Director: Peter Podgursky
Writer: Peter Podgursky
Chelsey Dailey... Kacee
Wyatt Fenner... Devon
K.C. Gleason... Cheerbleeder
Jennifer Hodel... Wendy
Mike Horton... Randy (as Mike Horton II)
Jake House... Andy
Jaclyn Lyons... Christie
Emily Pennington... Cheerbleeder
Peter Podgursky... Announcer
Monique Soltani... Herself
Laurel Vail... Penny
I was sent this DVD. The director wanted me to check out his USC thesis film. Being the responsible adult I am, I felt compelled to take an interest into what our young people are up to. Specifically, what are they teaching USC students about film these days? "Cheerbleeders" may have the answer.
I've never reviewed a short before, ("Cheerbleeders" runs about eleven minutes long), so I'm not entirely sure how to go about this. I know that people reading this are not going to be able to rent this film so my usual routine of giving a score on the movie is not going to count for much. But that never stopped me before so here goes.
The least popular girl in school brings an ancient urn to show and tell. The urn holds black sludge which can turn anyone who gets smothered with it into an immensely attractive person. Her geeky friend gets covered in the magic slime and goes mad with power as the cheerleaders throw themselves at him. This all leads to a blood orgy in which the cheerleaders tear apart the hated football team. Heads fly and blood gushes as the cheerbleeders run wild.
I found "Cheerbleeders" to be a pleasant way to spend 11 minutes. The friends I saw this with didn't quite feel the same as me. Since "Cheerbleeders" was obviously made to be a calling card for the director, (it has his phone number and email on the disk), I had to ask them what they thought of his future in the film business. There were the usual derogatory remarks such as, "No chance." and "It was like a Buffy episode without the good parts." and "It's amazing how those locations looks in no way like the USC campus." They were a tad negative on the young director's future.
But I think that's slightly unfair. As a horror fan, I can assure you that I've seen hundred times worse than this. What's interesting here is why you would make your thesis film a cheesy B-movie. There's one thing I know for sure. You don't have to go to college to make B-movies. "Cheerbleeders" shows its love for B-movie insanity and Sam Raimi in almost every scene. "Evil Dead" has probably inspired more horror fans to go to film school than any other horror film out there. But there was no Bruce Campbell in this one to take it over the top.
Overall, "Cheerbleeders" is a perfectly acceptable eleven minute flick. What do I see in the future for this USC grad? My only advice is this: Don't try to be another Sam Raimi, John Carpenter, Wes Craven or George Romero. We already have one of each and we don't need another. Oh, and be sure to have at least one scene of topless women kissing each other in your next movie. Guaranteed boffo box office. Well, maybe not but at least I'll like it.
SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 cheerbleedersGo Trojans, go.