The October Diaries: All Cheerleaders Die

Illustration by Max Brown
Blurbs by Mary Yajko, Sean & Christof

October 30th, 2014:
All Cheerleaders Die

Year: 2013
Director: Lucky McKee & Chris Silvertson
Format: Netflix
From IMDB: A rebel girl signs up a group of cheerleaders to help her take down the captain of their high school football team, but a supernatural turn of events thrusts the girls into a different battle.
Tagline: You can’t kill their spirit.

Mary Yajko’s Take:

If you like girl power and witchy shit, All Cheerleaders Die is a must-see. As a former cheerleader and angsty teenage girl, I’m the perfect demographic for this film. But even on top of the female-centric cast of characters and high school revenge platform, there are so many unique moments, I just can’t imagine this movie not being entertaining for a wide range of viewers. (A wide range of adult viewers that are prepared for some blood and gore and rated-R subject matter, that is.) I’ll give you a pass if you’re not that into witchy shit; But, if you’re not into girl power, I don’t understand you and I wish the rage of teenage cheerleader zombies upon you.

All Cheerleaders Die Title Card


Sean’s Take:

Lucky McKee always has my attention. He earned that respect primarily with 2002’s May — a funny/dark outcast tale imbued with Frankensteinian psychological inclinations. Angela Bettis plays the titular character in that one, and her performance coupled with McKee’s delirious directorial instincts (as well as Rian “I directed Brick and Looper” Johnson’s slick editing) combine to make and incredibly playful and sinister character study.

None of his follow-ups have quite matched May for me, but each one was more than worth the sit. I particularly enjoyed his Masters of Horror episode entitled “Sick Girl” as well as one of the more feral movies I’ve ever been subject to (2011’s The Woman — check out this gnarly clip of a an audience member at the film’s Sundance premiere losing his fool mind at the offensive content of McKee’s film).

All Cheerleaders Die is a mishmash of zombie-horror and Heathers-style social satire, with just a dash of body-swap thrown into the mix. I thought the directors (McKee co-directed with Chris Silvertson) did an admirable job of juggling all of these flavors while keeping the plot moving.

The world building on display should also be commended. And, really, any film that weaves magic Pagan crystals into its undead exploration of high school social constructs has to have a sturdy enough narrative foundation to keep from imploding.

I’m glad that even when the film ventured into some dark thematic territory there were still moments of inspired silliness to remind us what kind of movie we’re watching. The scene where one of the young males recounts losing his virginity to one of the undead cheerleaders was a standout (“It’s supposed to be cold, right?”).

Looking forward to getting Lucky again.

Christof’s Take:

What Sean and Mary said.



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