Sales for "Cheerleader Massacre" would probably do a lot better if this 2000 direct of video release was listed under some sort of soft porn category into of being labeled a slasher flick. This is supposed to be the four film in the series "The Slumber Party Massacre," which produced films in 1982, 1987, and 1990. In fact, Brinke Stevens is once again playing Linda, her original role in first film. But for some reason the producers decided to trade in the cache, so to speak, of the series title and come up with something different. Is it because they think "Cherrleader" conjurs up more notions of sex than "Slumber Party"? Or is it because they noticed the story here is not about a slumber party? The plot--no, strike that: the setup for the massacre is that five high school cheerleaders to to a cabin the woods for a weekend getaway with their coach (Tamie Sheffield, whom you might recognize from "Fear Factor" in 2001) and a couple of jocks who show up to see what is happening. A crazy guy comes along and starts killing them, but not before we are treated to several scenes involving showers, bubble baths, and chocolate sauce.
The only real question here is whether in the final analysis "Cheerleader Massacre" is a worse example of slasher flick or a soft-core film. There has always been a connection between sex and death in splatter flicks, something we have understood ever since good girl Laurie Strode was the only one of her peer group to get out alive in "Halloween." Even when "Scream" made a point of the heroine not being a virgin, it only reinforced the idea that the subtext for such movies was that bad things happen to young people who have sex. If you think sexually transmitted diseases are bad, then you just wait until some guy with a knife, machette, chainsaw, or whatever comes after you.
But here the sex is way out in front. The only bit of gratuitous cheerleading comes at the start of the film, and even then there are no outfits. From then on there is little wearing of much clothing by these cheerleaders. In the end I have to write this film off more as porn that slasher because the acting is closer to the nadir represented by skin flicks than the wooden and unprofessional performances you often find in splatter flicks, especailly of the direct to video variety. In fact, one of the actresses has made dozens of hard core films. You should be able to pick her out, at which point you will realize that her acting really puts the rest of this cast to shame (which is not a good thing).
If you check this out for blood, guts, and gory, then you are definitely in the wrong aisle. If you are looking for a film with multiple shower scenes, then you may well end up being content with this tacky little film. I guess they could not work "Shower" and "Massacre" into the title, although you would think you would not need a lot of imagination to do that. Finally, if you are really looking for a slasher film with cheerleaders, then you are forced to go check out "Cheerleader Camp."
on July 17, 2003
Cheerleader Massacre is a wonderful homage to slasher flicks of the 80's, most notably Slumber Party Massacre. There are many scenes reminiscent of that film in this one, and it's neat to realize what the director was trying to do. The actresses are typical of any slasher flick: beautiful, young, and willing to get nude at the drop of a hat (which will please many a viewer). The death scenes aren't very graphic (which may disappoint some), but there are so many of them, you may not notice. The ending is very Scream-like, but it works. Bring on Cheerleader Massacre 2: Electric Bugaloo!
The DVD features Director Audio Commentary, a deleted scene, cast bios, the original trailer, and other preview attractions. The picture is full screen, but the sound is Dolby Digital 5.1. This isn't a very surround-heavy mix, but it's always nice when they throw in those little surprise directional effects to throw you off guard.
Overall, a good movie and one that any horror buff should add to his or her collection immediately.
on April 16, 2005
...for dumb, because that's exactly what this film was, and in spades...touted as coming from the people who brought us the Slumber Party and Sorority House Massacre films (most of which I've seen) released during the 80's, Cheerleader Massacre (2003) hardly follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, which seems kinda strange because it's not like they set the bar really high or anything, and to make a film that's actually worse than those would be pretty hard to do...but it was done...I guess the main difference is while those earlier films may have been bad, at least they were entertaining, and this one really wasn't...directed by Jim Wynorski (The Return of Swamp Thing, Sorority House Massacre II), the film stars Tamie Sheffield (Intolerable Cruelty), Charity Rahmer (The Frightening), and Erin Byron (One of Them). Also appearing is Leonard Johnson (Manhunter), Bill Langlois Monroe (Freedom Strike), GiGi Erneta (El Chupacabra), Melissa Brasselle (Raptor), and legendary scream queen Brinke Stevens (Teenage Exorcist, Hybrid), who's in the film for all of about three minutes, looking a bit long in the tooth.
