08 April 2008

T & A Academy 2

T & A Academy 2
a.k.a. Gimme an F
United States - 1984
Director – Paul Justman
Impulse Productions, 1991, VHS

With a name like that what could possibly go wrong? A tough question when confronted with the challenge of this movie. Clearly one of the numerous knockoffs spawned barely by Porky's, a quick glance at the box art will tell you it's going to be a poor imitation. One of those cut and paste jobs with a picture of people who just scream, "Not actually appearing in this movie".

Before we get started, I'll tell you right now that I was pretty ripped when I watched this, and even though I laughed my ass off, that doesn't mean a thing.

After the school year ends, a number of cheerleading squads go off to Beaver summer cheer camp, where they train with so called "professionals", led by Tommy, in what almost comes across as a self-improvement seminar atmosphere. Our professionals are a bunch of mid-20's partyers who never got over high school cheer squad, and despite their accumulating overplayed self doubts, and the bumbling tyranny of the camp president Dr. Spirit, continue to hold jobs at the camp. The various groups of girls who arrive to attend the camp are no less stereotypically categorized than their instructors. The girls from the "punk squad", Demons, are inevitably at odds with the girls from the "rigid discipline", Falcons squad, and the predictably cute counterpoint paraded in front of this uninspiring if pityable backdrop are the stars of the movie, the "naïve and mildly religious", Ducks squad, whose innocence is matched only by their sure-to-be-overcome-by-the end-of-the-movie-incompetence.

The worshipful campers shriek appropriately during the numerous dance fueled faith-healing style rallies staged by their saccharine counselors.
A cathartic confidence building male dance montage follows.
Tommy experiences some self-doubt brought on by a bout of self-observant shame. What can a lazy 25-y.o. party boy, with an easy job teaching high-school girls how to dance, do? Teach some high-school girls how to dance, that's what. Taking an immediate shine to the underdog Ducks and their lead hot-blonde Phoebe, much to the chagrin of his girlfriend/co-instructor, he lavishes poorly-scripted if enthusiastically recited attention on the girls. The big cheer competition is just a few weeks away, and all the teams are wrapped tight as a nun's knickers. With barely mild surprisification Tommy sticks to his guns, confessing to a fawning Phoebe that he's already got a gal he loves.

A great deal of lead-up, weak - completely un-disappointing lead-up which I never believed, and which doesn't deliver. Well, really, it was the title, the cover, and the whole girl concept that had me waiting. But frustratingly enough, there is no, or rather, essentially none here of what a formula is made.Tommy's dance scenes begin to hint at this in the very beginning, and later scream it. His good pal Roscoe, who thrusts and gyrates while wearing lycra shorts with a target printed on the ass is definitely an ominous sign. Yes, and a man in the shower dance scene is everything I needed to make this movie complete.

I swallowed the whole bag, receipt, bottle caps and all, and was surprised only to find that I wasn't necessarily the target audience. Humor value in this case is as fluid as the bottle that fuels it.
Dutch video cover with the original American box art (image courtesy Dan's Film Collection):

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