"All Cheerleaders Die" is an odd film, made even more odd when you consider it came from Lucky Mckee, the same guy whose twisted mind created the cult classic "May" almost a decade ago. Where the latter was a dark, sensitive, emotional look at a loner trying to survive without anyone to love her, "Cheerleaders" is a slick, vapid, sexed up slasher/monster movie seemingly straight out of the 80's. Having not checked in on Mckee's career much over the last few years, I'm honestly not quite sure what to make this sudden turn of events.
The film centers around a group of cheerleaders and football players all going into their senior years of high school. After one of them suffers a tragic death, her less popular friend (think a highly attractive girl with her hair mussed and no makeup, begging for a 2nd act makeover), decides to infiltrate her dead friend's group of cheerleader pals in an attempt to ruin their senior year. She does this because… well, it's not actually all that clear, aside from the fact that they're generally awful people whose senior years you wouldn't mind being ruined. If you're going to hang with this movie though, you're just going to have to run with it.
And "just run with it" is the theme for "All Cheerleaders Die". Because if you're confused early on, just wait until every main female character dies in a tragic accident, and is then brought back to life with the set of colorful magic rocks the requisite goth chick carries around. How did that work exactly? Not sure. Why do they need to absorb blood through their death wounds again? Because reasons. Why did two of them switch bodies? No idea, although it sure does cause some whacky hijinks involving someone's virginity being taken…
So no, not much of what happens in "Cheerleaders" makes a lick of sense. It's an absolutely beautifully shot film, that suffers greatly because of a weak script and sloppy editing. Still, despite all this, anyone who's a fan of true camp will probably find a lot to appreciate here. You won't necessarily be proud of yourself afterwards, but then again what self respecting fan of genre trash really is?
The tagline for All Cheerleaders Die reads "You can't kill her spirit". And that, in a nutshell, is how I ultimately feel about this film. I can sit here all day and tell you the reasons why it fails, but that ultimately can't kill the spirit that this film musters. It's a bright, colorful pastiche of teen horror cliches with just enough of a hard edge and charged up hormonal core to keep things interesting. It will be hard for you not to be entertained during this movie. Maybe not for the reasons intended, but that merely puts it in league with a long list of cult favorite horror films.