Not one but two movies about cheerleaders on the chopping block. Does it get any better than that? Or should the question be, which is better? Spirit Camp or All Cheerleaders Die? They are actually two very different types of horror flicks.
SPIRIT CAMP (2009)
Spirit Camp has a lot going for it. For starters, the male cutie in the film is one Kerry Beyer, who also happens to have written and directed it (and done pretty much everything else according to the final credits).
Next, it’s about a crazed killer at a camp in the woods. Wahoo! The Friday the 13th vibe is there and the movie is ripe with nods to Halloween.
Next is the amount of gay characters. What do you expect? The movie is about a summer camp for cheerleaders! The movie opens with a trio of gay male cheerleaders sitting around the fire with the girl cheerleaders—and one getting pulled into the woods with a chick who wants him. He gets horrified and runs away when she flashes her tits. And that’s just in the opening death scene.
After that, we flash ahead two years and there’s only one gay character. But he does go out looking for some man-on-man action (and finds some). The only downside is…Kerry Beyer isn’t the gay guy. He does everything else in the dang movie but he can’t play the gay guy?
Memorable characters are what can make or break these low-budget indies. They make this movie for sure. We get the usual suspects—the goth girl, the nice girl, the dumb girl, the chubby girl, and the bitch, who totally nails it and has some great lines. And aside from wishing Kerry Beyer were in the movie more (and naked), I also wish the little girl who plays the sister of one of the cheerleaders had been in it more. She only appears in the beginning of the film but she totally rules.
Most of the kills happen off screen and we just get to see the aftermath, but the killer does don a creepy “girl” mask. And classic killer POV is used to great effect. Plus, there’s a fun scene involving a vibrator. Topping it off, there are a couple of good chase scenes.
The only thing really missing from Spirit Camp (aside from Beyer’s naked body) is…a motive! There are all these possible suspects based on the history of the camp, but when the killer is revealed, there’s absolutely no connection to any of it!
I don’t understand why Kerry Beyer didn’t go with the most logical conclusion—one of the cheerleaders was killing all the other cheerleaders because she wanted Kerry Beyer all for herself. Better yet…the gay guy was killing all the other girls to have Kerry Beyer all to himself.
ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE (2013)
Put Jawbreakers, Jennifer’s Body, Tamara, and The Craft in a blender, and you’ve got All Cheerleaders Die by director Lucky McKee, who also did two other films I’ve blogged about: May and The Woods (not to mention the fucked up film The Woman).
Despite the title, this is not a slasher in which cheerleaders die. But they do want to kill everyone else! That’s what makes it so awesome. It is not what you expected. After the head cheerleader dies during practice and another chick hops right into her spot, it seems like this is going to be all about someone getting revenge for the dead cheerleader.
Instead, we get a half hour of adolescent drama that feels like it’s never going to go anywhere. There’s some lesbianism, teens partying in the woods, a rejected goth who flirts with witchcraft, and the captain of the football team proving he’s a total dick (but a hot dick).
Then suddenly, shit takes a serious turn…right into the fan! The football captain leads the boys into committing a criminal act, and it’s up to the goth girl to save all the cheerleaders from certain death.
But the cheerleaders are not the same after that. They glow. They eat the life energy out of guys. They fuck the life energy out of guys. Their new lease on life suddenly gives the movie a dark sense of humor that wasn’t present previously.
And then things get really real when the boys fight back….
All Cheerleaders Die has it all. Boobs. Shirtless dick (see dude in pic above). Humor. Blood and gore. Violence and brutality. But most importantly, it has a key ingredient that makes every teen horror flick perfect—a montage of the slutty cool chicks walking through the high school hallway in slow motion.