ONE BY ONE EQUALS FUN

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 in 80's Horror, All Reviews | 2 comments

 THE MAJORETTES (1987)

The good people at Shriek Show/Rare Flix provide us with a lot of unearthed entertainment, from the sleazy House on the Edge of the Park to my beloved Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. Gracias! Now, they have been so kind as to offer up a DVD release of The Majorettes, a late 80’s slasher film by iconic Romero zombie, Bill Hinzman.

On the surface, this is a masked madman movie. But hold on to your bloody batons because this one doesn’t exactly follow the formula set forward by all those Friday the 13th rip-offs. See, this film also includes an evil nurse, a satanic biker gang, and machine gun shootouts. Not quite as simple as Just Before Dawn, my pets. Probably because it is based on a novel that I’d just love to get my mitts on.

After credits that really couldn’t be more 80’s, and GIANT REMINDERS THAT JOHN RUSSO WROTE THE NOVEL, the film starts off exactly as it should with young, firm cheerleaders dancing in an auditorium. Like Killer Workout, the opening has an outrageous opening song. “Look at me… here, I am.” Don’t worry girls, we’re looking. We’re not even that distracted by what is clearly the greatest boombox ever made.

In mere minutes we’re treated to that classic scene that never gets old: the everyone goes topless in the locker room scene. The janitor, Harry, peeps on the babes as he, like everyone in this town, has an unnatural obsession with these girls, The Majorettes. We soon learn that he is the son of Helga, that evil nurse I mentioned. She’s taking care of an elderly mute named Elvira and she has some nefarious plans to inherit the old crone’s fortune.

But let’s get back to the slasher aspect of the movie for now.

One of the Majorettes, a little blonde named Nicole, is out on a parking-in-the-woods date (I love how sexually aggressive girls are in these movies) when our slasher makes his first attack. But he’s not just a silent, masked stalker. This is a hooded killer in full camouflage combat gear who roars when he attacks. Oh, man, now we’re havin’ fun! You know what else is my kind of fun? A cross dissolve of a murder and a baptism, which we also get to enjoy here.

The Majorettes and their coach, who looks younger than a lot of them, get stirred up after Nicole is offed, and with good reason. Slowly they start getting picked off one by one (the alternate title of the movie) and even  their coach’s cop boyfriend isn’t much help. Hilariously though, the girls’ moods swiftly change — and they seem to get over these killings and try to “get on with their lives” even as the murders just go on happening.

Meanwhile, Harry (the janitor, stay with me) starts getting harassed by his drug dealer, Mace Jackson. With a name like that this dude was bound to deal dope. In a spicy twist, Mace used to date Nicole, the first of the slain Majorettes. Tantalizing! The movie unfurls in an overly complicated plot that includes all sorts of red herring killers as Nicole becomes the town’s Laura Palmer; everyone suddenly has ties to her, a motive to kill her, or some sort of sexual past with her. Meanwhile the slasher goes on taking these girls out in a rather satiated fashion, as the kills are not particularly interesting; he really takes his sweet-ass time doing it too, with all of his peeping tom shit slowing him down.  After two of the Majorettes die, you’d think they’d be under constant surveillance by the police, but no. This shit just goes on like this.

Majorettes ShowdownThe plot becomes very Tales from the Crypt-like, involving greed-motivated murder even if the slasher isn’t exactly motivated by that.  But then there is a sudden shootout in a warehouse that derails the whole whodunit formula and catapults the movie into Cannon Films style cheap action. Mace’s biker gang is hilarious and includes a member who loves Dixie so much that he even dresses as a civil war soldier. But you see, they mess with the wrong boyfriend of one of The Majorettes, and the teenage machine-gun revenge spree that follows really must be seen to be believed.

Some lame monologues offer juxtaposition, and then eventually the slasher’s identity is revealed to us in a not-so-shocking finale that involves even more backstabbing and blackmail and murders — enough to make even Angela Lansbury blush. But it sort of redeems itself in the end with its rather chilling final scene.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Cynics would say that The Majorettes can’t decide what kind of movie it wants to be. But I say it just plays by its own set of rad rules. What we have here is a slasher who looks like G.I. Joe as he peeps on naked teens. That should be enough for a b-movie. But Hinzman takes Russo’s novel ideas and splatters them all over the screen (don’t edit your own movie, Bill). Plot twist after plot twist, mood change into mood change, this movie is a clusterfuck at times but its damned fun throughout. It is also so painfully 80’s that the nostalgia factor earns it a whole extra point.

As a bonus, be sure to watch for the medical examiner, played by the author, John Russo. He is so awkward on camera that it is hysterical. Its like watching Napoleon Dynamite’s brother in a C.S.I cameo.

  • RATING: 3 out 5 stars. Not for everyone, but slasher fans and lovers of 80’s discount cinema might want to pay it a visit. What it lacks in creative kills it makes up for in ludicrous plot twists and machine gun fun.
  • CHICK OF THE LITTER: Nicole. She’s a little nymphet that actually looks like a teen, unlike the other girls. She’s far from a virgin though, so she doesn’t last long in slasher country.

BARTENDER’S NOTES

Upright Brewing Four PlayThis movie is going to make you want something sexy and sweet… like a cheerleader. Why not go with the beer with the sexiest label to ever bless a bottle, Upright Brewing’s 2nd Anniversary Four Play. This Belgian style beer has been blended from old pinot noir barrels, adding a cherry-like flavor to it that justifies its rosy hue. Unfortunately this brew is very rare as it was a limited celebratory craft beer, but as your barman I was compelled to at least share this lustful label with you.

A second, easier to locate choice would be Southern Star’s Bombshell Blonde,  which bares a very sexy logo that reminds us of our ill-fated little Majorettes.  This golden, foamy ale comes in a can year round. A real Texas blonde beer, this is perfect for all kinds of weather, with its creamy and refreshing taste. Best served cold as ice.

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. This movie is so incredibly bizarre. And awesome. And bizarre.

  2. Agreed! Part Sleepaway Camp and part Death Wish 3!

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