Starring Caitlin Stasey, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Brooke Butler, Thomas Williamson, Amanda Grace Cooper, Reanin Johannink
Directed by Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson
Distributed By RLJ / Image Entertainment
Directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson resurrected their low-budget 2001 film All Cheerleaders Die and gave it a modern spin with a reasonable budget. And the results are nothing if not fun!
Of course, McKee is known for such powerful films as May and The Woman, but All Cheerleaders Die is a different experience from those projects. It’s more of a black comedy romp with some supernatural goings on worked into it than all-out horror flick. You’ll have to suspend your disbelief on some of the magic in the movie, but the rest of it certainly has its strong points.
All Cheerleaders Die is the story of a group of, surprise, cheerleaders, who run afoul of their less-than-chivalrous compatriots on the football team. One thing leads to another and our lovely cheerleaders find themselves…well…dead. But only mostly dead, not all dead. Thanks to a practicing witch who happens to have the total hots for one of the chicks, the dead cheerleaders soon find themselves back among the land of the living, but something has changed. Not only do they now possess superhuman strength, they also find themselves craving human blood, which empowers them further.
Again, not much that’s going to scare you in this one. There are definitely plenty of gory F/X and as the film builds to its finale, the subject matter does get quite a bit darker than the more light-hearted early material. No, blood-sucking cheerleaders aren’t necessarily fare for a romantic comedy, but the masochistic captain of the football team seems that much worse. Luckily, in true McKee fashion, we see more strong female characters just like in the aforementioned films May and The Woman.
McKee and Sivertson went out of their way to work in some entertaining comedy as well in All Cheerleaders Die. You’ll definitely enjoy the mixed up Popkin sisters and the impromptu visit to the neighbor’s house. There’s nothing that’s really laugh-out-loud, fall out of your chair hilarious, but you’ll definitely get a couple of hearty chuckles from some of the situations our lovely band of cheerleaders find themselves in.
And yes, as you would assume, the cheerleaders are the focus of the film. Led by Maddie (played by Caitlin Stasey), the group is well-cast, beautiful and quite entertaining. Brooke Butler perfectly embodies the role in the most traditional way as Tracy Bingham. You cannot be more cheerleader than her. Well done. Additionally, Thomas Williamson is perfectly unlikable as the aptly named Terry Stankus. Williamson does a fabulous job getting the audience to hate his character almost immediately and then continues to become even more reprehensible. All in all, the cast look their roles, and deliver the goods.
The Blu-ray is a bit light on special features. Quite light, actually. There is a half-hour behind-the-scenes/making of segment that features interviews with many of the actors, as well as producer Andrew van den Houten. However, it would have been nice to hear from the directors McKee and Sivertson, the men who created the tale and filmed it, twice.
You’ll get what you expect with All Cheerleaders Die. It starts with a bang, and ends with one as well. You get hottie cheerleaders, supernatural hijinks and enough gore to keep you satisfied. There are even a couple toe-curling ‘crunches’ in there that will certainly unsettle the squeamish. Once again, Lucky McKee serves us up some strong women, and another entertaining film.
- “Making the Squad” featurette
3 1/2 out of 5
1 out of 5
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