Friday, September 14, 2018

310. The Pom Pom Girls

310. The Pom Pom Girls (1976)
Director: Joseph Ruben
Writers: Joseph Ruben from a story by Joseph Ruben and Robert J. Rosenthal
From: Cult Cinema

Two high school football players chase girls and pull pranks.

This movie is on the same disc as The Van and I think that’s more than coincidence. Just like The Van, we follow two boys that are supposed to be our heroes who attempt to sexually assault women, try to murder someone they don’t like, and pitch mini tantrums whenever they are told anything remotely close to “no.”

There is no plot. I’m hard-pressed to say there are characters. Two football players, the quarterback and another one, pull pranks on the rival high school’s team and bully and belittle the movie’s villain, Duane, because he’s not on the football team or interested in their pranks. Finally, at the end of the movie, Duane challenges the not-quarterback to a game of suicde chicken—they trade cars and drive at 40 mph toward a cliff. First to brake loses. Duaye hits the brakes, other kid drives over the cliff. Car crashes and explodes, but, sadly, kid jumped out at the last minute. He and the quaterback (who’s quit the team after punching the coach) huddle up with their girlfriends and walk away laughing. THE END.

It sucks, obviously, but what’s interesting is that it sucks on every level. As I said, there’s no plot. The characters don’t want anything and there’s no situation arising that they have to address. The movie’s very slice-of-life, only they’re not interesting lives. Then you have the issue that it’s supposed to be a comedy—the pranks are supposed to be funny. Only they’re not. Instead we’re just witness to the destructive sadism of two entitled pricks who think they’re too clever or special for everyone else. Only we don’t see them be special in any way. They’re just dicks.

I mean, there’s one sequence where the gang steals a fire engine, hoses down the rival team, and then is chased by the cops. To get away, they turn the hose on the cop car, driving it off the road, and escaping. No one faces any consequences for it, just or unjust. Later, the coach, who for whatever reason wants to take the quarterback down a peg, tells the quarterback to hit him. QB doesn’t then follows the coach into the parking lot and decks him. The coach tells him he won’t pursue charges, won’t even have him suspended from school, but that he’s going to ride herd on him during the season. So the QB quits, but the scene is played as though he’s gotten something over on the coach. No, you’re just as much of a prick as the coach.

Regarding the villain, Duane, he’s literally singled out because he’s doing his own thing instead of kowtowing to the football players. On top of that, he’s dating a girl that the not-QB wants to date. So not-QB tries to murder him in the first ten minutes of the movie.

No, he literally tries to murder him. The football players have kidnapped a girl who ends up dating the QB later (cause consent’s the biggest joke of all, amirite?) when not-QB sees Duane walking down the sidewalk. He whips the car around, drives onto the sidewalk, and bears down on Duane, only narrowly not running him over. These are our heroes in a comedy.

It’s bullshit. Avoid it.

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