Friday, June 4, 2010

The Cover Tells A Different Story: Cheerleader Massacre

In many of my journeys up and down the video store aisles, I've run across great multitudes of video duds. You know what I mean, those movies that you would pick up because of the awesome cover. You'd go "Hell yeah, that looks cool!", rent that sucker, dance all the way home, pop that bad boy into the DVD player...only to find out that somethings wrong, some great cosmic calculation has misfired, some mystic primordial being is pointing his or her finger at you and laughing.

Essentially, the film in your DVD player doesn't match the one on the box.

Let me give you a recent example of my exposure to a video dud. Basically, I've been hitting the aisles of Blockbuster, thanks to the "5 for $5.00" deal - Five movies, for Five Days, for Five Dollars. You can't really beat this deal, especially if you're like me, and looking for old movies as opposed to new releases(sorry, doesn't extend to them). I came up on this movie titled The Last Resort. Look at the have a hot chick in a skimpy swimsuit on a beach, with a knife in her hand. Do you get such chewy goodness in the actual movie?

Hell no! The "Resort" of the title is actually some isolated hotel in the middle of Mexico or some place south of the American border. The swimsuits are seen in only one scene, and that's that. There is one nude scene by the Beth character(I think that was her name), but that was it. Long story short, it was a disappointment to me. If I ever do a review on it, I'll go into more detail for the reason why.

Anyway, we're here for this feature's first victim: Cheerleader Massacre!

The Cover Story(What the cover tells you): A group of hot, scantily-clad uniformed cheerleaders are being stalked by a psychotic killer in Dukes of Hazzard-type blue jeans, armed with a chainsaw and a desire to spill cheerleader blood...uniformed cheerleaders' blood. No amount of cheering will save the girls from this maniac!!!

The Cold Hard Truth(What you really get):
How do you f*** this concept up?!

I really don't know what is more disappointing: that this movie, obviously made on a shoe-string budget, was too cheap to even buy cheerleader costumes(or too lazy), or that this was made by the usually awesome Jim Wynorski. Mr. Wynorski is one of my favorite B-movie/exploitation directors, having created such awesome gems as Chopping Mall(1986), Sorority House Massacre 2(1990), and Hard to Die(1990)(I swear, I'm going to write a remake of both as a trilogy). Yet with Cheerleader Massacre, he drops the ball, beats up the rep, and destroys the playing field.

As I mentioned before, it seems that the director was too cheap to even buy cheerleader costumes. So the image on the cover? Bogus. You don't even know that the girls are cheerleaders in the film after the first five minutes, where they practice a routine in their baggy clothes. After that, they are in their regular clothes, and not even skimpy clothes to highlight their curves(face it do not pick up a movie called Cheerleader Massacre to learn about the human condition).

And there are some really hot chicks in the movie, like the coach, played by Tamie Sheffield, main character Parker Jameson, played by Charity Rahmer(who gets naked for a few seconds in a shower scene), and some big-breasted hiker who gets killed (confusingly) on a rope bridge in the forest. And the rest of the story? Basically, the "cheerleaders", two guys, the cheerleader coach, and the male driver, all drive to an away game when they have car trouble. They find an abandoned house(not really abandoned per se, just someone's vacation home) where they all decide to stay for the night. Meanwhile, an escaped murderer is on the lose, and Sheriff Murdock(Bill Langlois Monroe), his deputy(Gigi Erneta), and Detective Demarco(Melissa Brasselle) race to stop him(and maybe order him a new wardrobe, 'cause that tight jean suit he wears is a nightmare in and of itself!).

Back at the abandoned vacation home, someone is picking the "cheerleaders" and their companions off one by one...and I could care less. There is a small industry of straight-to-video slashers, and the whole appeal of this one(scantily-clad cheerleaders being stalked by a murderer) is lost by the sheer senselessness of not trying to capitalize on the freaking concept! I mean, the freakin' box has "Cheerleaders" in the title, for goodness sake! If you wanted to be so cheap as not to use cheerleader costumes(the equivalent of Batman without a costume), you could have called the movie Snow Massacre. Lord knows that is what is seemed like, with the girls all bundled up, and snow on the ground. Christmas Massacre could have been another title used.

Another travesty was marketing this as a sequel to the Slumber Party Massacre series. Now, let me explain...see, in Sorority House Massacre 2, a sequel to the horrible Sorority House Massacre, Wynorski used footage from the first Slumber Party Massacre to explain the origin of the film's villain, Ketchum. Taking scenes where the Slumber Party villain stalks the main heroine and one of her friends, this is changed in Sorority House to Ketchum stalking and killing one of his daughters. Being the creative mind behind the Sorority House series, you'd think this movie would be a sequel to that film continuity(no matter how extremely loose it was). However, the director confuses matters even more by using Brinke Stevens, a star from the original Slumber Party Massacre...whose character was killed off from what I understood!
So What Have I learned?: I just don't understand why there couldn't be actual cheerleaders in the movie, LIKE ON THE COVER OF SAID MOVIE. I've noticed that even B-movie/exploitative movie companies ignore the elements of psychotic slashers and cheerleaders. I would rather pay to see that, than another Last Resort or some big fakeout like this...and from one of my favorite directors too!!

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