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Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader (2000)

DVD Cover (Dead Alive Productions)
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4.1
 / 10
3 votes
Genres:
Cheerleading, Horror, Horror Comedy, Slasher Film, Teen Horror
Director:
Jeff Miller Jeff Miller
Starring:
Tasha Biering Tasha Biering
Dan Roach Dan Roach
André B. Walker André B. Walker
Debbie Rochon Debbie Rochon
Bobby Cerutti Bobby Cerutti
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Review by Chad
Added: May 21, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, I purchased something from Amazon - I believe it was the Ghoulies double feature - and received a recommendation for this title after I had sent them my hard-earned dollars. "What's this", thought I, "a slasher film centered around cheerleaders that features Debbie Rochon in a starring role? Why haven't I heard of this before?" I clicked on over to IMDb to get a little more information on the title, and that's when I saw the one thing that every director must dread: unanimous user reviews which claim that this is "like, totally the worst movie ever!" That's never a good sign, but I've found some real gems by ignoring that advice, so I looked around for some reviews that were a little more professional in order to get a better idea of what this movie was about. In doing this, I found something that I thought was pretty goddamned amazing: there's not one single review out there that gave this movie the slightest bit of praise. Think about that for a minute. You can find positive reviews for House of the Dead if you look hard enough, but there wasn't even one person out there who enjoyed this enough to at least say "Well, it was alright" and give it something along the lines of a 2/10. So, to make a long story short, I bought it - after all, it's a slasher movie... with cheerleaders... and Debbie fucking Rochon - how bad could it really be?

It begins with the revelation that the local high school is all set to participate in a huge football game tomorrow, a game that will put an end to a long-standing feud between two of the best teams in the county and which will also lead to a couple of surefire scholarships for the best players. We also learn that someone has murdered one of the cheerleaders and left her head in a burlap sack on the football field. This leads us to head cheerleader Heather Connelly (Tasha Biering), a young lady who starts to receive some rather disturbing phone calls on the night before the big game. As the night progresses, the mystery caller continues to tell her about the people that he's been murdering, and he also tells her that he'll be paying her a visit at midnight... and that if she steps foot outside the house, she'll be the next girl murdered.

To say that I wasn't expecting much from this would be an understatement. Sure, I took a risk and purchased it for a whopping three bucks (that included shipping), but the fact that it sat on my desk for two weeks before I got around to watching it should speak volumes about how much I expected to enjoy this. Much to my surprise, the movie turned out to be pretty damned good. Mixing together elements of Scream, When a Stranger Calls, and Black Christmas, Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader is a damned entertaining and engrossing film once it gets going.

The chief complaint that I read about this film was that it wasn't scary and that it was too clichéd for its own good. I have to wonder about the intelligence level of some of these reviewers, as it was pretty obvious to me that director Jeffrey Miller intended to inject some humor into the mix and that the ending was a parody of the slasher films like Scream and its ilk. Yes, the ending is extremely clichéd - there's at least six surprise twists within a five minute period of time - but unless I just read more into it than I should have, I'm pretty sure that it was supposed to be funny. Maybe I'm wrong, but with quotes like "I'm gonna kill you, then I'm gonna fuck you, then I'm gonna kill you some more", I don't think so.

It wasn't all peaches and cream with this film, however, as there were a few flaws to be found. One of the most glaring errors was the score provided during some of the tense scenes. You see, this movie is an actual horror comedy: there's horror, and then there's comedy. It's not like some of these horror comedies that show a murderer using a dildo as a weapon in order to show some gore and get some laughs at the same time; no sir, there are scenes that are pure horror here, and then there is some comedy mixed in for good measure. There are actually some fairly tense scenes in here, but the score - a mixture of jazz and adult contemporary - just killed the tension levels dead. That was honestly my only complaint about the film aside from a severe lack of Debbie Rochon. She only shows up for about five minutes, pops her top for the camera, and... ahem... disappears from the storyline after that.

The only reason that I can come up with as to why this film got slammed so hard is the budget. Yes, the special effects are wretched and yes, the props look more like mannequin parts than the mangled body pieces that they were supposed to represent. However, I can overlook that in exchange for a good storyline with a great payoff, and if you share both my love for slasher flicks and my opinion on the budget concerns, give this one some love. 8/10.
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