My notes on Powertool Cheerleaders vs the Boyband of the Screeching Dead
To overcome her fear of cheerleaders, which has something to do with a massacre perpetrated by her grandmother under the influence of a magic talisman, waitress Emily (Charlie Bond) puts together a squad of misfits to take part in a TV talent contest, Spotlight Chasers. Power Cheer’s biggest rivals are a three-man obnoxious boy band, the Starmen, whose manager is conspiring with Power Cheer’s unethical coach Chloe (Dani Thompson), to rig the show. Only the girls use the talisman simultaneously to wish the Starmen would die and live forever, which leads to the sort of carnage promised by the title.
A musical romp from Essex’s own horror auteur Pat Higgins – seen wearing an ‘I’m sorry about Strippers versus Werewolves’ t-shirt – with plenty of meta content as songs comment on the genre of film this is, the inner thoughts of an incidental victim who dreamed of being much more, and the charade-like nature of the whole splattery pantomime. It has jabs at TV talent shows and social media which now feel almost cheerfully retro and plays some not-all-men jokes with notionally nicer band member Hunter (James Hamer-Morton) succumbing to his worst instincts while a cake-faced possessed zombie thing and puts a sweetish spin on Evil Dead II as one villain’s severed hand turns out to be nicer than he is and falls for one of the girls. It’s pretty much the definition of blood-soaked fluff, but has the requisite amount of oomph and the cast are all engaging enough to sell even the groaner jokes.
Cameos from Lloyd Kaufman, who ought to be cut out of more films, and drag artiste horror host Bunny Galore.
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