The film opens on a couple camping in the woods, and since we don't know these people, it's a good bet they're going to be our first victims...and sure enough, they are...but hey, where's the blood? Sadly, these scenes are pretty much indicative of the kill scenes throughout the film, as very is little shown, and features very little blood. Anyway, cut to some cheerleaders practicing (since `cheerleading' is in the title, I figure they gotta show some girls getting their cheer on, and this is it for the entire film), and afterwards we get some nekkidness as the inevitable shower scene occurs (very few of the Wynorski films I've seen don't have one of these scenes). Seems the girls, along with their coach, the very stacked Ms. Hendricks (Sheffield), are preparing to go on some kind of camping trip, and the short bus is leaving very soon. Around this time we cut to some scenes involving various members of the police department talking about a recently escaped serial killer and how the bodies are beginning to pile up. So the girls leave, end up running out of gas, and hoof it to the relative safety of a spacious, deserted cabin, but find themselves up to their eyeballs in trouble as their number begin to dwindle due to an aggressive depopulation campaign propagated by a unknown assailant.
The first thing I noticed about this film was it was shot not on film, but on video, giving it an overall cheapness quality right off the bat. At least the previous massacre movies were shot on film...oh well, anything to save a buck. The only real reason to watch this movie is for the softcore stuff, of which there is a decent amount. The rest hardly matters much as the story is lame, even for this kind of movie, the kill scenes really pathetic and nearly absent of any blood or violence, the dialog insipid, continuity errors galore (watch as the killer cuts the power to the cabin, but oddly enough the lights still work in the bathroom where Sheffield's character is showering), virtually no tension, and the acting all around rancid. I will say the actors playing the high school students looked close to the age of their characters, which is pretty uncommon for films like this...one thing this film does have in abundance is pointless characters. I lost count of how many different characters kept popping up, and it's not like they were there to provide for a plentiful stock of victims, but just more so to fill out the 85 minute run time. They could have cut the number of characters in half, focused on those that were left, and had a slightly less crummy end result, but that is just my opinion. Wynorski seemed to have phoned it in, expending most of his talents filming, in loving detail, the female characters in varying degrees on nekkidness, master of the slow pan. The best among these scenes would have Tamie Sheffield, who played the coach, and her extended shower scene...oh yeah, use that soap, baby...as far as the massacre bits go, there really wasn't much there, except for one scene where a character lost his head, literally. The characters basically run around, doing stupid things, more so than normal for a movie like this, and get killed off screen. As far as the mystery killer goes, throughout most of the film, we only see the hands, and the choice of weapons and methods used to off the victims were very bland and conventional, as if there was no effort to even try and make it interesting, which was completely disappointing. If there's the appearance of effort put forth, I can overlook a lot of things, but here there doesn't seem like much was given, and the result is just an edgeless, boring, predictable film with some decent boobage. Oh, man, I almost forgot...the big revel of the identity of the killer and motive...that's a key element to a movie like this. The rest of the film can be crud, but you can't do a movie like this and shortchange your audience in this area, which is what happened here. It was just so pathetically lame when it was finally reveal...no bang, just a slight pop...the music was okay, but its repetitiveness wore on me.
The fullscreen picture does look decent (for video). The audio does come through clearly, and is available in Dolby 2.0 stereo and 5.1 digital surround. There are some extras including a commentary track with director Wynorski and actress Erneta, along with a choice deleted scene (3 girls in a tub), cast & crew bios, a trailer, and previews for the films Quicksand (2001), Disappearance (2002), and Sting of the Black Scorpion (2002). I give this film two stars, one because Amazon does not allow for zero stars, and a 2nd for the nekkidness featuring the hot babes.
By the way, in case you're interested, I got a body count of about 9, but it could have been more as I lost interest about halfway through...
Okay, so there are these cheerleaders, and they spend most of their waking lives naked. Unbeknownst to these nubile, young nymphs, a mad killer named McPherson is on the loose. Will their nakedness be rudely interrupted by said maniac? When their van breaks down, the girls trek to a remote, abandoned house in the woods. Thankfully, it's soon warm inside. Far too warm for clothes. As you might have guessed by now, this is a Jim Wynorski film, so mega-nudity is a prerequisite. As in real life, every cheerleader in this movie is insanely beautiful. There are a few male characters floating around too, but who cares? They're either comic relief or nameless psycho-fodder. CHEERLEADER MASSACRE is a movie strictly aimed at the avid admirer of the female anatomy. Oh yeah, there are some bloody murders that occur as well. CM is a magnificent slab of cheeeze! I especially love the howling wind sound effects, while not a leaf or a twig is moving on the trees outside! Enjoy...