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Cannibal Cheerleader Camp

Year of Release: 2009
Theatrical Release Date:

Director: Paul Busetti
Writing Credits:
Paul Busetti
Run Time:
18 min
Studio: Ten Sundays Productions

Cast: Tara Bowen, Bridget Devlin Burke, Rebecca Jones, Kerry Kearns, Lenora Spahn, Jenna St. John

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Summary: Cindy (Bridget Devlin Burke) is set apart from the other girls. When we first
see her, she is sitting silently looking over the lake. She cannot sleep at
night and sneaks away to make phone calls to her concerned family. Something
traumatic has driven her away from her home and her normal life. She has gathered
with her friends at the campground in the woods to try and get some solace.
It's never disclosed exactly what she's hiding from, but she is forced to conquer
her fear in the finale when she must come face to face with an unstoppable killing
machine. She is unable to save her friends, but she puts her back against the
wall and prepares herself for the inevitable.

Everything I had done before "Cannibal" had traces of horror. The
scenes that I looked forward to shooting and that got the greatest reactions
from the crowds at screenings were the kill scenes. People always wanted to
know what we used to make the brains splattered all over the bathroom wall in
the final shot of "The Clockmaker" or what we used for skin in "Antidote"
when Leonard peels back the palm of his own hand. So, in the summer of 2007,
I wrote a short horror script that would become "Cannibal". I wanted
to cut all the fat from an 80's horror film. I wanted this film to be an amalgamation
of the scenes you fast forward to when you've got a VHS copy of "Slumber
Party Massacre" and your mom is going to be home soon.

Shot over a single weekend in October, the cast and crew all lived, ate, slept,
and stayed up late chain smoking and telling stories together. The shooting
was effortless because we would wake up on location every morning and the girls
were the coolest, bravest, and most trusting people I've ever worked with.

"Cannibal" was the first film I have directed where I let the actors
watch dailies. I sent them a very rough cut in January and craved their input
up until the Theatrical Premiere on November 1. We've since had a New York screening
and it's always nice to see people jump out of their seats.

Reviewer Film Ratings:
Plot: 3 | Fun Factor: 2 | Gore: 2 | Nudity: 3 | Scare Factor: 2.5 | Overall: 4.5/5

A Sexy and Seductive Visual Slaughterhouse
Reviewed by Gavin Schmitt

"Cannibal Cheerleader Camp" was written, photographed, edited, directed and produced by Paul Busetti... it is a real "labor of love" as Horror Society says, and a truly beautiful creation. In this short, we find five camp counselors alone in their cabin, being hunted by someone or something craving human flesh. And what better flesh than that of young women? The film is littered with tight, close shots, which really makes it an artsy film, and gives the viewer the feeling of being more confined. How big the actual cabin is I don't know, but with the cinematography used, we get the impression that there's nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Although, apparently still enough room for private, intimate showers.

There are some homages to past horror films. "Evil Dead" gets a nod with Busetti crediting fake shemps, and the audio commentary (which is excellent) points out an "Exorcist III" shot that would have otherwise gone over my head. Subtlety and obscurity make for the best homages, if you ask me. It all pays off when that one person -- rather than one hundred -- catches it.

The other reviews of this film really focus on the cast of gorgeous women, particularly the two sexy lesbians (Kim and Kim), and there's really no denying that that's a large part of this film's appeal. While it would still be a great film without the beautiful ladies, one can't help but notice how many good-looking starlets were squeezed into such a short running time. I'd like to single out Lenora Spahn, who really took my breath away (before having her breath taken away).

Those viewers who are curious may have looked and noticed that the actresses in this film also appear in "Zombthology", a film with Killer Reviews friends Tiffany Shepis and Robert Elkins. That's no coincidence. Paul Busetti co-produced a couple of shorts with "Zombthology" co-director Chirs Kiros ("How Did You Lose Your Soul Sweetheart" and "Antidote Seven") and worked on "Zombthology" for a few days. There he met Kerry Kearns and Rebecca Jones, the two Kims. Jenna St. John was actually recommended by Busetti for Kiros. So, while there is no formal connection between "Zombthology" and "Cannibal Cheerleader Camp", there is a behind-the-scenes story of an actress exchange, which worked out wonderfully for all involved.

The gore effects used are simple but effective. The slit throat is very nice, though I felt the shower rod could have used a little work. Allegedly, the film was put together on a $700 budget, which isn't even what you would call a "shoestring" budget, so I can't be too critical. What does $700 buy? A few lunches, perhaps.

The script reveals Busetti's attention to detail, and if anyone is able to read this, I suggest they do. For example, with the Kim necklaces, I would not have noticed in the film the parallel of the two necklaces interlocking much the same as the two girls interlock. The script is prosaic and comes out beautifully on screen. While some minor changes are noticed (the change from cameo pants to shorts), you can really see how vivid Busetti's vision is and how important it is that he get us to see on screen what he has in his mind. I think he succeeds.

I can't stress enough that this film is worth repeated viewings. Obviously at 18 minutes, you have more than enough time to see it again and again. And I think you should, because you're going to miss things. But even with a fuller length feature, I suspect we would want to give this one our full attention multiple times. Paul Busetti is a strong writer, editor and director. He made a crisp, enjoyable and slick film with "Cannibal Cheerleader Camp". I give it my complete endorsement and urge you to buy a copy today from Yahoo or the Ten Sundays website.

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