J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

All Cheerleaders Die: Undead Cheerleaders vs. Sociopathic Jocks

Here’s that Afterschool Special you always wanted. Pert teenagers will deal with their grief in the darnedest ways in Lucky McKee & Chris Sivertson’s All Cheerleader Die (trailer here), which releases today on VOD.

Although she is a bit of a counter-cultural hipster, Maddy Killian was still good friends with Lexi Andersen, the captain of the cheerleaders.  You know that move where a cheerleader is thrown in the air and caught just before her head hits the ground? Well, that didn’t quite happen. When Tracy Bingham succeeds the late Andersen as both captain and girlfriend to senior quarterback Terry Stankus, Killian resolves to join the squad to bring those chicks down. However, it turns out Stankus and his minions are the real jerkweeds. How bad are they? Well, they kind of, sort of accidentally kill Killian and her new friends when a party in the woods goes tremendously wrong.

Fortunately, there is no cause for alarm. Killian’s torch-carrying Wicca-practicing estranged friend Leena Miller will bring them back to life (or rather to a state of undeath) through some New Age crystals and a spot of mumbo jumbo. There are a couple of catches, including their newly acquired taste for blood. The Popkin sisters also seem to have had their souls and bodies mismatched, but these are mere details. Obviously, the dudes are quite surprised to see the cheerleaders at school the next day, but Bingham and company are quite eager to see them.

So yes, this is a dead teenager movie. Seriously, what’s not to get? It’s all about blood-sucking cheerleaders versus sociopathic jocks. Brings back memories, right?  There is a fair amount of Scream-like attitude, plenty of gore, and enough naughtiness to keep horny teenage boys hooked.

As the director of the notorious Lindsay Lohan vehicle I Know Who Killed Me, Sivertson has clearly looked deeply into the heart of darkness and lived to tell the tale. Fortunately, this is a different kettle of fish. To its credit, ACD delivers exactly what it promises. While there are plenty of darkly comic moments, co-writer-directors McKee & Sivertson stop short of the inspired madness found in Zombeavers and Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead. Of course, those films set the bar pretty high. A low calorie, defiantly politically incorrect distraction for midnight movie fans, All Cheerleaders Die should do brisk initial business and generate reasonably okay word-of-mouth when it launches today on VOD.

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