The Swinging Cheerleaders appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.66:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. A product of its era and budget, Cheerleaders looked acceptable.
Definition seemed decent but not great. While the movie maintained adequate clarity, it never seemed especially sharp – particularly during interiors, which tended to be a little fuzzy.
Still, overall delineation was fine, and I encountered no issues with jagged edges or shimmering. Edge haloes remained absent, and print flaws seemed minor. Occasional specks and marks appeared, but nothing much marred the presentation.
In terms of colors, the film opted for a natural palette that looked decent. The hues lacked much vivacity, but they appeared reasonably positive. Blacks were fairly deep, and shadows showed reasonable clarity. This was an unexceptional presentation, but it fared better than I expected.
Similar thoughts greeted the average LPCM monaural soundtrack of Cheerleaders. Speech was intelligible but a bit stiff and distant. The lines lacked issues but never sounded especially good.
Music came across about the same, as the score and songs demonstrated adequate clarity but not much range. Effects were a minor factor, and they also showed decent accuracy. Everything about the mix seemed acceptable and no better.
The Blu-ray comes with a mix of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Jack Hill. Along with American Grindhouse director Elijah Drenner, Hill looks at the origins and development of the film, sets and locations, cast and performances, the rushed shooting schedule, music, cinematography, genre issues and reactions to the movie.
Don’t expect a lot of depth here, as the commentary tends to feel fluffy. We get a decent array of movie-related notes, but the piece tends to drag. Those factors make this a spotty and only occasionally informative chat.
A series of interviews follow. First comes an eight-minute, eight-second piece with writer/director Jack Hill. He discusses how he got into movies, aspects of his career, and the release of Cheerleaders. Hill gives us a few decent notes in this short overview.
Next we get a 2006 piece with cinematographer Alfred Taylor. In the 10-minute, 15-second reel, he covers his path to movies as well as aspects of his work. Like Hill, Taylor offers a moderately interesting take on the subjects.
An archival piece, we hear from Jack Hill and musician Johnny Legend. For 10 minutes, 37 seconds, Legend interviews Hill about Cheerleaders. Hill gives us a reasonably good take on the movie.
In addition to two TV spots, we find a 2007 Q&A from the Grindhouse Film Festival. The 19-minute, 19-second reel features Hill and actors Rosanne Caton and Colleen Camp as they discuss various movie-related topics. The conversation remains fairly fluffy and anecdotal, but it works acceptably well.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Cheerleaders. My review set didn’t include this disc so I can’t comment on its contents.
At the very least, I hoped The Swinging Cheerleaders would deliver a silly, campy romp. Unfortunately, it lacks many positives and winds up as a slow, dull effort. The Blu-ray offers better than expected picture and audio as well as a decent set of supplements. Quentin Tarantino loves this movie – I have no idea why.