IMDB Synopsis: The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.
I didn’t actually start going to school until the early eighties so unforch never did experience school daze in the seventies. They look so freaking good and wholesome. Or were they? Judging by this snapshot of a day-and-night-in-the-life-of, things were pretty brutal, if only for the freshman (men?).
I think we’re to understand that Randall “Pink” Floyd (London) is kind of a big deal, being Captain of the football team and all. He’s going out with Joey Lauren Adam’s Simone and is umming and ahhing about a pledge form the team have just been asked to sign, which promises they’ll stay away from drink and drugs.
I’m pretty sure old Floyd is willing Coach to just let him live but it ain’t happening. This seems to be making Floyd consider what he really wants out of life and being told he should watch the company he keeps isn’t helping his mood.
There’s a big party coming up but first our seniors have some ‘hazing’ to take care of. This is basically just gentle to much rougher teasing to test the mettle of the ‘next generation’.
Freshman girls are called bitches and covered in condiments, while the boys are given a harder time. When one of the crew asks the boys to go easy on her kid brother Mitch (Wiggins), who is due up in the next batch of freshman, she seals his fate and maybe even changes the course of his adolescence forever.
Of course he has to contend with a paddling first (Ben Affleck in particular is eager to serve justice to Mitch, who’s previously managed to outwit him). Once Mitch has taken one for the team, he gets the opportunity to tag along on a night out with Floyd and his cronies.
Led by self-assured Wooderson (McConaughey), a creepy older student who’s stayed back several years, the boys embark on a night of beers, babes and practical jokes. As well as good old fashioned revenge.
Meanwhile, a group of intellectuals join the party, Milla Jovovich says almost nothing, Mike (Adam Goldberg) proves himself in a physical fight, Wooderson says some super creepy things about redheads, Parker Posey is a right cow to everyone and Floyd comes to a decision about his future.
That’s kind of about it.
What will Floyd decide about his future? When will somebody tell Wooderson he’s fucking disgusting and to get a life?
Why’s Ben Affleck such a dick?
I’m so sorry, this is a rather lack luster review and I don’t know why. I enjoyed this movie well enough, as with most Linklater movies, the beauty is in the character study while action is a little on the slow side. I mean, there’s not much more I can say about it, some kids are due to go to a party, the party is busted by a suspicious parent (and a keg delivery guy who can’t follow basic instructions) so they end up living it up in the park.
I guess it’s a bit of a coming of age story, giving Mitch ample airtime as he awkwardly gets to know the older boys, growing over the course of one night from dorky younger to studly ingenue (sort of). I don’t know what that means really but basically the elders realise he’s a pretty good kid and let him stick around.
I don’t care about Floyd and his stupid woes but he seems nice enough, even though he snogs another girl behind his girlfriend’s back. He also sticks up for his ‘loser’ friends at the end, which is one in the eye for the underdogs.
It’s worth a look as all Richard Linklater movies are and, even though this review doesn’t make it seem so, it has a lot of heart and was always going to be a better quality high school movie than most.
Anyone else think the over zealous bottom paddling has a homoerotic undertone? Also, OUCH.
My Rating: 4/5. A not at all bad way to see out our month of high school hijinx. It’s been a blast (ish).
Did Jill dig this groovy movie or was she ready to paddle it into next Tuesday? Find out here, yo.
IMDB Synopsis: A high school girl must find a substitute date to escort her to the prom.
This film. I thought I hadn’t seen it but I totally have and perhaps quite recently, which tells you almost all you need to know about it.
Nicole (Hart) is one of the elite and part of the Centennial Committee at school. She has her eye on the Captain of the basketball squad (course) but there’s a certain social etiquette that must be honoured before these two shining stars can actually get together.
Just as Brad (Gabriel Carpenter) is about to ask her to the Centennial dance (which she is helping to organise), there’s a chance meeting between him and a rival school’s head cheerleader. This budding romance derails Nicole’s perfect plans altogether, leaving her in the devastating position of not having a date to the dance.
Luckily for Nicole, she lives next door to Chase Hammond (Grenier), a classmate she has known since they were little fuckers and before Junior High callously sorted them into separate social categories. Chase is a socially conscious type with an activist girlfriend (Larter) and a small group of misfit friends. There’s a class system theme running throughout, FYI.
