All Cheerleaders Die Blu-ray Review
Cheerleader Lexi calls her sport the most dangerous one in American high schools. It doesn’t seem like it, but she claims there are more injuries than in football, wrestling and others. She proves her point when she’s hurled up in the air to show off a high-flying move and lands on her head, killing her.
Flash forward to three months later, just two days before senior year. Classmate and friend Maddy Killian (Caitlin Stasey, The CW’s REIGN) has decided to join the squad. But Maddy cares less about human pyramids and liberty stunts than she does revenge. “The hard part,” she tells her video diary, “is pretending to actually like those bitches.”
But she does, and quickly becomes one of them. And it’s not long before she kicks off her plan by turning Lexi’s once-boyfriend Terry (Tom Williamson) and his now-girlfriend Tracy (Brooke Butler, 2012’s RETRIBUTION) against each other. It’s at another party that things get a bit out of hand, as a car crash ends the fun fast. Thankfully, Maddy’s witchcraft-obsessed friend Leena (Sianoa Smit-McPhee, HBO’s HUNG) knows a thing or two about bringing back the dead—and then things really get bloody.
If the title at all sounds familiar, that’s because this is a remake of Lucky McKee and Chris Siverston’s own—you guessed it—ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE, which was released in 2001 when the directors were fresh out of college. Having never seen that version, this reviewer can’t offer a comparison. However, this remake still has an amateur feel to it. Some of the cases will be harder to brush off than others, like the shaky special effects (see: the magic stones and the skin color transformation) that belong in a SyFy original movie. (The makeup work, on the other hand, is quite effective.)
The movie is filled with the sort of stereotypes, clichés and fantasies that seem to always accompany these sorts of characters: footballers are beer-chugging meatheads, cheerleaders sleep in sexy underwear, cheerleaders are dumb, cheerleaders tend to only wear their uniforms…What’s questionable is whether or not McKee (2003’s MAY, 2006’s THE WOODS) and Siverston (the Lindsay Lohan vehicle I KNOW WHO KILLED ME) were aware of just how many jokes are packed in here. Do they know that ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE is partly a comedy or are the gags unintentional? Because there is a bit of confusion here and the proper tone is never established, the viewer spends more time scratching their heads than cheering on the gore.
The main draw for viewers will be the murders by sexy teens. While it takes more than halfway through the movie for the girls to have their first “meal,” it’s a bloody one and delivers just what the target audience wants.
ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE gets off to a slow start and never makes it clear whether it’s a parody or a poorly-executed zombie-vampire-teen-horror-comedy, but it still manages to offer just what the promotional materials promise: teenage cheerleaders leaving bloody corpses behind. ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 2.35:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. The video quality is quite strong, presenting fine details and colors throughout.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Subtitles in English. The audio transfer offers clean dialogue and effective SFX (especially in the kills and more supernatural happenings).
Making the Squad: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE (23:45): This making-of featurette uses interviews, auditions and pre-production and on-set footage to provide fans an overview of ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE’s production.