Nov 152019
 

The biggest advantage Virgin Cheerleaders in Chains has was… its title. This micro-budgeted horror-comedy did have its moments and for the most part the performances were passable, and a couple others respectable.

 

 

Virgin Cheerleaders in Chains
(2017)

Genre(s): Horror
Darkside Releasing | NR – 93 min. – $39.95 | November 26, 2019

Date Published: 11/15/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Paulo Biscaia Filho
Writer(s): Gary Gannaway (written by)
Cast: Kelsey Pribsilski, Ezekiel Z. Swinford, Elizabeth Maxwell, Don Daro, Gary Kent


DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1


Audio: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: None
Disc Size: 24.59 GB
Total Bitrate: 20.85 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


Darkside Releasing provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 2.75/5


Plot Synopsis: Virgin Cheerleaders in Chains was supposed to be a low-budget independent horror movie… But as the novice crew, including writer-director Shane (EZEKIEL Z. SWINFORD) and girlfriend Chloe (KELSEY PRIBILSKI) stumbles through pre-production – casting at a strip club, where they find Amber (ELIZABETH MAXWELL) and meet Machete Mike (DON DARO), trying to raise money to shoot the end of their movie, and finding the perfect location to shoot the climax of their film – an abandoned orphanage in the middle of nowhere – they inadvertently run afoul of a twisted family of sadistic killers who want to turn the group’s horror flick into a blood-soaked reality show.

Review: With a title like Virgin Cheerleaders in Chains, went in hoping for a fun little B-movie, maybe even throwback to 1970s horror or something, instead we get when if these movie within a movie and, spoiler alert, within a movie. There’s the usual student film tropes making reference to things like Quentin Tarantino (they refer to him as QT) dialogue or trying to insulate itself from criticism it would seem, even some plot conveniences, one being a repair man dropping by and it so happens he’s an actor and gets a part; just so happens he’s also one of the perps, this is basically explained away as it’s revealed the movie we’re watching is the movie they were making. Cute.

In terms of the movie’s style, you can tell this was done on a micro-budget (maybe even the $8k the movie within the movie’s budget was) and while it’s probably only a step up from a student film as most shots were well framed but the camera (presumably digital) was probably of lower grade as the lighting in most scenes was pretty washed out. The writing also wasn’t anything brilliant yet certainly good enough for a thinly plotted film like this. Oh, and they poorly used the “Don’t call me Shirley” line not once but twice, the second the two characters found it to be hilarious. Yes, it was… in Airplane. Sadly, many under the age of 30 probably never  heard the joke before.

The acting also was somewhat subpar. Ezekiel Z. Swinford didn’t exactly have command of the screen and Michael Morford playing a white Reggae stoner fell flat. On the plus side, I thought both Kelsey Pribsilski and Elizabeth Maxwell came off respectably well enough.

Virgin Cheerleaders in Chains was directed Spanish filmmaker Paulo Biscaia Filho marking what looks like his first English-language feature and was scripted by Gary Gannaway (and apparently was the co-director) and makes his debut with no other credits other than an assistant producer for a short film.

In the end, conceptually this had a fun concept and even with the typical tropes and clichés you often see from these micro-budgeted flicks, I never found myself bored and the bad at least never made me angry. The biggest downside is despite the eye-catching title, it never quite lived up to it, though there were certainly elements of the 1970s exploitation I think the filmmakers were going for.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5


This release comes with a slip cover and a 14-page booklet. Features include an Introduction (0:14) by Machete Mike for HorrorCon, Behind-the-Scenes & Bloorhouse Tour (10:20), Brazilian Promotional Videos (19:49) and ZombieLife TV: Season 1, Episode 8 (25:42) which features the cast & crew of Virgin Cheerleaders in Chains.

 


VIDEO – 3.25/5


Presented with a 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer, Virgin Cheerleaders in Chains comes to Blu-ray through Darkside Releasing. Even when you consider the mico-budget, this doesn’t exactly look fantastic. Not entirely sure, but this probably was shot digitally and at the very least the picture was clean but even the daylight scenes were bright and the darker scenes is more gray than black. Detail wasn’t too bad, though, however on the whole the biggest benefit for this being in HD is that I can only imagine the standard definition DVD would’ve looked far worse.

AUDIO – 2.5/5


The movie comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 track which sounds rather… loud. As with the picture, the sound design might not have been top-of-the-line and dialogue did come through a bit strong, though not quite topping out, though the various screams certainly did. The biggest downside was, particularly exterior scenes, the wonderful hissing of white noise was present.

 


OVERALL – 2.75/5


The biggest advantage Virgin Cheerleaders in Chains has was… its title. This micro-budgeted horror-comedy did have its moments and for the most part the performances were passable, and a couple others respectable including Kelsey Pribsilski who showed some on-screen charisma. Otherwise, this is probably worthy of a rental, especially for fans of B/C-movies.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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