Chase is somewhat smug as these types tend to be but he’s generally a good egg. They all are. The meanies are the jocks and Nicole’s gang, though Nic straddles both groups with relative ease. (Of course she does, she’s Sabrina the Motherfucking Teenage Witch)!
When Chase is dumped by Dulcie and is heartbroken about it (I forget why but there’s an older dude involved), Nic sees a mutually beneficial opportunity for them both. If they go to the dance together, Chase can win Dulcie back and she can avoid becoming a social leper without a date. Honestly, is it that big a deal?
Nicole is insistent that it must look real though so the newly acquainted friends begin hanging out. First stop is a half-hearted makeover for Chase (change of shirt and brushed hair) which reveals him to be super hot (shocker). He’s also surprisingly good at adapting to his new group, charming the jocks with his opinions on sport and being adorable to the girls.
Nicole’s secret man-eater BFF, Alicia (Susan May Pratt) btw totally offers to give Brad what he really really wants (sexually) while slagging off Nicole behind her back and saying she’s all talk (aka frigid). Alicia is kind of a horrible jealous bitch but by far the most fun character. Look, there’s not much to work with here.
So that’s pretty much the gist of this instantly forgettable teen flick. Nicole and Chase surprise themselves by getting on really well, there’s a dead mother back story for Chase and a negligent father one for Nicole (to add depth, yo).
Alicia the Slut* kisses Chase at a party making Nicole realise that her feelings for him go way beyond their deal, while Dulcie plays right into his (now suspiciously reluctant) hands. She also finds out that his mum died of cancer, so the pity vote doesn’t hurt him.
One of Chase’s friends, Ray (Kris Park) reveals he has a (respectful) thing for Nicole (but is willing to stand back while she fulfils her true romantic destiny), while ‘Designated’ Dave (Mark Webber), the high school’s sober one-man taxi service has his own story line involving a girl online (like in the dial-up era!). Cu-ute.
It all comes together at the dance (which is so unusual for a teen movie), where truths are told and the right people get together (or do they? I was routing for Ray). Bad Dad realises he’s had his priorities all wrong all this time (also why was he at the dance? Weird) and there’s a really creepy admission made at the end by Chase’s dad/Nicole’s mom.
There aren’t really any questions this week because there’s not a lot of mystery here. It’s pretty much a colour-by-numbers high school movie with a happy ending.
I actually like this the more I think about it because it’s just so nice. I guess I need more than that to give a shit and that’s okay.
Melissa Joan Hart is absolutely delightful, making me miss both Sabrina and Clarissa Explains It All (then I remember Melissa & Joey and I’m done again). She’s peak adorable and looks lovely in a halter top. Adrian Grenadine in contrast is pleasant to look at (though those intense blue eyes kind of freak me out) but he’s not got the edge I would have liked him to bring to the party.
There are a few interesting comments about how the popular kids treat people, Ray or Dave is making a documentary on this very subject that humiliates the popular kids when he plays it in class. I was bored silly by then.
Alicia is a little bit damaged and therefore probably the realest person there (we all knew one like her) and then there’s the heart to heart between Chase and Dee Vine (Keri Lynn Pratt) where she compares life before she lost loads of weight to now and wonders if she’s even that happy after all. It’s maybe the deepest conversation we witness.
Worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon for sure but I sort of miss the demons/witches.
My Rating: 2.5/5. Nice but won’t change your world.
Did this Drive Jill Crazy (in the happy sense) or would she slag it off behind it’s back for not putting out? Find out for yourselves here ❤
IMDB Synopsis: A newly possessed high school cheerleader turns into a succubus who specializes in killing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?
Anita “Needy” Lesnicki (Seyfried) is in an institution, where she sits and doesn’t do that much. She might be combing a doll’s hair when we meet her but I might have imagined that part.
She has major issues, and once she’s punched a well-meaning warden/councilor in the mouth and told her to mind her own fucking business, that much is apparent. She hasn’t always been this way she assures us, before filling us in on the tale of how she got there.
It’s a pretty good back story as far as back stories go.
We start with Jennifer. Beautiful, popular Jennifer (Fox) who, despite these qualities, still has time to be BFFs with Needy who’s not so much ‘those things’ (yeah right, Seyfried in ‘ugly’ attire). Needy’s a nerd who seems to be nice to everyone with an adoring boyfriend, Chip (Johnny Simmons). But the friends are tight, so tight in fact that they get accused of being lesbians by their classmates, who just don’t get it at all.
