Reader Request – Cheerleader Ninjas: So It’s Come To This

This film exists and it is not as bad as you would assume from the title. 

SUMMARY

The following is a summary of this film and not me dictating while having a series of strokes that cause me to belch nonsense:

CheerleaderNinjas - 1Crane
The low quality on these images is not always my fault.

A group of “Catholic Mothers with too much time on their hands” blame the local cheerleaders (Angela Brubaker, Renee Deemer, Sunny Graves, Tamara Lentz) from Happy Valley High School for all of the porn and filth on the internet (as well as children being eaten by cyber demons). While the cheerleaders are both sexual and dumber than a sack of wet mules (this is definitely an expression), this still seems over the top. Based on that, the church ladies hire Stephen (Jeff Nicholson), an evil and gay (these two things are unrelated but both mentioned frequently) cheer-squad reject to train four evil Catholic schoolgirls (Brooke Martin, Alissa Shanley, Cathryn Farnsworth, Jade Merrithew) to destroy the cheerleaders. Fortunately, they survive the attack and learn ninjutsu so they can defeat the evil schoolgirls. At the same time, the Mothers and Stephen hire Mr. X (Donr Sneed), an evil computer genius, to replace most of the internet with pictures of the Pope. However, Mr. X has his own scheme that will have to be thwarted by the cheerleaders and their allies, the Nerds (Matthew Mertz, Jared Brubaker, Adam Burns, T. Scott Becker). 

END SUMMARY

I originally found out about this movie nearly 20 years ago when it was purchased for a family member, we’ll call him “AndTheRippers,” by another member of the family, we’ll call him “Clownpants,” after the former had made a joke about this concept. Clownpants is also the one who requested this review due to him being bored out of his mind from the 2020 Quarantine. I honestly didn’t remember much about the film, aside from one single gag that I’ll cover later. Also, this isn’t to be confused with the George Takei film Ninja Cheerleaders.

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Surprisingly, the George Takei one (right) came second.

This movie starts off boldly by listing the “alternate titles we didn’t use” which include “Crouching Tiger, Hidden .357” and “101 Ways to Wok Your Dog.” It then starts the credits by promising that Angela, the one with “big knockers” will lift up her shirt at the end of the movie, “so hang in there,” and that pretty much tells you how seriously this movie will take anything. This film is essentially a parody of exploitation films and martial arts films in the vein of Airplane! or The Naked Gun, only without the budget (or the talent, but this movie’s still got its moments). There are a ton of sight gags, such as having all of the people in the high school grouped together with signs like “The in crowd,” “Rappers” (people who are wrapping gifts, and “druggies” (people who are practicing pharmacology. Some of these are funny, some of them would be hilarious if there was a bit better timing for the punchline, and some just don’t work. In fairness, in most parody films, even great ones, there are gags that don’t really work, but the key to pulling off a full movie with that humor is managing to keep a massive variety of them coming, while still spacing them out appropriately so the beats hit. Cheerleader Ninjas tries to do that, but comes up short. 

CheerleaderNinjas - 3Cast
There are a lot of background wifebeaters.

A lot of this movie is based on the kind of social stereotype humor that brought us Revenge of the Nerds, something that is frequently referenced by the film. All of the nerds are dressed in Star Trek uniforms, the cheerleaders only ever wear their uniforms, and the jocks repeatedly beat up random people in the background. While that is funny on occasion, after a while the reliance on those gets old. The fourth wall is frequently broken and, similarly, this alternates between being funny and being too much, and the same goes for the repeated jokes that derive from the film not having enough of a budget to do actual stunts (like where they replace one of the actors with a blow-up doll for a fight scene). The worst thing is that a lot of the jokes in this film are scatological, and those stop being funny pretty fast. Still, there is a solid joke every few minutes, so you can actually make it through the film as long as you’re willing to wait.

The problem with a low-budget comedy, particularly one like this, is that it can’t really come across as “so bad it’s good” when things go wrong the way that a low-budget horror or drama can. Comedy often relies on timing and delivery as much as it relies on material and that means that trying to have less-than-talented actors deliver jokes just causes everything to fall flat. Unfortunately, that describes much of this cast, as most of them simply can’t make the jokes work… although a lot of the jokes wouldn’t work with George Carlin saying them.

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There’s a Highlander joke here, which could have worked, but doesn’t.

The movie also tries to parody exploitation films, but it does just have genuine exploitation in it. There is random nudity throughout the film, mostly in the form of Kira Reed, who, being a former adult actress, plays out almost all of the fantasy sequences in the movie and they are as exploitative as it gets without being actual pornography. 

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Here’s a random picture of a bush.

However, all of this is nearly redeemed by one, single joke in the film that stood out after roughly 18 years of not thinking about the movie. That joke is the Very Rare Bear. There is a scene when the cheerleaders are first learning to be ninjas in which one of them loses control of their sword in a park and kills a “very rare bear” which is clearly a person in a bear suit (they aren’t even wearing bear feet, making them bare footed, which also stood out). Unfortunately, I could only find a low-quality clip of it online, but the sheer level of insanity required to come up with this concept somehow stood out and still makes me laugh. 

Overall, I’m not going to say this is a good movie, but I do at least acknowledge that it has a few moments… and the Very Rare Bear. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.

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