Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader 2000 Review
Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader 2000
Directed by: Jeff Miller
Starring: Tasha Biering, Dan Roach, Debbie Rochon
Review by Luisito Joaquín González
Every slasher website on the planet will have had their say about the amount of movies that took a chunk of inspiration from Halloween. It’s really not that hard to believe, because Carpenter’s classic is exactly that – a classic. Another early title that picked up an almost equal amount of copycats was Slumber Party Massacre from 1982. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Amy Jones’ entry, and even if I remember it being fairly enjoyable, I’m surprised that it received such a legendary status. It was a fairly slick stalk and slasher, but I’m not sure if it was any more deserving of a legion of imitators than Silent Scream, Blood Rage or even Graduation Day. I need to watch it again soon just to make sure.
Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader is another that goes for the Slumber Party style of slasher tribute and it does so on a penny sweet budget. It was released by Film 2000 in the UK and before they went bust (unsurprisingly), they graced our shelves with quintessential features such as, Camp Blood, Carnage Road, Paranoid and Granny. Cheerleader was amongst good company…
Heather (Tasha Biering) is the head cheerleader for her college team. It’s Halloween and the night before a really important game, so she decides to go home early and get some rest. She just wants a quiet night in front of the television. Her peace is broken when Coach Reiley (Debbie Rochon) tells her that they’ve found her friend’s decapitated body. Suddenly she begins receiving anonymous phone calls from someone that claims to be killing off all the cheerleaders. Unable to leave her house, Heather begins to question all of the people around her because she knows that the killer must be one of them…
At a guess, a shocking seventy percent of this flick takes place inside the protagonist’s living room as she engages in moronic conversation on the telephone with the cranky killer. Yes, it’s as brain numbing as it sounds, as we stare unwillingly at four cramped walls and a couch for 80 minutes. The only time that we are allowed to witness a change of scenery is when the maniac strikes and commits his lame murders, which if you were reading that last sentence a tad too quickly, please go back and make sure that you note the word ‘lame’ as the descriptive term. We get decapitated heads, feet and boobs(!) that are so obviously plastic that it’s painful. It’s like director Jeff Miller walked in to a store, stole a mannequin and took it home to chop off the limbs. He then painted the ends red and ta-da! Special effects completed for his movie…
Not only is watching Head Cheerleader a painstakingly arduous task, it’s also an incredibly boring one. You won’t get any thrills from trying to guess who’s killing everyone, because suspects are mentioned that we never get to meet and characters turn up only to disappear just as quickly. Admittedly, I didn’t work the ‘twist’ out, but that’s probably because it could’ve been absolutely anyone. Do you have an alibi? Also, I was tidying up my room whilst this was on, because it was far too tedious to just sit up and watch without constantly feeling the need to fiddle elsewhere. The psycho phones Heather an astronomical amount of times, meaning that towards the end of the run time I was so pig-sick of that ‘Ring Ring’ sound effect that I noticed that I had drunk almost an entire bottle of vodka in an attempt to numb the weariness. Then to add insult to injury, just when I thought that I’d finally escaped the irritation, it played again over the end credits. Aaaargh!
Basically this is just an inane mix of parts from much better movies. Jeff Miller rips off everything from Baby Doll Murders (the killer leaves a doll as a calling card) to Black Christmas (the stalker constantly phoning his victims) and of course, Slumber Party Massacre. He even goes as far as to steal Halloween’s theme song for his trailer! Akkad should have sued him and maybe saved an hour and a half of my time.
Something this bad is always going to be amusing in an inadvertent kind of way and luckily there are a few giggles to be had at the expense of the horrid actors and dumb scripting. One of the most comical is when the fat Sheriff is informed that the coach may have been murdered, but says he can’t send anyone out because ‘he’s busy’. The killer calls up to taunt his intended targets and mutters poetry that sounds like it was written by Oliverio, my nineteen-month-old son. `Violets are blue, roses are red, tonight you two are gonna be dead!’ But nothing can top what Heather says as she finally comes face to face with the killer. `Don’t mess with me, I’m a cheerleader'(!) Oooooooh, scary. Indeed.
In the opening credits, we hear a message that was allegedly left on the director’s answer phone from a concerned mother of a majorette. It says something about her being ‘disgusted’ and if anything happens to her daughter due to a maniac being influenced by what he saw here, then ‘she’ll sue’. Here’s what she really should have said. `Jeff, I’m disgusted that you can insult the wonder that is DVD and in effect my intelligence with this horrid, repulsive dollop of bin-bag lining. I will only be happy if you rectify your mistake and withdraw as many copies from shelves as humanly possible’
At one point in the runtime, one of the characters says, whilst speaking about horror flicks – ‘there’s nothing wrong with a bit of gratuitous violence‘. He speaks the truth. If handled properly, it can be a whole lot of fun. But this is for sure not an example of well crafted horror and should be given to Nasa and shot into space. Vulgar dialogue, pitiful performances and hellish direction add up to a poor excuse for entertainment. In other words it sucks like an industrial strength vacuum cleaner.
You would be extremely hard pressed to locate a bigger hive of scum and villainy and even the bizarre sight of Debbie Rochon getting one of her perfectly pert silicone lady lumps chopped off couldn’t save it. As a wise old garbage-man once said, ‘It’s elementary dear Watson. This is rubbish…’
Final Girl: √