TIFF Review: All Cheerleaders Die
Starting off Midnight Madness 2013 with a bang was Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson’s All Cheerleaders Die. Resurrected from a video of the same title they made in 2001, the film starts off fast and absurd. Progressively quickening its pace and sharpening its wit, our demonic cast of pom-pom shakers offer up a devilishly delicious mix of strange, zombified, sexed-up madness. What’s best of all is it leaves you sated, but wanting more. All Cheerleaders Die delivers.
Beginning as a documentary being made by the resident video “geek”, Maddy Killian (Caitlin Stasey), things quickly turn cringe-worthy. With a vacancy on the cheerleading squad needing to be filled, Maddy does her best and makes the cut. And then it all went wrong. Sexual experimentation, spousal abuse, misogyny, and hazing all lead to disaster and devastation. But these girls don’t take their bad hands lying down. Soon enough these perky dynamos of team spirit are up on their feet and stirring shit up.
I’ll refrain from giving much else away. Going into this film mostly blind was a blessing in disguise. I had no clue what hilarious and clever turns lay ahead. All in all, the film delivers. Though not the greatest Midnight Madness selection I’ve seen, it’s heaps of fun. The acting is hammy without trying too hard, while the script offers up some one-liner gems about the frigidity of a woman’s, erm … touch.
In true Midnight Madness fashion, the audience ate up the gross-out humour, high school clichés, and powerhouse performances. One of the most engrossing turns came from Brooke Butler as the resident bimbo-turned-badass Tracy Bingham. The picture perfect portrait of insecure high school girls, she turns it all around. Starting off as the wounded, taken-for-granted girlfriend of the high school football superstar, she bounces back in a flurry of perky blonde vengeance. She’s a treat to watch, and steals every scene she’s in.
All Cheerleaders Die will be playing tonight, Friday, September 6th at 3:00pm at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, and again on Sunday, September 15th at 9:30pm. Tickets are still available, so be sure to check it out.