Adamantium Bullet

31 Days Of Horror: THE MAJORETTES

For the next 31 days, we here at Adamantium Bullet will be reviewing one horror film a day leading up to Halloween. Each film will be horrific, terrifying, chilling, pulse-pounding, or flat-out awful. All will be endured in honor of the season. Expect SPOILERS. Welcome to Adamantium Bullet’s “All 80s” edition of 31 DAYS OF HORROR.

In this episode, J Bryant and AngieBee discuss director Bill Hinzman's sensationally sleazy 1987 slasher THE MAJORETTES starring Terrie Godfrey and Kevin Kindlin.

THE MAJORETTES tells the tale of a twisted maniac who is brutally killing off the local high school's cheerleaders one by one. Who could it be? The jilted boyfriend? The peeping tom janitor? The evil nurse? The star quarterback? Or the drug running, gun-toting satanic gang? And what is the motive? Meanwhile, the majorettes just wanna have fun and practice their drills in peace! Who will stop the systematic slaughter of the sexy baton twirlers? You’ll find out in this sensational 80s slasher!

Seventeen dead total. Seven women and ten men. There’s a weird mix of kills in THE MAJORETTES with most of the early ones being standard “slice and dice” slashings and a good portion of the later ones being RAMBO-esque shootings. Case in point: One of the side characters goes home around the midway point, strips off his shirt, gets his father’s M16 rifle out of the gun cabinet, and proceeds to start mowing punks down. This series of events follows a botched kidnapping (the kidnappers are the punks being mowed down) which was the result of the initial slashings (which everyone thinks the leader of the punks is responsible for even though he is an obvious red herring) which were the result of a whole bunch of plot threads that we're not going to get into. Just take note that there’s a lot of weird sh*t going on this film and let’s move along.

If you’ve come for gore, the death of Judy (Sueanne Seamens) will satisfy. It’s one of those “lovely young lady takes a shower and is brutally slaughtered” bits with just the right amount of blood and boobs. If you’ve come for the standard issue slasher action, the double death of Tommy (Colin Martin) and Nicole (Jacqueline Bowman) won’t disappoint. If this film had a pre-credit kill sequence, these two would’ve been the stars of it. As it stands, they are offed shortly AFTER the opening credits so it doesn’t count as a pre-credits kill.

Finally, if you’ve come for shock value, the death of Vicky (Terrie Godfrey) is where you’ll find it. Set up to be the “Final GirlAND a major plot point, Vicky is unexpectedly shot in the back and killed towards the end of a very unexpected kidnapping subplot, setting off the series of unexpected events mentioned in the BODY COUNT. Just take note that there are a lot of interesting kills to choose from in this film and let’s move along.

We lost count. No, seriously, we lost count of the amount of NAKEDNESS in THE MAJORETTES. There’s just so much NAKEDNESS. So much NAKEDNESS from a whole bunch characters who were barely given names (the lack of subtitles and sh*t sound on the DVD we watched did no favors for our notes) played lovely ladies and moderately attractive men (most of whom did not continue acting after this film) most likely hired for their looks and not their acting abilities (let's not pretend like this isn't true). Just take note that there is a lot of skin in this film and let’s move along.

Despite being a slasher film, THE MAJORETTES doesn't know how to properly slasher. A true blue, real deal, proper slasher film knows to wait until the last few minutes to unmask the killer and reveal his/her motives. That is NOT what happens here. For whatever reason, director Bill Hinzman (“Cemetery Zombie” in 1968’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) and writer John A. Russo (co-writer of 1968’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) casually reveal the killer’s identity and motive one hour in. Not just reveal, but reveal and then totally swap genres for almost the remainder of the film save for about six or seven minutes at the tail end. Up until the reveal, this film is very much a regional slasher packed with acceptable performances and just the right amount of blood and boobs. After the reveal, this film becomes a kidnapping crime drama with an almost rape scene that quickly morphs into a RAMBO-esque revenge actioner.

Yeah, we realize we’re beating the “THE MAJORETTES is weird” point to death having mentioned it in two of the three previous categories along with this one, but it’s such a weird shift. Not many movies try to pull off sh*t like that. It’s almost as if the filmmakers got bored with what they were making and decided to abandon it in favor of something more action-packed. Whatever the reason, the killer being revealed midway through is definitely the SIGNATURE MOMENT. You might think it’s a fake-out and that the real killer has yet to be revealed, but no. The killer is the killer, he’s revealed at the one hour mark, and the film completely derails after that. Let’s just move along.

THE MAJORETTES is a film adaptation of a book written by John A. Russo. We only mention this because in a book it is okay to have a character, especially if they are the narrator of the story, provide exposition and necessarily plot points via internal monologue. You know this, we know this, most everybody knows this. It happens in most books. In films, however, narration is usually narration, done via voiceover. It’s not often that a film character will walk around reciting their internal monologue aloud.

Oh, and when we say “internal monologue” concerning this film, we actually mean “evil plans” and all of the various elements connected to them. On more than one occasion, Helga (Denise Huot) states her “evil plans” aloud for everyone to hear. Whether it be the old woman she’s taking care of, her “Peeping Tom” co-conspirator son Harold, the old woman’s granddaughter Vicky who is about to inherit a fortune, Vicky’s boyfriend, the local sheriff, or whoever, Helga will dish out the details of her future dirty deeds within earshot of them. It’s a grand old IDIOT MOMENT so let’s just move along.

See the SIGNATURE MOMENT and let’s just move along.

> THE MAJORETTES was released in Europe under the title ONE BY ONE. (IMDB)

> THE MAJORETTES was filmed between October and November 1985, with principal photography occurring at Cornell High School in the Pittsburgh suburb of Coraopolis, with additional filming at the Fox Chapel Yacht Club. Its production budget was estimated at $85,000. (Wikipedia)

Posted by AngieBee

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