Jennifer isn’t low maintenance though and easily manipulates Needy into doing the things she wants. What she wants that evening is for Needy to go to the local dive bar to see a band she loves called Low Shoulder. She has her eye on the ‘salty’ lead singer and assures Needy there’ll be plenty of salty types around for her too (despite Chip, who Jen is indifferent to).
The evening starts uneventfully, though Needy gets a bad vibe from the band, especially Nikolai (Brody) who’s only too happy to accommodate an enthusiastic Jennifer. Needy (who has a sixth sense when it comes to her bestie) overhears them discussing Jennifer’s virginity status and tells her to stay away. Sadly, Jennifer is not swayed.
As the band play, the bar starts to burn (in a freak accident, although given the context of this storyline it might not be so accidental). As people die horribly, Needy and Jennifer manage to get out unscathed, though Jen is understandably shell-shocked.
The band too are remarkably unharmed by the carnage around them and suggest that the girls get into their van to get over their shock. Needy senses danger but somehow lets Jennifer go with them, all on her own.
After an uneasy evening spent worrying about Jennifer, Needy receives a dramatic visit from her BFF, who looks like something truly awful has happened to her. She’s acting bizarrely and vomits up some disgusting black tar which happens to have undulating spikes running through it.
She asks Needy if she’s scared (funnily enough, that’s a yes) and then disappears, leaving Needy to mop up her alien puke. What are BFFs for, eh?
Next day in school, everyone’s devastated about the fire, which has claimed a lot of student and teacher’s lives. Needy is petrified something awful has happened to Jennifer (you don’t say) but Jen rocks up looking better than ever and ribs her rather unkindly about her looks.
Jennifer seems fine but she’s also become über bitchy. She’s also acting decidedly out of character, as we find out when she singles out a grieving jock and leads him into the woods behind the school. Let’s just say he doesn’t get what he thinks he’s going to get. Also, the woodland wildlife seem very taken with Jennifer too.
Needy is worried about the change in Jennifer which is fucking fabulous one minute and sick as a dog the next. It soon becomes clear that our Jen is gaining vital nutrients from a certain type of food and that food has a human face (male, if we’re being specific). If she doesn’t get her human fix she looks dog rough. Or, as Needy puts it, rough for Jennifer.
On one of her down days, Colin (Kyle Gallner), a class mate, asks Jennifer on a date. She isn’t that kind to him if we’re honest but changes her mind when Needy says she thinks he’s cool. Jennifer also says things to Needy about her boyfriend suddenly looking cuter and I hated her at this point (too much like my own school days).
Needy decides to have sex with Chip, perhaps to keep him safe from Jennifer’s clutches. While they enjoy their first sexual liaison, Jennifer kills the goth kid horribly. He’s so sweet that if any one of them doesn’t deserve to die a violent death it’s this guy. But alas.
While humping Chip, Needy suffers hallucinations about Jennifer and realises that something is very much not right (you don’t say). Later on Jen turns up at Needy’s and they argue before Jennifer tells her exactly what happened to her on the night of the fire.
Basically, Low Shoulder took her to the woods and sacrificed her to the Devil. All she remembers is that she told them she was a virgin (lies) and they killed her in a ritual. Later, she woke up and made her way to Needy’s house.
She also explains that she’d been so hungry that night but couldn’t bring herself to hurt Needy, which is big of her I think. She did however eat an exchange student, who everybody thought was killed in the fire. Oopsy.
Then the girls have a good old snog (this might have been before the heart to heart) and it’s clear that Needy has a bit of a thing about Jennifer because she’s so intoxicating and who can blame her? She still kicks her out on account of all the death and murder though.
I lost it a little bit here but the gist of things is that Needy looks into Jennifer’s story a little deeper and works out that her best friend is possessed by a demon (I think mine might have been too). Since she was sacrificed in place of a real virgin (as Jennifer says of herself, “I’m not even a back door virgin anymore.”), the demon stuck around inside her (look I don’t make the rules).
I think the band made a pact with the devil as their deal is now that they’re world famous (not hurt by the fact that they’ve allowed the town of Devil’s Kettle, where all this is kicking off, think they rescued a load of people from the burning bar. Their single “Through the trees” has also become the official charity single for the tragedy).
