The Kinky Coaches And The Pom Pom Pussycats (1981)

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Flack
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The Kinky Coaches And The Pom Pom Pussycats (1981)

Post by Flack » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:21 am

The worst thing about groundbreaking and genre-defining films is that they almost always spawn a wave of inferior clones. For every Mad Max, we also get films like Warlords of the 21st Century, 2019 - After The Fall Of New York, and Exterminators of the Year 3000. 1978's Animal House was no exception. The quintessential "raunchy comedy" spawned hundreds of imitators -- some good (Porky's), and many not-so-good.

And then there were films like The Kinky Coaches And The Pom Pom Pussycats, which is downright horrible.

The film opens with 30-seconds of a golden football trophy rotating in front of a velvet black backdrop. The narrator informs us that this is the "Chester W. Hick Cup," and as he talks about the values it represents he hiccups when he says Hick Cup, just in case you didn't get the joke. The worst part isn't the joke itself; it's that it's one of the better ones in the movie. This film is full of jokes that aren't really jokes. Had you found yourself watching this film in the theater back in 1981, that joke would have been your cue to walk out of the theater, pretend you had entered the wrong one, and left to go see something else.

Each year, two rival high school football teams -- the City High Moose and the Johnson High Eagles -- battle for the Hick Cup. After a lengthy practice/scrimmage montage, we discover City High has sent their school's AV nerd ("Weasel Wexler") over to Johnson High's practice field to "secretly" video tape their practice. I say secretly in quotes because Weasel, literally the only person watching the practice, hides behind a set of unoccupied bleachers.

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When a couple of Eagles notice what Weasel is up to, they convince an attractive female student to flirt with the boy. While Weasel is distracted, the two players steal his camera (and 20-pound VCR), run back to their locker room, record over the tape with footage of the players mooning the camera, and then return all the equipment back to the field before Weasel notices it was missing. Later that afternoon, Weasel gathers the City High players in their own locker room and, without viewing it first, shows them the tape. Fortunately for Weasel, the football players are very understanding and get a good chuckle out of the whole thing.

Just kidding. They duct tape Weasel's mouth, bind his wrists with rope, and strap him onto a conveyor belt that pulls him toward a spinning table saw blade. The only thing that saves Weasel from being split down the middle is a clueless janitor who turns off the death contraption after lecturing the student about the current energy crisis, and scolding him for not having permission to use shop equipment after school. HILARIOUS.

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Later that afternoon at Mom's Restaurant ("Mom" is a guy; isn't that a gas?) we learn that the City High players plan to retaliate against their rivals by "pranking them" (more quotes). The prank they plan is for their quarterback to have sex with the other quarterback's girlfriend. WHAT A PRANK! Even though it has nothing to do with the plot, Mom's Diner has a dance floor in the corner where eight kids dance in the background of every scene. Well, seven kids dance -- one kid just uncomfortably gyrates and alternates between staring at whoever is talking in the foreground, and directly at the camera.

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Meanwhile, the... okay, I can't really remember which kid is on which team, but "Pigger" Peterson, a football player who grunts like a pig instead of speaking (because his name is "Pigger"), pulls his own prank by sitting on a creme pie in Mom's. In case that doesn't sound like a prank, this is what it looks like.

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I guess now's as good a time as any to mention that 90% of the film has been ADR looped -- that is, the voices have all been overdubbed. And it's not just Pigger Peterson's pig grunts or Weasel Wexler's obviously dubbed voice -- it's almost everybody. Almost every scene has weird character voices coming from off screen. "Yeah, we gotta get those guys," says a disembodied voice. Sometimes, the fake off-screen voices are louder than the on-screen voices. In some scenes there are so many voices that don't match up to anyone on screen that the film becomes less of a comedy and more of a schizophrenia simulator.

Despite the title, The Kinky Coaches And The Pom Pom Pussycats contains almost no sex or nudity. One exception is when one of the teams "pranks" the other team by sending two of their hottest cheerleaders over to play strip poker with two of the opposing team's players. I... don't understand this prank. I wish when I was in high school, people had pranked me this way. "Ha ha, we got you real good by sending over those hot naked cheerleaders!" Instead I usually got the prank where a kid punched me in the balls thirteen times a day.

