School is still in session in this blog as we’ve chose a high school movie theme for this month. It’s my pick this week, which I’d like to preface by saying (a) I thought it would be way better and (b) it wasn’t as bad as Monkey’s Paw. Nothing can possibly be worse than Monkey’s Paw.
All Cheerleaders Die
Where to Watch:
Cheerleaders killed in a terrible accident return from the dead seeking vengeance. With a witch thrown in there for good measure.
The Uncondensed Version:
Lexi is a cheerleader very much looking forward to senior year, as she explains to amateur filmmaker Maddy. She tells us cheerleading is a dangerous sport and cheerleaders are much more likely to suffer injuries than football players…just before she performs a flip that goes horribly wrong. Right, it’s that kind of movie.
Fast forward a bit, and the squad is holding tryouts for Lexi’s spot. In an unexpected move (almost as unexpected as the Spanish Inquisition), Maddy tries out and earns a place amongst high school royalty. However, for reasons unknown to us, Maddy reveals to her video blog (not using the word “vlog”) that this is all part of some elaborate plot to ruin senior year for all of the cheerleaders. Because that’s what you do in high school instead of read, write super emotional entries in your journal, and fear the day you’ll be called on to participate in class. Or so I’ve been told.
Complication to Maddy’s plan is Lena, a really needy Wiccan who has named a cat after Maddy and doesn’t understand why they broke up. Lena walks away angry and upset, which is probably not the best.
The new head cheerleader Tracy is now dating Terry, Lexi’s ex-boyfriend. Terry is a huge douche and cheating on Tracy, which Maddy uses to drive a wedge between them and date Tracy herself. When Terry figures this out, he’s extremely pissed off and ends up ruining a cemetery party. Honestly, dude.
Coincidentally, Lena is sitting in a dark corner near the party casting spells, tossing runes around, and doing general witchy stuff. But really this is just an excuse to stalk Maddy, who is busy making out with Tracy.
But back to Terry, who picks a fight, punches Tracy, and begins a high speed chase between the football players and cheerleaders. We get a classic afterschool special scenario in which irresponsible drinking and driving leads off a cliff into the river below. The football players come out of this unscathed, of course, and just sort of quietly slink away.
Lena has seen everything and drags all of the girls out of the river in the hopes of saving Maddy. She’s too late, but does this really bizarre ritual that makes a sort of blood snake and draws some sort of life essence into stones that each of the girls absorb. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, you guys.
The next morning, the cheerleaders wake up in Lena’s room, which is exciting because (a) Maddy is alive and (b) Lena’s weird witchcraft thing actually works. However, for some reason this also means that the girls have to drain the spirit from living humans and they also have a sort of psychic connection through the stones. I just…don’t follow. At all.
This goes on for a bit until there’s some typical high school drama, of which I will spare you the details. Then, of course, things take a turn for the worse when Terry realizes he can absorb the stones, which make him sort of all-powerful? I think? And all of this means a showdown in the cemetery where some will live, some will die, and some will…remain undead I guess? If that’s what they are?
First of all, this was a bit of a trainwreck in terms of plot and explanation of supernatural elements. Witchcraft brought the cheerleaders back from the dead, gave them a psychic connection, made them thirst for human energy, and switch 2 of their bodies??? Are they witches or zombies or all of the above? There was a further plot twist at the end that made even less sense.
Also towards the end, the writers tack on a rape revenge story, which I hate hate hate so much because it’s focused on having a really creepy voyeuristic murder scene that’s portrayed like a rape scene. And it spends way more time on that scene than anything resembling female empowerment.
Besides that, the character motivations made no sense—it was unclear to me why Maddy wanted revenge against the entire cheerleading squad when she really had a bone to pick with one particular sleazeball.
This one wanted to be The Craft but also a zombie movie while providing biting social commentary, so it made little to no sense.
2/5 Pink Panther Heads
Because there were witches, guys. Witches and I didn’t even care.