Cheerleader Massacre

I have been watching a lot of DVDs and when I look at my reviews, I sometimes think that I have horrible taste in movies.  I have given some 2 to 2 1/2 star reviews to films most reviewers would have struggled to give 1 star to.  I think that perhaps I don’t know a bad movie when I see one, and then a film like Cheerleader Massacre comes along to prove that I do know crap when I see it.

Cheerleader Massacre was released by New Concorde, the same company that had released all of Roger Corman’s classics originally.  I figured if they were the Corman company, then this might be enjoyable schlock-sploitation.  You mix a psycho killer with nubile young cheerleaders and you have to at least have a halfway decent cheesefest.  How wrong I was.  The movie appears to have been shot on video which makes it look cheap.  The dialogue is on par with some of Ed Wood’s scripts.  And the acting completes the package, making me wonder if I’m watching a soap opera or a porno.  At times it’s actually hard to tell.  For example the cheer squad has 15 minutes before they have to leave for this bus trip.  What does their coach tell them to do?  Hit the showers.  Yes, they are told to shower before they compete.  Why?  Logically this makes no sense, but since they don’t actually make it to the competition the filmmakers had to figure out some way to have a shower scene.  For what it’s worth, Charity Rahmer looks very nice naked.

Cheerleader Massacre is a pseudo-sequel to Slumber Party Massacre.  Slumber Party Massacre was considered to be a fairly decent slasher film.  In fact one of its stars, Brinke Stevens reprises her role as Linda albeit 20 years older.  Then in a move that makes Cheerleader Massacre look even worse, they show a flashback of the young Brinke from Slumber Party Massacre.  I knew something was wrong at once when the movie went from video to film for the flashback.  Incidentally there doesn’t appear to be any reason for the flashback.  A couple of law enforcement types stop by to check on Linda and see if she can remember anything else from her encounter with the madman that might help them catch him now.  She narrates over top of her flashback scene and we never see or hear from her again for the rest of the movie.

There are a couple of pretty elaborate explosions in the film as well, but they don’t look like they belong either.  According to the IMDb, they don’t.  Both explosions were repurposed footage from the Corman classic Humanoids From The Deep.  Sadly despite borrowing shots from several different and better films, Cheerleader Massacre isn’t even able to fill in all of its plot holes.  Why was an abandoned cabin stocked with orange juice and other food items that would go bad while the occupants were off in warmer climes?  Once they find the gun in the cabin, why wouldn’t they all just gather round and stay safe and warm inside the house?  Why would the female teacher go to take a shower and leave the door open as she strips naked?  Why once she shut the door and started to shower did she not lock the bathroom door?  How is it that every girl who gets naked manages to only show their boobs and butt?  I know that one’s not really a plot hole but it was still irritating.  What’s equally funny is that the sole deleted scene on the DVD is a dramatization of the driver’s fantasy about three cheerleaders taking a bath together and covering each other in chocolate syrup.  It doesn’t really add anything to the movie except for that missing full frontal nudity.  Unfortunately watching these actresses cavort around naked in a bathtub full of brown water from the chocolate syrup gave me the one scare I got in the entire film, and that was when I started thinking I might actually be watching a sequel to Two Girls, One Cup.

Cheerleader Massacre gets 1 star and it’s not for the acting, directing, script or cinematography.


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One Response to “Cheerleader Massacre”

  1. ducky87 Says:

    As a rule of thumb, I always look for films put out by Lionsgate. Lots of good horror titles with solid plots and decent dialogue. Not a lot of nudity, but that’s the trend today with marketing people trying to avoid R ratings, which would restrict teens from seeing their films. Not that that really matters if you’re renting a video, but that’s another issue alltogether.

    What amazes me about most horror films, including Cheerleader Massacre, is that people are so damn dumb. I want the young woman who is being terrorized to sit in a corner with her back to the wall so that she can see any villain/mad slasher/monster coming. I want her to find a weapon of some sort and strike out and defend herself. Alas, she does neither and usually ends up very dead.

    Shower scenes can be fatal, voyeuristic or a marketing ploy. I agree that it makes very little sense to take a shower while there is a mad man running loose nearby, but it does play on our primal fear of being alone, naked and defenseless. Add a little creepy music and quick views of the slasher getting ever closer and you’ve created a Hitchcock moment wherein the audience knows what’s about to happen but can do nothing to help the victim. Two young women in the shower usuaslly means the film is taking an erotic turn. More than two is just giving the voyeurs in the audience a chance to see some naked skin. Finally, a shower scene might be inserted in the film so that it can be edited in as part of the trailer in hopes to increase audience size.

    I once met Brinke Stevens and she told me that what she really wanted to do was act in non-horror films and do somdething other than get naked, scream and die. I don’t think that she ever got that chance. Mostly she traded on her name’s drawing power. In her Cheerleader Massacre days, she did a number of cameos and wasn’t on the screen for much of the picture. In the case of CM, it was just that. They probably threw in the old clip because they had the rights to it.

    The King of making movies incorporating clips from other films is Fred Olen Ray. His clips fill in details to make the movie larger than it actually is. He would insert clips that allowed his cast to appear to be in space, attacked by aliens, chased by dinos, etc. without them actually being in the shot.

    I don’t understand why a lot of the extras aren’t part of the film. They provide information that is missing from the movie and helps the film make more sense. I agree that the extra in CM didn’t do much at all to improve the story, but how often do you get to see chocolate covered nudes?

    I would like to say thanks for your review. It’s good to see someone who appreciates horror films review one. I hate it when a critic who normally reviews romance, comedy or drama takes a whack at a horror movie. That person hates the film before they see the opening moments. They don’t understand how sound, lighting and, yes, even nudity can impact on a horror film. You’d get the same result if that person reviewed a porn film. They’d hate it and condemn it.

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