ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE-United States-90 Mins. 2013
Caitlin Stasey as Maddy Killian in All Cheerleaders Die
Sianoa Smit-McPhee as Leena Miller in All Cheerleaders Die
Brooke Butler as Tracy Bingham in All Cheerleaders Die
Tom Williamson as Terry Stankus in All Cheerleaders Die
Directed and Written by Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson
It’s been a few hours since I watched All Cheerleaders Die and I’m still trying to figure it out. Seriously, a cheerleader movie-any cheerleader movie-should consist of cheerleaders running around in skimpy cheerleader clothes acting like bimbos while all the boys with their raging hormones chase after them hoping to nail them. That is the balance that lies within the heart of a cheerleader movie. However, with that being said let it also be said that All Cheerleaders Die is co-directed by Lucky McKee. Lucky is the (evil? sick? twisted?) genius behind May, The Woman and The Woods, as well as the Masters of Horror episode, “Sick Girl“. If you saw any of those films then do you believe for one second that he’s going to co-direct a normal cheerleader film (with Chris Sivertson)? All Cheerleaders Die is a cheerleader-lesbian-witchcraft-sort of zombie, sort of vampire-revenge movie that will, in the first two minutes have you saying, “What the f*ck?!?”
At the risk of sounding like I lifted the plot summary of All Cheerleaders Die from an outside source let me just say that at the heart the movie is about a cheerleading squad that seeks revenge on their high school football team. It is the smaller parts that make that heart beat and that give the film its charm. After her friend Lexi dies performing a stunt, Maddy seeks revenge on Terry, Lexi’s boyfriend and leader of the team, for dating Tracy, the captain of the cheerleading squad, before Lexi’s body has had time to grow cold, so to speak. Maddy does this by first making Tracy doubt Terry’s fidelity and by seducing Tracy herself. There is an argument at a party that leads to a car crash and Maddy, Tracy and two other cheerleaders, Hannah and Martha, are killed. This is where it gets weird. Maddy’s ex-girlfriend Leena is a witch. Leena performs a pagan ritual and brings the girls back to life with only two complications: Hannah and Martha now reside in each other’s bodies in Freaky Friday fashion; and all four of the girls have a hunger for human blood. Hmm, now where can they find human blood? How about from the football players that caused them to crash and die in the first place?
Looking at the poster for All Cheerleaders Die there is a disclaimer at the bottom that reads “Based on the original film All Cheerleaders Die“. Yes, there was a film released in 2001 that was also entitled All Cheerleaders Die and that was also directed by Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson.
Here is the Wikipedia summary of the 2001 film:
A group of high school football players get into an argument with their cheerleader girlfriends over the difficulty of their respective sports. The cheerleaders insist that it’s difficult to form a human pyramid while the players insist that their boot camp is more strenuous. As a result the players decide to set up a camping weekend with the idea of putting the girls through football training. This turns out to be a bad idea, as one of the cheerleaders ends up beating one of the footballers in a scrimmage game, who then ends up severely beating her. The girls try to escape, only to fall off a cliff and die. Panicked, the players assume that the girls are either dead or dying, and run off in the hopes that nobody will discover what has happened. Unbeknownst to them, one of the girls has survived and later returns at a high school reunion to seek revenge. She summons the zombified remains of her dead friends and one by one, picks off the football players.
Is it me, or does that sound flat and uninteresting? McKee and Sivertson were smart to wait 12 years before remaking All Cheerleaders Die. It may not be the perfect cheerleader-lesbian-witchcraft-sort of zombie, sort of vampire-revenge movie and it may not be the first but it just might be the best cheerleader-lesbian-witchcraft-sort of zombie, sort of vampire-revenge movie that we’ve got. That is, until McKee and Sivertson decide to get weirder in another 12 years.
One of the locations for the filming of All Cheerleaders Die was Cathedral High School, at 1253 Bishops Road, near China Town, in Los Angeles, California. This school was founded in 1925, and is located on what was the old Calvary Cemetery prior to 1900. This high school was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument 281 in 1984. Its athletes are nicknamed the Phantoms, because of the school’s location on top of a cemetery.
Caitlin Stasey also stars in Tomorrow, When the War Began and I, Frankenstein.
Sianoa Smit-McPhee also appears in Touchback and Mall.
Brooke Butler also appears in Retribution (TV).
Tom Williamson also appears in Dark Nights.
Michael Bowen (not shown) also appears in Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Jackie Brown and as Uncle Jack he was the scumbag who shot Hank Schrader on Breaking Bad.