McKee co-wrote and co-directed the film with Chris Sivertson (The Lost), who made the short film of the same name together way back in 2001. Now they’ve collaborated once again to create a full-length version of the short. While it’s a wildly entertaining ride from start to finish, the film’s subversive elements kinda missed the mark for me.
All Cheerleaders Die follows a group of highly attractive pom-pom girls who are looking to fill the lead position in their squad (that’s meant literally, not as innuendo). Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) assumes the position (total innuendo), though she’s only joined to avenge the death of her best friend, who once headed up the squad. She infiltrates (ahem) and begins turning the girls against one another, with her crosshairs particularly aimed at blonde bitch Tracy, who barely waited until Macy’s friend was in the ground before she started dating her former boyfriend (played with a deep well of venom by Tom Williamson).
The script is flipped when the girls unite to wreak havok on the group of guys who abuse and use them. Without spoiling anything, they’re granted supernatural powers to get their revenge and these fantasy elements lead to a litany of entertaining kills and chances for the girls to violently get their Craft on. There’s also doses of body-switching, pajama parties, and Wiccan stones. Shit is a potpourri of amusement.
The film is a departure from the filmmakers’ typically bleak and sometimes serious material. While May had a playful tone, All Cheerleaders Die is a straight up black comedy. The satire is where the film feels a bit erroneous. McKee and Siverston overtly mangle the cliches that come with hot girls in horror films (especially the “hot equals dumb” trope), but at times it still seemed like they were still being objectified. A woman walking down the sidewalk in her panties is still going to get a rise from male horror fans no matter how intelligent a character she is. I dunno, I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s still going to be the sex that sells All Cheerleaders Die – at least to a general audience, more shrewd horror fans will probably just be excited over a new McKee film.
All Cheerleaders Die is a campy, bloody film that’s entertaining as hell, but not without its eye-rolling moments. The attempts to be subversive in its satire fell flat in my opinion, though if you’re looking for a good time, you can’t go wrong with this bad bitch.
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