Review by Dave
** ½ Out of 5
Tagline- This Is One Game You Don’t Wanna Miss
Release Date- March 25th, 2003
Running Time- 75-Minutes
Screenplay- Lenny Juliano
Director- Jim Wynorski
Starring- Tamie Sheffield, Charity Rahmer, Erin Byron, Bill Langlois Monroe, Diana Espin and Brinke Stevens as Linda
Released in 2003, Cheerleader Massacre is a sequel of sorts to the Slumber Party Massacre as Brinke Stevens reprises her role of Linda from the original film and despite the fact she died in SPM according to this film she survived. However the version I saw on Netflix cuts this scene out and runs at 75-minutes and according to IMDb the movie runs at 85-minutes. IMDb isn’t always correct, but the version I saw was clearly had some editing since Brinke Stevens doesn’t appear. I assume the escaped killer in the movie is supposed to be the Driller Killer from SPM, but it was unclear and I’m not sure if it was the writing or the edited version or perhaps a little bit of both.
Slumber Party Massacre may not be the most known horror film outside of horror fans of course and it may not have the popularity of Friday the 13th or Halloween, but it did spawn 2 official sequels as well as a slew of knockoff films and also had 2 movies billed as sequels. Cheerleader Massacre being one of them and the other being Sorority House Massacre II also directed by Jim Wynorski. Sorority House Massacre II rather than use clips from the original Sorority House Massacre, Sorority House Massacre II opts to use footage from SPM, which has drawn some confusion from horror fans due to the title and it having nothing to do with Sorority House Massacre (can’t blame anyone for that since it is a pretty poor movie). But I guess my point is Slumber Party Massacre has a lot more influence on the slasher film than given credit for.
I don’t think anyone will go into this film for quality cinema and cult filmmaker Jim Wynorski attempts at re-creating the formula of some of his past work, which features hot women and hot women naked and at times this almost plays out like soft core porn. Cheerleader Massacre clearly aims to be like the slasher flicks from the late 80s and very early 90s and while it does has that vibe going,for it, one thing for sure is times have changed and Cheerleader Massacre would probably have worked a lot better had it been made in the late 80s or early 90s. Fans of Jim Wynorski should get some entertainment out of this as again it features a lot of what he is known for. The only real difference is the quality of the movie is a lot cheaper looking than Wynorski’s past films. Movies such as Chopping Mall, Sorority House Massacre II and Hard to Die (Sorority House Massacre III)’while low budget films don’t look cheaply made (well their low budget origins show, but don’t look cheap). Cheerleader Massacre looks as if it were shot on some sort of video and the production values are also cheap looking, but in fairness the budget was very low and I don’t know the budgets of his past films I know they were low budget, but they didn’t look cheap like this film.
The plot has a few characters stranded in the middle of nowhere with an escaped killer on the loose and the film also has a twist and the escaped killer and the twist don’t exactly flow together, but in general if you’re looking for a plot you picked up the wrong movie. The script by Lenny Juliano is actually fairly entertaining and while the script isn’t exactly good, but it does sort of work on the so bad its good vibe. Characters are interchangeable and faceless with zero depth, but I very highly doubt anyone interested in this movie will be expecting complex characters and plot. The dialogue is often silly, but again it sort of works and is at times fun.
Director Jim Wynorski delivers a fun movie, but does have some issues with pacing; while the script can be fun at times the more the characters talk one can begin to zone out. Wynorski has no real intentions of creating any suspense and opts for delivering a movie meant to be fun and campy and for some of the running time, Wynorski does deliver on that. As I stated this isn’t meant to be high quality cinema, but a fun and campy movie and if you accept it for that Cheerleader Massacre can be entertaining. Wynorski attempts at making the typical movie he’s known for and while this may not be as fun as some of his past movies he does show he can still deliver a fun and silly movie.
The biggest selling point of the movie are the women all are smoking hot and most of them also get naked. This film features some of the hottest women you’ll see in a genre movie. The girls are all meant to be teenagers and from what I can see most were about 23-24 at the time, which is common for actors that age to play teens, but the women clearly look their age and in no ways look like teenagers, which for me does add some more fun to the film.
Overall Cheerleader Massacre is a fairly entertaining movie loaded with hot women, hot women naked and very little else. The gore is light and the film features a silly and un-needed twist and despite my rating I did have fun with this for the most part, but I’ve always had a soft spot for B-grade cinema and I actually would watch this again.