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By Merle Bertrand | February 3, 2002

It’s hard to believe that any blood-soaked slasher/zombie picture could ever take itself seriously, let alone one that contains dialogue like, “We’re talkin’ about scrimmaging against the cheerleaders!” Yet, if Chris Sivertson and Lucky McKee’s “All Cheerleaders Die” isn’t exactly as somber as a wake, it’s not precisely the rip-snortin’ parody one would expect from a film so titled either.
There’s a feud brewing between the football team and the cheerleaders over who’s got it tougher. The correct answer, of course, is everyone else not blessed with their perfect genetics at birth, but that’s besides the point. The jocks are so obsessed with this spat that they concoct a scheme to invite these lovely ladies out into the woods for the weekend; not to party or get laid…but to prove that their football Hell Week is tougher than cheerleading camp.
So, let me get this straight: these morons go camping with five beautiful women…and they’d rather out-macho ’em than do what God and nature intended football players and cheerleaders to do? If it was possible to slap movie characters, I’d be first in line.
Anyway, unbeknownst to the lugs, the cheerleaders, under the guidance of creepy European foreign exchange student Hanna (Julie Carpenter), have formed a coven. Thus blessed with magical physical endurance and excess female bonding, they not only survive the guys’ hazing efforts, they thrive on it. With tensions mounting as fast as tempers, violence inevitably breaks out. Quicker than you can say “Gimme an E!” the confrontation leads to an accident which leaves four cheerleaders dead…and Hanna to plot her revenge.
At the class reunion five years later, Hanna invokes the oath to resurrect her short-skirted sisters…who don’t look nearly as sexy after five years in the cold hard ground. Now, however, these gals have more than looks that kill.
There’s not a lot to recommend about “All Cheerleaders Die.” Sivertson and McKee seemed more intent on getting all their favorite bands on the soundtrack than in worrying about such incidentals as the plot and cinematography. Other than the one surprisingly intense scene where the guys take their fun and games too far, the script is porn film crude, stilted, and occasionally ad-libbed. A contributing factor, no doubt, as to why all these characters are absolutely detestable.
Similarly, all the performances, many of which have been over-dubbed, are way over the top, although it was kinda refreshing to watch a video ostensibly taking place in high school starring actors who could at least pass as high schoolers. Barely. Even the effects work, while plentiful, is fairly standard stuff. (Incidentally, even though mass carnage is almost a requirement in films like this one, the bloodthirsty zombie cheerleaders pretty much burn up all their sympathy points by munching on innocent bystanders.)
Even though “All Cheerleaders Die” has “parody” written all over it, it plays instead as a straight horror flick. Since it’s nowhere near scary enough to pull that off, that’s a decision that’s almost as ill-advised as the football team scrimmaging the cheerleaders in the first place.

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