Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Chainsaw Cheerleaders (2008)

Directed by:
Donald Farmer

Farmer (DEMON QUEEN [1986], CANNIBAL HOOKERS [1987], SCREAM DREAM [1989], VAMPIRE COP [1990], etc. etc.) carries on his dubious tradition of having never made a good film in his entire career with this digitally-shot, fully-intentional cheese-fest. However, I must admit something I'm almost ashamed to admit: I was actually (gasp!) entertained by this, for a change. Dawn (Michele Grey, also the associate producer) is about to "go all Black and Decker on someone," but first - a flashback. It's 1508 and somewhere in Europe when sorceress Lucinda (Tiffany Shepis) is interrupted cutting out a virgin's heart by a pair of witch hunter monks. They tie her to trees and set her on fire, but first she promises that her spirit will "wander through the ages." Cut to present day and we're in an antique shop that looks like it's housing leftovers from your elderly neighbor's yard sale. A high school girl looking for a prop for her role as a witch in Macbeth is accosted by the purple-haired, pierced owner Angelique (Harmony Xanix), who wants to use her blood to resurrect Lucinda using a 500-year-old dagger. She and her drooling henchman Klove (Rudy Ownbey) drag the girl off.

We now get to peak in on the life of maladjusted 17-year-old Goth chick Dawn, who will soon have more problems on her hands than her mother finding the amateur porn tape she made with her boyfriend ("I don't want to be some porn slut!"). Dawn is basically a slightly older version of the angry delinquent 13-year-old hos featured on every other episode of The Maury Povich Show. She hates her parents, applies her eyeliner with a spatula and gets revenge on her cheating boyfriend by kneeing him in the balls and then kicking his nose over and over again until it breaks in three places. The boyfriend threatens to put her in jail unless she follows the orders of guidance counselor Dr. Lacey (Debbie Rochon). Lacey diagnoses her with I.E.D. ("Intermittent Explosive Disorder") and feels an attitude adjustment is in order, so she forces Dawn to attend cheerleading camp. Since this is a no budget production, "camp" consists of three cheerleaders and their butch instructor standing around in a field for a few minutes.

Needless to say, Dawn doesn't get along too well with Bambi (Misty Marie), Chassy (Jackey Hall) or Jessica (Rabecca Lee); a trio of large-breasted bottle blonde bimbos, and says "I almost wish I was Anna Nicole Smith, cause dead people don't get sent to cheerleading camp" (?!?) While out selling magazine subscriptions, all four end up at Angelique's home just in time to see her sacrifice a victim, open up a portal to another time and bring Lucinda into the present day. Probably because Farmer could only afford Shepis for a few days, she promptly possesses head cheerleader Bambi's body. Bambi sprouts horns, talks in an echo voice and starts running around slaughtering people and eating their flesh. For some reason she also wants to implicate Dawn in her killings. She targets people Dawn knows, including her shrink, her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend and a couple of detectives investigating the murders.

As dumb and as poorly made as this whole thing is, I was entertained. Most of the acting is terrible, but it's thankfully a fun and enthusiastic terrible that kind of gels with the intentional campy tone this is striving for. There's plenty of medicore demon and gore makeups, low grade CGI fx, cheap laughs and bad one-liners (plus the occasional intentionally amusing one). The only thing this really could have used some more of is nudity. Only one of the cheerleaders and Rochon show their breasts and I'm sure someone who'd be apt to get this in the first place would probably be expecting wall-to-wall T&A. Oh well, at least they got the over-the-top camp feel right...

The two big drawing cards are undoubtedly low-budget / schlock horror vets Shepis and Rochon. Shepis does her usual fine job in a small role that plays to her strengths; seductive, evil and tough, and is one of the only cast members with any noticable talent. Rochon has a small supporting role herself and is involved in this film's most tasteless scene. After her rape fantasy gets ruined, she kicks her lover (Jim O'Rear) out and then opts to just take care of herself. She accidentally grabs a CGI animated worm monster (don't ask) instead of her vibrator, which then goes inside of her and pops out of her neck. Lead actress Grey, who reminded me a lot of Clea Duvall, shows some acting promise. Ciara Richards (who appeared in Farmer's DORM OF THE DEAD [2006] along with Shepis, Hall and O'Rear) plays Dawn's best friend and Farmer himself shows up in a cameo as her father.


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