe, and Mary Ann's father. The narrative that results from these surprisingly involved plot threads delivers all the raciness the title promises, and, thanks to the gambling subplot, even a bit of action. The Swinging Cheerleaders is less inspired and kinetic than Hill's other exploitation fare, but it delivers the sexploitation goods and manages to work in a little subversive social commentary to boot. As a result, it became a drive-in hit and earned a cult following amongst fans of drive-in movies.
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