We here at Don’t Cho There are big fans of 90s Lifetime Originals, and tonight I discovered a new gem to add to our list of Lifetime Classics.
Death of a Cheerleader OR A Friend to Die For (Don’t you just love how a lot of the old Lifetime Originals were given two titles? It just goes to show that the movies are so deep that they require multiple titles to truly convey the overall message. Either that or the writers were too awestruck by each title that the task of narrowing it down to just one single name was too daunting to even consider an option. Classic double-titlers include, A Secret Between Friends OR When Friendship Kills and Freshman Fall OR She Cried No. But I digress…) is the story of Angela, a smart girl who–after transferring from Catholic school to public school- wants what every overlooked, socially awkward 90s teen movie character wants: popularity. But, of course, she just can’t seem to get it, no matter how hard she tries. And because this is a Lifetime movie, instead of just getting a makeover (FASHION MONTAGE!), she has to go and kill the most popular girl in her class, Stacy. Of course, as in all Lifetime movies, she gets caught, but not until after she gets to experience a taste of the popular life she craved.
This movie teaches some valuable lessons, such as:
1) If you want to be friends with the most popular girl and she calls you weird, the best plan of action is to kill her. You will eventually become popular afterwards.
2) You should definitely keep a kitchen knife in your car. You never know when you’ll need to cut vegetables. OR MURDER SOMEONE.
3) If you’re completely consumed with guilt, confess to your priest. He can’t tell anyone.
4) Transferring from private to public school is a BAD CHOICE.
Death of a Cheerleader OR A Friend to Die For also boasts the talents of an all-star cast. Leading the ensemble as Angela is none other than 90s Made-For-TV Movie Teen Queen, Kellie Martin (anyone remember The Face on the Milk Carton based on the novel? CLASSIC. Oddly enough, my 6th grade teacher read the book aloud to our class. Apparently, this is a popular choice to read to a group of 11-12 year olds…who knew?). Playing Stacy is the great Tori Spelling (aka Donna from the original 90210. You know, the GOOD one. I still own a complete set of 90210 Barbies that I received for my 8th birthday. It’s almost frightening how much the dolls look like the characters).
Other awesome appearances in the movie are:
–Valerie Harper as Angela’s devoutly religious mother (aren’t the mother’s always played by gems in these movies? Wonder Woman Lynda Carter as the mother in A Secret Between Friends OR When Friendship Kills and now RHODA in this one?! L’amazing.)
–Terry O’Quinn (JOHN LOCKE!…and also star of such classics as the original The Stepfather and the Lifetime gem My Stepson, My Lover) as the asinine school principal.
–MARLEY SHELTON (any 90s Lifetime fan LOVES them some Marley! (or Marlee, as she was for a bit) Especially in A Secret Between Friends OR When Friendship Kills!) as the grieving friend who WAS popular but felt bad about it.
–Christa Miller as the sister who keeps knives in the car for impromptu snacks (of Scrubs, The Drew Carey Show, and Cougar Town fame)
–Jenna Leigh Green in her first role. You might know her better as Libby Chessler from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (You can see two of my favorite StTW guest appearances HERE & HERE)
–James Avery as the FBI agent (UNCLE PHIL! Sing it with me now: Iiiiiiiin West Philadelphia, born and raised…!)
So, if you find yourself with an hour and a half to spare one day and want to see a prime example of 90s Lifetime awesomeness, I would highly recommend watching Death of a Cheerleader (…or A Friend to Die For!). It will make you laugh, it won’t make you cry, and it may seem a bit awkward at times…but it will be worth it.