DVD Review: Cheer! Rally! Kill! - 5-Film Collection

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The skinny on this Lionsgate two-disc DVD collection: five feature-length Lifetime movies about dirty doings in the world of high school and college cheerleading. Not much star power, though Denise Richards and Vivica A. Fox co-star in one each. I'll tell you what's great about a release like this. Not the movies themselves, though they're all watchable if you have appropriate expectations. But rather think, for a moment, about those nights where you just don't feel like scrolling through your streaming platform menus in search of something to watch. Those who have a soft spot for cheesy, lowbrow entertainment might enjoy having this collection on standby to throw something on when 90 minutes of cheer-themed intrigue will fill that gap in a hurry.

The films in this collection all aired on the Lifetime network in 2019. It's important to remember the low bar here, with each of these features aiming for a basic level of competency. The nominal best of the bunch is Identity Theft of a Cheerleader, in which 30-something Vicky (Maiara Walsh) steals a student's identity so she can return to high school and relive her dreams of being cheer captain. She also turns out to have a vengeful homicidal streak. Walsh does a commendable job of playing young to fit in with the high school set. She also modulates between semi-sane and totally crazy very well, too.

Kind of keeping in the same vein, Undercover Cheerleader offers a spin on Never Been Kissed, with Autumn (Kayla Wallace) going undercover to expose the secrets of the cheer squad. She winds up embroiled in a wave of violence committed against the squad by a mystery assailant. Various TV actors pop up through this (and the other films in the collection), with Wallace known for The Good Doctor and The Magicians.

In The Cheerleader Escort, Cassie (Alexandra Beaton) joins the cheer squad and soon finds out that it's essentially a prostitution ring. Reluctant to partake at first, after meeting middle-aged Terry (Damon Runyan) she gets more involved than she ever imagined possible. As the relationships become more tangled, Cassie tries to extricate herself—all while the squad's coach is actively serving as the madam.

Aforementioned stars Denise Richards and Vivica A. Fox appear in The Secret Lives of Cheerleaders and The Wrong Cheerleader, respectively. Fox, in fact, produced hers (she has a string of Wrong-something movies that she has produced and starred during recent years). As with all these films, newly-minted cheer queens find themselves in over their heads dealing with obsessive boyfriends and mean-girl competitors.

Lionsgate's two-disc set is bare bones, with no special features to speak of. But for fans of this type of thing will find it a good value with a $24.98 SRP (shop around, as usual, for best price) for more than seven hours of viewing content.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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