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I've been threatening to do this for a while now and I suppose it is time. Despite me swearing that I'd never force myself to sit th...

Thursday, July 21, 2022

4 Cheerleaders of the Apocalypse (1997)

This has been an almost impossible review to finish. I’ve found myself arguing back and forth in my head about this flick. On one hand the critical part of my brain is shouting that it is awful, on the other hand I kind of dug it. I sincerely hope that what follows may make some sense to you.

The movie starts off with a bubbly cheerleader getting gunned down by some annoyed folks. Don’t worry this won’t be referenced again so just enjoy it and move on. Then we see a farmer run thru with a pitchfork. This is important as he was also the local science teacher at the vocational school. His replacement, Alex, forms a relationship with the dead teacher’s stepdaughter who is also the new coach of the four-person cheerleader squad. Her name is Rebecca, and she is a mom, but don’t worry that doesn’t matter either. When we first meet her she is wearing a bunny costume and is puking her guts out after partying too hard the night before.

The rest of the movie is the pair, Alex and Rebecca, trying to figure out why people are being killed in horrific ways. They eventually sort out that the local agricultural corporation’ Golden Harvest, was doing experiments, which Rebecca’s stepfather was involved in. These experiments have made anyone exposed to the chemical go a bit homicidal as well as kicking their sex drive up to eleven. Did I forget to mention that Elvis lives in the town and gives the occasional sage advice while fixing a car without an engine? Weird flick.

This movie is shot on video with terrible picture and audio quality. The narrative is almost nonexistent as we jump from one random scene to another with just a basic story struggling to connect them. There are dream sequences that aren’t explained, and the pacing suffers from unnecessarily repetitive gags that lose their edge on reuse. With all that out of the way I’m struggling to explain why I like 4 Cheerleaders of the Apocalypse.

The dubbing is intentionally bad, and the music choices were hopefully made to lean into the laughs. Alex does narration to fill in the gaps and while that normally annoys me as it is lazy filmmaking, he randomly switches to his best Forest Gump impression. I felt like this was an acknowledgement of how cheap and bad of a filmmaking tool this is and that had me smiling. I also enjoyed the random Magnum P.I. references that I’m sure very few people got, even in the late nineties. Toss in the goofy autopsies with spraying blood and the chain-smoking zombified school principal and you have a movie that isn’t like anything else I’ve seen before. I also totally forgot the gratuitous car wash butt closeups!

If what I’ve written intrigues you then you are probably going to have fun with 4 Cheerleaders of the Apocalypse. On the other hand, if this sounds boring then I can guarantee you that it will be a miserable slog to get thru. I can see both opinions to be valid. See why this was a hard review for me to write. I just don’t know what to think.

 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

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