Normally there's nothing like a cast full of 30-year-old high school students to guarantee sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and a good cafeteria massacre, but apparently there was a little too much pot on the set when they made "All Cheerleaders Die" somewhere up in the hills outside Sacramento.
You know something is out of whack when they do a girl's locker room scene with every female clutching her towel to her body, followed by a group shower that fails to deliver the groceries.
Next we're introduced to a football team that looks like a bunch of scrawny Goth weed heads from Encino.
The premise in this micro-budget zombiefest is that the jocks and the cheerleaders get into an argument about who works harder -- the gals when they make their babe pyramid, or the guys when they go through "Hell Week" under sadistic Coach Wolf --and so the guys plan an illicit-substance campout in which they put their girlfriends through the tortures of the damned.
Things turn nasty when the pompon cuties beat the beer-guzzling scuzzballs in a scrimmage football game, resulting in a girl named Drama -- it's her REAL name, and not a bad one for a screeching Drama Queen -- getting her face smashed into a bloody pulp by the ringleader Terry Stankus.
Pretty soon there's an all-out Gender Brawl, followed by a sprint through the woods that results in four of the five cheerleaders going head-first over a rocky ledge that appears to be all of 5 feet off the ground but nevertheless leaves them dead, bloodied and mini-skirted at the bottom of a gorge. The sole survivor -- a European foreign exchange student named Leena -- tears off through the swamp and ends up with her foot chewed off in a bear trap, with the panicked jockheads leaving her to bleed to death.
Five years later it's time for the high school reunion, and we all KNOW what happens at high school reunions: a face-chewing party. In this case Leena shows up with a magic necklace -- did I mention she's a witch? -- that summons the dead cheerleaders from their grassy graves.
They emerge from the earth like Max Factor models who have been run through a wheat thresher, complete with gouged flesh, wild eyes and an overwhelming urge to hunt down, rip apart and devour the flesh of the rest of the cast in the gross-out finale.
The last two survivors get attacked in the woods by animated woody vines, in a direct rip-off of "The Evil Dead," but the money shot is a thick branch through the mouth and out the back of the head as football hero Terry Stankus loses his ability to showboat in the end zone forever.
This is "Return of the Living Dead" meets "Cheerleader Camp" meets "Stoner." But you gotta love the title.
Fifteen dead bodies. (One-half star awarded for actually stating the body count in the closing credits.) No breasts. Branch through the skull. One bloody nose. Brewski-stealing. The zombies rise. Supporting-player munching. Cleaver-hacking. One lame dog attack. One witches coven ritual. Full-contact cheerleading. Weenies-on-a-stick. One girlie-brawl. Multiple beer-quaffing. Extremely bad dancing. Face-eating. Gratuitous jumping jacks. Weed Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Mike McKee, as the alcoholic pervert coach, for saying "Hey, you're that bear-trap girl!"; Drama, as the hysterical abused cheerleader, for being named Drama; Shelli Merrill, as the European cheerleader with the terrible accent who gets her leg chewed up in a bear trap but FINISHES THE MOVIE; Melinda Sparks, as the slutty "older woman" who runs off with a cowboy biker, only to be abandoned to raving zombie cheerleaders on the roadside; and Zach Passero, as the guilt-ridden alcoholic washed-up jock.
Two stars. Joe Bob says check it out. "All Cheerleaders Die" Web site: home.earthlink.net/~vivaknievel/info.html.
(To reach Joe Bob, go to joebob-briggs.com or email him at JoeBob@upi.com. Snail-mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas, 75221.)