The Cheerleader Massacre – USA, 2003 – reviews

‘Just when you thought it was safe to go back to school’

The Cheerleader Massacre is a 2003 American slasher horror feature film about high-school girls being stalked by a maniac.

Directed by Jim Wynorski (CobraGator; Sorceress; Chopping Mall; et al) from a screenplay written by Lenny Juliano, the Califim production stars Tamie Sheffield (Swamp Terror; Supernatural Swamp Slaughter; Dinocroc vs. Supergator), Charity Rahmer (Leeches!; The Frightening) and Erin Byron (One of Them).

Former Scream Queen Brinke Stevens has a cameo role and a flashback to Slumber Party Massacre (1982), although this time the scene is edited so her character survives. It was promoted as just Cheerleader Massacre and a further sequel followed in 2011. Producer Jason Hoff was an associate producer on Return to Horror High (1987) and a production manager on To Die For (1988).

Plot:

Five high-school cheerleaders, their coach, a driver and a couple of adolescent horny guys travel to a cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway only to be picked off one by one by an escaped serial killer…

Reviews:

” …the ladies look good and their acting skills sure are somethin’ (wait until you see them grieving for their cut-up friends… it’s pure gold!) […] In the end, Cheerleader Massacre is simply a lame stab (no pun intended) at the slasher genre, with little to no gore and a script that must’ve been written on a Fruit Roll-Up.” All Movie

“The girls never once wear any cheerleading outfits! Couldn’t they at least give us that? No, that would have cost money. They couldn’t afford a chainsaw either. They could barely afford blue jeans for the killer to wear. The massacre was weak, weak, weak. Nothing scary here. Or gory. Mighty poor slasher flick.” Dr. Gore’s Movie Reviews

“Some of the actors, like Rahmer, Byron, Erneta, and Sheffield, obviously gave serious acting effort and/or showed some talent, there just isn’t much to work with here. Also, for those who don’t get duped into thinking this is a slasher flick and just want to see some skin, there is a fair amount of that.” Flick Notes

“Despite the ‘massacre’ part of the title, there’s no such thing in the actual film and most of the deaths happen off-screen. In fact, the goriest death of the film is flashback footage which has been lifted straight out of The Slumber Party Massacre.  Considering there is a relatively big cast for such a low budget flick, the lack of decent gore and innovative kill scenes is a big downer.” Popcorn Pictures 

“You get boobs but no cheerleader in uniform. Skin is cheaper than costume design, so we’re often treated with obligatory full back and frontal nudity, courtesy of lengthy shower scenes, instead. Cheerleader Massacre painfully retells and remakes The Slumber Party Massacre. It is poorly written, shot, acted…” Tales of Terror

“Strangely, the screenwriter wisely chooses his heroines, avoiding the usual nice-girl-with-dead-mom route and opting instead for the bitchy girl and the short-fused coach. So, not as bad as the write-ups but not up to the standards of the films it alludes to following.” Vegan Voorhees

” …it’s just another standard slasher movie that doesn’t try to be anything more than dumb entertainment. And on that level, The Cheerleader Massacre works fine – it has enough skin (though not as much as is regular from Wynorski), mild humour, and deaths to be watchable and you can tell no-one making it was taking it much seriously.” The Video Graveyard

Choice dialogue:

Sheriff Murdock: “I want that psycho back in his padded cell! Got it?”

Cast and characters:

  • Tamie Sheffield … Ms Hendricks
  • Charity Rahmer … Parker
  • Erin Byron … Angela
  • Lenny Juliano … Buzzy (as Leonard Johnson) (as Lunk Johnson)
  • William Langlois … Sheriff Murdock (as E. Eddie Edwards)
  • Samantha Phillips … Officer Phillips
  • GiGi Erneta … Deputy Adams
  • April Flowers … Tammy Rae (as Elizabeth Short) (as Diana Espin)
  • Nikki Fritz … Debbie
  • Tylo Tyler … Ryan
  • Brad Beck … Mark
  • Summer Williams … Shelley
  • Brinke Stevens … Linda
  • Melissa Brasselle … DeMarco
  • Julie Corgill … Dina
  • Steve Mitchell … Berman
  • Rob Sanchez … Deputy
  • David Summers … Gary
  • Rikki Ray … Kelly
  • John Colton … Jeremiah McPherson
  • James A. Foster … Kimble (as James H. Foster)
  • Jesse Miller … Ambulance Driver
  • Sarah Baker … Miss Connolly
  • Jim Wynorski … Principal Mazlo (as Archibald Stanton)
  • Ashley Blanco … Marissa
  • Julie K. Smith … Buzzy’s Flashback Girl
  • Regina Russell Banali … Buzzy’s Flashback Girl (as Regina Russell)
  • Dana Pine … Buzzy’s Flashback Girl

Filming locations:

  • Anchorage, Alaska (snow exteriors)
  • Boulder, Colorado (mountain exteriors)
  • Frazier Park and Lone Pine, California

Technical details:

93 minutes | 85 minutes (version with less nudity)
Aspect ratio: 4:3

Trivia:

The end credits read ‘based on a joke once told by Jim Wynorski’

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