I Don’t Understand, I Just Wanna Be Your Friend!: Death of a Cheerleader (1994)


I don’t understand – I just wanna be your friend!

So amazon brought this film back and I just had to watch it again. As you know, I love Lifetime movies, and this was one of the top Lifetime movies. I was only two when it came out, but I have watched it again and again through the years.

It is Lifetime at its best-based on a true story and full of over the top drama!

It is based on a true story of the murder of Kirsten Costas by Bernadette Protti. And I just want to say, this review in no way is meant to hurt or poke fun at the victim or their family, I know what it is like to have someone close to you be stabbed to death-this is just a review of Lifetime’s depiction.

So the film is pretty low-budget and ’90s to the max. One of the many reasons to love it.

We start off with Stacy Lockwood (Tori Spelling) knocking on a door and asking to use their phone. She explains she was out with a friend, but their friend started acting weird so she left. She tries to reach her parents, but no dice.

The father of the family drives her home and drops her off. As he is driving away, he hears screaming. He witnesses her being stabbed by a “friend” and calls the police. When the Lockwoods arrive, they find the paramedics and police outside the home.

They flashback 10 months, to the start of the school year. Angela Delvecchio (Kellie Martin) is going to Santa Mira High this year instead of St. Josephs. Angie is a shy girl who wants to be the best she can be. She wants to be devout, do well academically, be the most popular, most beautiful, and above all-a cheerleader. Just like the beautiful and perfect Stacy Lockwood.

Angie feels this year will be her year-no doubt. Her best friend Jill tries to talk her out of it, but Angie has a manic devotion to her goals. Angie tries as hard as she can to get into the coveted school sorority, the Larks.

By the skin of her teeth she makes it in-and just a short regress in 80-90s book and movies they always had these “special” high school sororities/clubs that were for popular people that did community service and threw all kinds of parties-the Pearls, Unicorns, Pi Belta Alpha, etc. Did people really do that? I never went to a regular school-I went to an art school so my high school life wasn’t normal.

Hmm…

Anyways, she gets in and reconnects with her old friend from Saint Joseph’s, Jamie, and tries to do all she can to get close to Stacy-to be Stacy.

Angela loves the Larks, her favorite thing being the community service.

Jill: Great, Angela, my friend the do-gooder. Honestly, you make me feel like I should go to church and confess or something.

Angela sets herself to her next goal-the school attendance office. To be chosen is to rule the school as you have the power for hall passes. Only the coolest can get it, so when Angie gets picked she is over the moon.

Angela Delvecchio: I got a job in the Attendance Office, and guess who I’ll be working with!

Jill: From the way you sound, it must be someone important. Who is it? Nancy Reagan?

Angela Delvecchio: Stacy Lockwood!

Jill: Oh. Miss Queen Bee herself! What? Are you one of her drones? I’m sorry, Angela, I just don’t wanna see you get hurt.

Jill tries to be friends with Stacy, but Stacy is incredibly mean and cruel-Regina George has nothing on her. Stacy rules the school with an Iron Fist-what she says is cool is cool and what she says or who she says is lame is destroyed!!! Such as a girl Monica who wears all black. Stacy constantly taunts her in class:

Stacy Lockwood: [reading her poem] Face like a ghost, hair black as sin/the witch of Santa Mira scratches her chin/she cackles, she gloats, she summons her broom/and flies like a banshee right out of the room.

Monica: [furiously] I‘m gonna KILL you, Stacy Lockwood!

Teacher: Monica! [to StacyStacy, I think you better apologize.

Stacy Lockwood: I’m sorry, Mrs. Chadfield. It was just a poem. It wasn’t about her.

Actually, now that I think about it, Stacy is like Regina George and Heather Chandler rolled into one.  Speaking of Heathers, this film has the same type of vibe of that with a touch of David Lynch. Beautiful on the outside, with evil and ugliness lurking on the inside.

Angie fawns over Stacy and strives to be her friend. She’s kind of like Anna Kendrick in A Simple Favor.

Angel works hard to go on the Ski Trip with the Larks, even though her family isn’t wealthy. There Stacey steals Monica’s diary and reads it in front of EVERYONE.

[after Monica threatens Stacy about her diary]

Angela Delvecchio: Monica, just let it go. She didn’t mean anything by it.

Monica: [angry] I’d like to kill her.

Angela Delvecchio: No, Monica, you don’t mean it. You’re just angry.

Monica: [to Angela, darkly] What would a wannabe like you know about it anyway, huh? Go on, go. Get away from me, run back and lick her boots. That’s what your dying to do anyway, isn’t it?

As said before-Stacey rules the school. And all must bow to her will.

Angela sets her sights on the next part of her goal-yearbook. But isn’t accepted. She contiues to try for cheerleader and tries to be noticed to be known, but is continuously looked over by teachers and others. She has to be a cheerleader, just has to be.

But she isn’t picked-Stacey is.

That really gets Angela, after all everything on her list-Stacey has gotten it. Sure Angela is a Lark and Office Aid-but she doesn’t have true popularity. Stacey has achieved all she has wanted. She will never be Stacey Lockwood…but maybe she can be her friend?

Jill comes over one night and the two drink and hang out. Jill brings up a party that is coming up. That’s when it hits her-that is how she will become Stacey’s friend. She lies to her parents about baby-sitting and borrows her sister’s car. She calls the Lockwood home and tells them about a party for the Larks that Stacey is invited to, something she will be honored for.