I have to admit I didn’t really pay much attention to the band until later on, because they’re pretty 2D and boring. Anyway, they’re crazy famous now and loving it. They’re also due to come back actually and perform at the school prom (oh what, there’s a prom?).
Needy has banned her boyfriend Chip from going to the prom himself but has also broken up with him as she fears for his safety. She’s also told him her theory about Jennifer’s demonic possession, which he doesn’t believe. It’s pretty sad as they’re an adorable couple and you want them to get out unscathed.
Prom night comes around (course it does) and Needy heads to the “All you can eat buffet” to stop Jennifer’s rampant hunger, thinking Chip is safe at home. Chip is not safe at home, as he’s decided to go to the dance anyway. BIG MISTAKE CHIP! HUGE!
I might leave the climax here for shits n’ gigs and so you can watch for yourself should you choose to. To the Questions!
Will Needy and Chip survive? What will become of our best friends? Is there a cure for violent demon-ism?
Will those horrible band members get their comeuppance? Why do men never listen when you’re clearly right (Chip)?
Why are no high school movies ever quite as good as Heathers (1988)?
What attracted me to this is that it’s written by Juno (2007) and Young Adult (2011)’s Diablo Cody who I mostly enjoy. I thought with that kind of pedigree it would at least have thoughtful moments and not be a pile of steaming shit. It isn’t shit actually, I think the performances are pretty good, particularly our leads who seem to relish their parts. A lot of the observations are spot on and a few moments between our frenemies are genuinely witty, particularly when they come head to head in the disgusting abandoned swimming pool (oooooh!).
The thing about Cody is that she has a slightly off way of making young people sound just a touch too precocious (looking at you Juno) but for the most part the dialogue works here. You can tell which ‘hip’ words she really worked hard on to seem current though, which is reminiscent of me speaking to anybody under 25.
As with most movies, I always want more without knowing what that actually is. I liked that it touches upon very normal teenage emotion such as insecurity and that thin line between utter devotion to your best friend and pure hatred. If I close my eyes I can still conjure up that feeling, that there’s just a hair’s breadth between the two.
I like that, underneath her fresh demonic demeanor, Jennifer is just a girl scared of losing, of not being the most desired or loved, and of not having what her best friend has.
The best bit by the way is the very ending, after the credits start to roll, when Needy seeks revenge on Low Shoulder for what they did to Jennifer. It’s beautiful shot and macabre as shit. Lovely.
Both main leads are also smoking hot, which doesn’t hurt.
My Rating: 3.5/5. Interesting in parts.
Did my wife want to tongue kiss this movie, or sacrifice it to the dark arts? Find out here ❤
IMDB Synopsis: A rebel girl signs up a group of cheerleaders to help her take down the captain of their high school football team, but a supernatural turn of events thrusts the girls into a different battle.
Cheerleaders starts off as a shaky cam movie which I sort of love though it can quickly become irritating. Don’t worry, this style is only used in the first segment, as we’re introduced to a handful of characters and the scene is set for the rest of the story.
Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) is following Head Cheerleader and Queen Bee Alexis (Felisha Cooper) around with her camcorder. It’s not clear really why, just a day in the life, I guess. It’s more surprising that Maddy would want to be friends with her, since Alexis is a horrible cheerleader cliché (conceited, mean) and Maddy has dark hair and glasses, so is therefore smart and above it all.
Before this movie gets too tired out by the done a million times before bitchy cheerleader trope, karma bites Alexis on the arse and she’s toast. She has to be for the rest of the story to progress.
Three months later, and the squad have left enough time to respectfully start looking for Alexis’ replacement, although natural hierarchy means Tracy (Brooke Butler) has stepped up as new leader. She’s already banging Terry (Tom Williamson), Captain of the football team (who knew?) and Alexis’ ‘grieving’ boyfriend. It’s almost as though she already had designs on him… *gasp*!
Tracy doesn’t seem quite as bad as Alexis but is still pretty sassy. The main squad consists of Tracy, Christian good girl Martha (Reanin Johannink) and her little sister Hanna (Amanda Grace Cooper), who’s the team mascot.
Maddy for some reason auditions to be part of the squad even though they kind of blame her for Alexis’ death, plus she’s more of an outsider than anything, not typical cheerleader material at all.
