Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cheerbleeders (Review)


Cheerbleeders (2008)

Directed by Peter Podgursky

I'm a big proponent of up and coming directors to tackle horror as a stepping stone to get their career moving. All the greats have done it. Raimi, Jackson, Craven.

We've all seen their first films and raved about how Evil Dead and Braindead and Nightmare are classic iconic horror. So when Peter Podgursky sent me his 11 minute short entitled Cheerbleeders, I knew I'd find it interesting to see what this generation's filmmakers are inventing for their first endeavor.

Cheerbleeders is Podgursky's USC thesis film and it's quite solid from start to finish. It's like the Breakfast Club mixed in with evil Greek mythos that turn cheerleaders into crazed psycho vixens.

We've all seen jocks and cheerleaders get their comuppance or learn their lesson when they mess with of the goths, geeks and rejects of high school. Cheerbleeders is the penultimate big cheer for the Benders of the world who always wanted to take the heads off of those big, dumb jocks. And for once, they get to do it literally.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

Penny and Devon, a pair of high school outcasts, are best friends in their isolation in the small town of Blackfoot, Idaho. However, things take a nasty turn for the worst when penny inadvertently turns Devon into an unspeakable evil, the most popular boy in school.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

Podgursky has to cram a lot of plot into his little short. I'm sure Raimi thought the same thing when he made Evil Dead. And yes, this little short has alot of Raimi-ish qualities to it. So the inevitable comparisons has to be said.

But it's all modern day suburbia, in Blackfoot Idaho where we meet Penny and Devon, the gothiest goth kids in this American Beauty-ish high school. Almost bordering on a parody of those trippy Bring It On movies, Penny brings her grandfather's urn with Greek mythos powers for show and tell. However, when Devon gets cursed by the ancient spirits of evil, he gets the power to control the minds of all the beautiful cheerleaders at Blackfoot high.

A nice, tightly 80s homagy montage is perfectly placed as Penny and Devon have a hoot at the now subservient cheerleaders expense. But soon Devon goes all Dirk Diggler and gets power hungry to be the awesomest guy at school.

It's every man's dream fantasy (and probably 70% of all porn movie plots) to do anything you want with a cheerleader. And yes, Devon goes all give me "S" and a"E" and a "X" with all the Hayden Panatierre lookalikes.

Soon his master plan changes from cheer cheer orgies to taking down the football team. In the short's climax, a football game is turned into a bloodbath when Devon orders the now turned cheerbleeders to go splatter the football team.
Nice gore and splatter is intertwined with some ha ha moments which make this horror comedy short work.

It's up to Penny to save the day which of course is leads to Devon's ultimate demise.

Her final words say it all: "I'm the least popular girl in school!"

It's a good start for Podgursky. He's taken a few techniques and style shots from all the iconic horror directors and added a few of his own. Hopefully, he can come up with something new that we can someday call Podgursky-ish.


Head gets ripped apart
Axe to the chest


Bra and panties

WTF moment

Cheerbleeders go savage

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Cheerbleeders takes place somewhere more horrifying than abandoned cabin or a last house on the left.... it's high school. Your trapped for 4 years and everybody is like mindless zombies.

Because when you think about it, what's the difference between psycho cheerleaders and real cheerleaders....not much.

In any case, kudos to Podgursky and his crew for making something inventive and LOL for the Gen Y crowd. The thing is even though you may think your work is original, somebody out there may have beaten you to it (check out Jack Brooks or Dance of the Dead).

I'll be looking forward to seeing what Podgursky comes up next. He could be the next Adam Green.

If this is what the American filmmakers of tomorrow are up to, we are going to be A ok.


Check out the trailer below and also the official site.

The Trailer

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