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Even though the "teenagers" in this film are all obviously in their 20s, some scenes still feel icky to watch -- like when the coach walks behind bent-over cheerleaders and says "looking good, ladies," or when the 60-year-old chief of police says "look at the jugs on that one" about one of the high school students in Mom's diner and tells a waitress she's "looking pretty foxy today." If the cop has one redeeming quality, it's that he tells someone they are "crazier than chicken ice cream," which is my new favorite saying.

At its core, The Kinky Coaches And The Pom Pom Pussycats isn't a sex comedy -- it's a football comedy. And if you didn't think you were going to get to see some football, boy were you wrong. The big showdown between the City High Moose and the Johnson High Eagles begins at the 48 minute mark and lasts until the hour-twenty mark. I really want to stress that point; 32 minutes of this 88 minute (with credits) movie, literally more than a third of the film, is a football game.

The final moments of the game come down to an extra point. If the attempt is missed, the Moose win. If it's good, the game will end in a tie. As the kick goes up, everyone's attention is distracted y someone on the field. I know you are hoping that it's a topless cheerleader, but no, it's the Eagles' mascot riding a unicycle across the field holding the opposing coach's lucky long underwear tied to a pole.

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Because of the distraction, nobody saw whether or not the kick was good, which results in not just a bench-clearing but a stand-clearing brawl. Football players fight football players, cheerleaders fight cheerleaders, and parents fight parents. It's a hoot. Also, Pigger makes some more pig noises. Because his name is Pigger. After refusing to clear the field, everybody in attendance -- literally, every player, every cheerleader, and every fan in the stands -- is arrested and hauled down to Police Headquarters in a single squad car.

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The riot continues there until someone notices that our old pal Weasel Wexler captured the result of the kick with his camera. Wexler plays back the video footage, and...

...well, if you think I'm going to tell you who won the game, you're crazier than chicken ice cream.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: The Kinky Coaches And The Pom Pom Pussycats (1981)

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:49 am

Was this released in theaters? I think this demonstrates how hard it is to make a movie. You have to suck at it a bunch and god, who has time for that.

The RedLetterMedia guys have been commenting on movies daily for over 10 years and when they released Space Cop, well, it was better than their previous movie, which was inspired by Gremlins or Ghoulies. But it was still bad. It's funny what we take for granted in film.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Flack
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Re: The Kinky Coaches And The Pom Pom Pussycats (1981)

Post by Flack » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:20 am

It was released in theaters, yes, and probably hoped to do well. I forgot to mention that the two coaches were played by John Vernon ("Dean Wormer" from Animal House) and Robert Forster (Mullholland Dirve, Twin Peaks). There's also a pesky reporter that keeps trying to interview the coaches who is played by Normal "Mr. Roper" Fell. IMDB shows a budget of $2.5 million but no box office records, so it's hard to say whether or not it turned a profit.

The film was also released under the name Heartbreak High. Often, trend-chasing films will change their names to associate themselves with other, more popular films. (Case in point: one of my favorite B movies, Spaceship, starred Leslie Nielson. Years later, after the success of the Naked Gun movies, Spaceship was renamed Naked Space so that it would be located next to the Naked Gun movies on video rental store shelves.) Although I haven't found any solid documentation, I suspect Heartbreak High was the original title (drawing comparisons to Animal House, and probably received the Kinky Coaches label after Porky's was released.

I also didn't talk much about the soundtrack. The movie features several original songs written and performed by Richard Cooper, with titles like "Crunch" and "She Ain't Much, But She's Company." Richard Cooper's biography (in full) on IMDB reads: "Richard Cooper is known for his work on Heartbreak High (1981) and The Last Waltz (1978)." At least he worked on two movies. Most of the young actors in the film have the distinction (according to IMDB) of being "best known for Heartbreak High," a fact no doubt many of them have left off of their professional resumes.

I personally love these shitty little films, the ones that end up included in those "50 Awesome 80s Movies" DVD collections. Not only are they time capsules, but they help to prove just how hard it is to make a decent movie. Unrelated punchlines, ridiculous plots, and random nudity do not a film make.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

Bugs
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Re: The Kinky Coaches And The Pom Pom Pussycats (1981)

Post by Bugs » Tue May 07, 2019 7:41 pm

I’ve never seen this film, but I can tell you definitively my favorite part about it is the OJ Simpson USC jersey in the third screencap.

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