The night comes and Angie picks Stacy up. Stacy is not happy being with a nobody loser like Angie, but she convinces her that she lied about the dinner so her parents wouldn’t find out about the rager they are going to. But things don’t turn out well,

Stacy Lockwood: [looks at a knife and vegetable next to her] What’s this, hors d’ouvres?

Angela Delvecchio: Oh, my sister. She sometimes fixes lunch in the car.

Stacy Lockwood: Mmm, now that’s real class, Angie. So, who did you say was gonna be at this party?

Angela Delvecchio: Oh, the older crowd.

But when Staey pushes for more information, she gets Angie to admit that she wasn’t  invited to the party, Jill was. Stacey is not going to crash a party and be laughed at. She starts calling Angie pathetic and refuses to go to the party.

Angela Delvecchio: Why are you so mean?

Stacy Lockwood: [coldly] Come on, put a lid on it. Let’s go.

Angela Delvecchio: I don’t understand – I just wanna be your friend!

Stacy Lockwood: [sarcastically] Sure, and I wanna fly to the moon.

Angela Delvecchio: I admire you, Stacy. I’ve always admired you. You’re so pretty and funny and confident.

Stacy Lockwood: You’re pathetic!

Angela Delvecchio: All I want is to be like you.

Stacy Lockwood: That’s it, I’m out of here.

Angela Delvecchio: Wait! Wait, no!

Stacy Lockwood: You know what, you are even weirder than I thought! [exits the carWhy don’t you give Monica a call. Maybe SHE can be your date.

Angela Delvecchio: [yells] No, Stacy, that’s not what I meant!

Stacey gets out and knocks on the door of the house and uses their phone. With Angie she drives away but all she can think about is Monday at school, all the things that Stacey will say, how her social life will be OVER! She snaps and knows she has to go after and convince Stacey not to make her a pariah, not another Monica, NOT after all the hard work she did!

Going mad!

Angela grabs the knife left in the car by her sister-now this is so weird to me that her sister would carry a knife in her car to cut up vegetables and fruits for snacks. That always rang false with me, it just seemed too weird. And you are talking to a person who used to take her nieces to school in the morning, then go to work for five hours at one job, and then to another for two hours. I spent a lot of time eating in my car, but I wouldn’t bring a knife that would get dirty and make the car gross. Yeah, I don’t buy it. I’m not saying she planned the murder-but there is more there I know it!

Anyways, she speaks to Stacey but it is too late.

Angela Delvecchio: [approaches Stacy, voice breaking in anguish] I would’ve driven you home.

Stacy Lockwood: You are so weird! Just go away! GO AWAY!

[Angela attacks Stacy and stabs her leaving her for dead]

Her family returns home and find the scene of the police, paramedics, etc. Angela hurries home.

Angela is questioned as she fits the description and is a friend, but overlooked as she is nice, quiet, and not memorable.

[after the news on Stacy’s death and describing her killer]

Angela Delvecchio: [in disbelief] I’m a teenage girl with shoulder-length hair and we have a Nova.

Jill: [chuckles] Don’t be ridiculous, Angie, nobody’s gonna suspect you. You’re, like, the nicest girl in Santa Mira.

But Angie isn’t caught. Time passes and soon Junior year is going to begin. They want to disband the Larks, but Angela rouses everybody with a speech about how important the Larks were to Stacy, how they help the community and that it can’t be disbanded. This gains her popularity and title of secretary/treasurer.

She also does peer mentoring, candy stripping and more-being popular, confident, and achieving all she wanted.

I have everything I have ever wanted!

But the guilt starts to eat at her when everyone attacks Monica. They harasses her, attack her, vandalize her locker, and it starts to wreck her.

[Jamie and Angela notice Monica’s locker with the word “Killer” in red]

Jamie: She had an alibi, you know? There’s no way she could’ve possibly done it. And it didn’t matter… they just kept hounding her and hounding her.

Angela Delvecchio: I know.

Jamie: All because she was different. And you know what? I did it too. Stacy mocked her, so I mocked her. Stacy said “jump”, and I jumped. You know, Angie, I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately, and I’m ashamed to admit it: I never really liked her. I was just afraid of her. And I’ve been thinking about her killer too. Maybe it was… I don’t know… someone like me.

 The FBI comes and resumes investigations, hounding Angie until she finally snaps and confesses to her priest, the police, and family. She is sentenced to prison until she is 25. 

The film ends with Jamie writing a letter to Angie, staying her friend and sorry to have not done more. She leaves Santa Mira to go back to Saint Josephs.

I think why this movie has struck a cord with viewers and became so popular is that it is very relatable. Everyone has either been or known the mean popular girl (Stacy), the “weird” girl who is picked on (Monica), the girl who wants to be popular and goes with the crowd (Jamie), the girl who doesn’t care and does her own thing (Jill), and the girl who is desperate to be popular she will do anything (Angie).

Plus there is a fascination with murders over the smallest things. Social reputation, that’s what set her over the edge and its crazy. Either way it is an entertaining film and captures your attention.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning go to, Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Lifetime movies, go to Lifetime Didn’t Go Psycho Enough: Psycho Mother-in-Law (2019)

For more Tori Spelling, go to It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?: Scream 2 (1997)

For more horror movies with cheerleaders, go to It Was the Curse. My Curse: The Cheerleader Murders (2016)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s