Of course she nails the try-out and is welcomed with slightly less bitchy arms after a couple of impressive back flips. We also find out via Maddy’s private video diary that she’s pretending to like these girls for her own reason, which isn’t clear yet.
As a side note, Maddy also has Leena (Sianoa Smit-McPhee) to contend with. Leena is an outcast and Wicca enthusiast who seems to have a history with Maddy, though Maddy no longer has time for her shit.
Leena follows Maddy around regardless and it’s a pretty good thing she does, which we’ll realise in good time, my friends.
Maddy quickly gets closer to Tracy at parties and shit, eventually confiding in her that she’d seen Terry with another girl sometime after they’d got together. Off the back of this bombshell, Tracy is devastated and drunk – and the girls share a kiss. They text Terry than he’s a dick but he’s already watching them for some reason and is not a happy bunny at all.
Later on the squad plus the football team (who are all either dating the girls/into the girls) are partying without Terry, who has failed to rock up. Leena is in the bushes overlooking the proceedings secretly and casting light spells with some mysterious crystals, as one does.
Terry turns up, there’s a fatal scene and it’s all over for our pom pom wielding hotties. Or is it?
Luckily, Leena is on hand to save the girls and through her own devastation at the loss of her friend Maddy, accidentally resurrects them all. Crystals, yo. During this re-animation x4 she also acquires powers of her own (which I think means she’s kind of their boss).
Next morning the squad awaken and are understandably out of sorts but they quickly piece together the events of the previous night. Seems they’re undead (but hot, not rotten) and need to feed. On top of this, Hanna and Martha have swapped bodies, which little sis Hanna is DELIGHTED about.
This bit is something to do with a wish Hanna made while she was talking to Leena at the party, a secret desire to be her sister as she’s in love with Martha’s boyfriend. (I’m not linking to the boys names sorry because they all looked pretty much the same and I can’t be bothered).
After they suck one of the neighbours dry, in the literal not financial/sexual sense, the girls decide to go to school. The best scene in the movie occurs, as the supposed-to-be-dead cheerleaders sashay their way down the school corridor while everyone stares. Terry ain’t happy if we’re honest and it looks like they’re all going to war.
But first the girls have their own issues to contend with. For Hanna it’s to finally nail the love of her life in her sister’s body, while Tracy has an insatiable need to get high. There are some accidental, and not so accidental deaths along the way, the realisation that if one of them climaxes during a sexual interlude they all do (awkward) and petty jealousies.
Terry works out what’s happened because he’s an evil bastard but also clever and plans to steal power from the girls. This is a metaphor for rape clearly, as during a heart to heart with Leena, Maddy confides that Terry raped her shortly after Alexis’ death.
Leena is almost destroyed by this news and it seems that the girls may have been in a relationship which was ruined by this event (although Leena didn’t know why). The others also find out Maddy has been using them, although she assures them it was all before she got to know them (which seems legit).
Tracy is the most upset but doesn’t have time to be too sad as each of the girls are picked off by a demented Terry. There’s a final fight to death of course, the ultimate battle between good and evil – and I’ll start my questions here.
Will Terry get his comeuppance? Will Leena and Maddy survive to give their love another go? Will anyone survive?
And will you still be bothered by this point?
I really think this should have been a contender for The Craft (1996) and could have been great, instead it’s mediocre as shit.
I enjoy that the cast are a bunch of relative unknowns and I have no trouble with their performances, it just didn’t ignite a spark in me. In fact if I’m honest, I was quite bored by half way through. The special effects are ridonk as well.
It is very uncomfortable the way Maddy’s rape flashback plays alongside the present day attack by Terry on one of the squad (and it should be). Sadly, this is an issue that is not only very topical at the moment but is always topical.
I would like to have seen the girls more empowered by their new found strengths (though it’s not really clear what these are beyond being sassier) rather than using it to chase boys and fall out over boys and get high in a disgusting van but this is essentially a high school movie and that’s what teenagers do. And I would have liked the revenge to have felt more personal, it almost got lost amongst the casual murder and Terry being a general fuck head.
My Ratings: 2.5/5. Not The Craft by any stretch.
What did my Blog Wife think to this rather all over the place witchfest? Two taloned thumbs up or ripe for a proper burial? (I think I know!) Find out here.