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Give Me a D-E-A-D! Bloody Awful Cheerleader Slasher Flicks

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Cheerleaders are kind of like train wrecks. I cannot stop staring, even though I know no good can come of it. Not surprisingly, I did not hang out with the cheerleaders in high school. I hung out with the burn-outs who enjoyed bad horror movies with me - especially bad cheerleader horror movies. Maybe it is the fact that they are always portrayed as slutty idiots who are always naked that makes them a satisfying kill. Whatever it is, I can't get enough dead cheerleader movies.

Satan's Cheerleaders (1977)

This is the film that started it all for me in the cheerleader horror sub-subgenre. A group of cheerleaders on their way to the "big game" break down and have to hitch a ride. Then end up getting kidnapped by a Satanic cult, but after Satan copulates with the head cheerleader, she becomes the head of the cult. This flick has it all: randy cheerleaders who are frustrated because the football coach insists the boys remain abstinent to preserve precious bodily fluids and energy for the game; a pervy janitor; hilariously over-the-top acting; bad puns; lesbian innuendo; and lots and lots of nudity, jiggle, and all that other salacious stuff that makes this a trash treasure. The biggest names in this flick were Yvonne de Carlo (Lily Munster) and John Carradine (whose film credits - over 200 - are almost half horror flicks), but Carradine's role was a blink-and-you'll-miss-him bit role. Director Greydon Clark made mostly obscure, often cheap direct-to-VHS flicks like Uninvited and Wacko. This one had a brief life on DVD and is just begging for the restoration treatment (hint, hint).

Cheerleader Camp (1988)

Pom poms, tits, and gore - but this time with familiar faces. Betsey Russell (the Saw movies) plays Alison, the most popular cheerleader at Camp Hurrah. She has weird nightmares that are starting to haunt her during her waking hours - and things only get worse when fellow campers start turning up dead and Alison starts to wonder if she is the camp killer. Former child star Leif Garrett plays her boyfriend, and character actor Buck Flower (Pumpkinhead, 976-EVIL II, Puppet Master II, and a dozen other horror flicks) plays the groundskeeper who, while watching the cheerleaders practice, has one of the greatest lines in all of cinema: "Makes your pee-pee harder than a bag of nickel jawbreakers!" Fun fact: before Cheerleader Camp, one of the actresses, Rebecca Ferratti, was a Playboy playmate; one of the actresses, Krista Pflanzer, was a hardcore porn star; and one of the actresses, Teri Weigel, was a Playboy playmate before Cheerleader Camp, and a hardcore porn star after Cheerleader Camp.

Head Cheerleader, Dead Cheerleader (2000)

I've not seen this flick, nor have I been able to find a trailer or really any info about it. But I kind of dig the title. 

Cheerleader Massacre (2003)

Would the good people who brought you such "classics" as Slumber Party Massacre and Sorority House Massacre let you down? Well, probably. But I guess that depends on your definition of "let down." It's pretty much the same as any other cheerleader slasher: cheerleaders go into the woods and don't come out. Sex and gore ensues by the bucketload.

Cheerleader Autopsy (2003)

The Fighting Beavers of Stinkwater High are excited to show off their Beavers to the whole country. Yup, that's about the level of cheeseball dailogue you get from this abysmally funny flick. The SFX are bad (I think they stole a couple Macy's mannequins and threw some dime-store blood on them) but there are sure a lot of dead cheerleaders.

Spirit Camp (2009)

Bad stuff always happens at camp. The producers say Spirit Camp is Friday the 13th meets Bring It On. As part of her probation from juvie, Nikki is forced to attend cheerleader camp (which sounds like a far worse punishment than juvenile hall). Naturally the girls who actually want to be there don't want Nikki there. I bet they are pleased for her tough-ass street smarts when a killer starts slaughtering the campers.

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